Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are usually placed on the chewing (occlusal) surface of the permanent back teeth — the molars and premolars — to help protect them from decay. The chewing surfaces of the molar and premolar teeth have grooves — "fissures" — that make them vulnerable to decay.
Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. Also referred to as gingivitis in the early stages and later known as periodontitis. Gum disease is caused by plaque (and other factors), the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth.
Rinsing helps remove debris from the mouth. It can be done before or after brushing, but it is not a substitute for brushing or flossing. Therapeutic mouthrinses can help reduce plaque, gingivitis, cavities and bad breath. Some fight the bacteria present in plaque, a sticky film that forms on teeth and gums. If you have difficulty brushing and flossing, a mouthrinse may provide additional protection against cavities and periodontal (gum) disease.
Fluoride inhibits loss of minerals from tooth enamel and encourages remineralization (strengthening areas that are weakened and beginning to develop cavities). Fluoride also affects bacteria that cause cavities, discouraging acid attacks that break down the tooth. Risk for decay is reduced even more when fluoride is combined with a healthy diet and good oral hygiene.
It is most important to learn how to critically self-evaluate nutrition information. A diet high in certain kinds of carbohydrates, such as, sugar and starches, may place you at extra risk for tooth decay. A food with sugar or starch is safer for teeth if eaten with a meal, not as a snack. Sticky foods, such as dried fruit or toffee, are not easily washed away from teeth. Therefore, they have more cavity causing potential. A healthy balanced diet should include the following major food groups: Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Meat and Beans. Shop smart!
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