Dental Care Information2022-04-05T15:45:22-05:00

A generous grant from the United Ways of Texas allowed the TDA Smiles Foundation to create Cavity Free Corral, an education program that teaches children and adults the importance of proper nutrition and oral hygiene habits.

Dental Nutrition
Oral Health Habits
Fluoride Varnish
Dental Sealants

Dental Nutrition

What are the best foods for your dental health?

Source: American Dental Association, Mouth Healthy; mouthhealthy.org.

Oral Health Habits

A healthy mouth leads to a healthy body. You are never too young or too old to adopt proper oral health habits. Here are a few to get you on the right track!

  • Visit Your Dentist – Regular trips to your dentist are about more than just maintenance; they are an important preventative measure that will save you time and money down the road. Your dentist can catch early signs of disease, help you develop healthy habits, and be a vital part of your care team.

  • Brush and Clean Between Your Teeth Daily – Healthy habits like brushing and cleaning between your teeth go a long way in preventing cavities and keeping a healthy smile. Remember to brush for two minutes, twice a day, and floss once daily.

  • Protect Your Smile – Prevent damage to your pearly whites throughout the day and while you play. Sealants are a safe and effective coating that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth. Mouthguards can protect your teeth during contact sports.

  • Practice Healthy Nutrition Habits – What you put in your mouth affects your general health and that of your teeth and gums. Discover foods that are good for your dental health, and reduce sugary snacking for kids.

  • Drink Water From the Tap – The healthiest beverage for your teeth is water—especially if it’s fluoridated. Studies show drinking water with fluoride can help prevent tooth decay by at least 25%.

  • Know What to Look for at Every Stage of Life – With the proper care, your teeth can last you a lifetime. Although different ages and stages in life may require different types of care, good dental health possible whether you’re 8 or 80.

Source: American Dental Association, Mouth Healthy; mouthhealthy.org.

Fluoride Varnish

Fluoride varnish is a highly concentrated form of fluoride that provides extra protection against tooth decay when used in addition to brushing. Fluoride varnish is applied to the tooth’s surface with a soft brush by a dentist or dental hygienist. Research shows that fluoride varnish is highly effective at reducing tooth decay if applied twice a year.

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Dental Sealants

A dental sealants is a thin, plastic coating usually applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth (premolars and molars). The sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth. It acts as a barrier to prevent tooth decay.

Which teeth are suitable for sealants?2017-03-14T05:08:40-05:00

Permanent molars are the most likely to benefit from sealants. The first molars usually come into the mouth when a child is about 6 years old. Second molars appear at about age 12. It is best if the sealant is applied soon after the teeth have erupted, before they have a chance to decay.

How are sealants applied?2017-03-14T05:10:32-05:00

Applying sealants does not require drilling or removing tooth structure. The process is short and easy. After the tooth is cleaned, a special gel is placed on the chewing surface for a few seconds. The tooth is then washed off and dried. Then, the sealant is painted on the tooth. The dentist or dental hygienist also may shine a light on the tooth to help harden the sealant. It takes about a minute for the sealant to form a protective shield.

Are sealants visible?2017-03-14T05:11:27-05:00

Sealants can only be seen up close. Sealants can be clear, white, or slightly tinted, and usually are not seen when a child talks or smiles.

Will sealants make teeth feel different?2017-03-14T05:12:38-05:00

As with anything new that is placed in the mouth, a child may feel the sealant with the tongue. Sealants, however, are very thin and only fill the pits and grooves of molar teeth.

How long will sealants last?2017-03-14T05:13:26-05:00

A sealant can last for as long as 5 to 10 years. Sealants should be checked at your regular dental appointment and can be reapplied if they are no longer in place.

Will sealants replace fluoride for cavity protection?2017-03-14T05:14:30-05:00

No. Fluorides, such as those used in toothpaste, mouth rinse, and community water supplies also help to prevent decay, but in a different way. Sealants keep germs and food particles out of the grooves by covering them with a safe plastic coating. Sealants and fluorides work together to prevent tooth decay.

How do sealants fit into a preventive dentistry program?2017-03-14T05:15:49-05:00

Sealants are one part of a child’s total preventive dental care. A complete preventive dental program also includes fluoride, twice-daily brushing, wise food choices, and regular dental care.

Why is sealing a tooth better than waiting for decay and filling the cavity?2017-03-14T05:16:34-05:00

Decay damages teeth permanently. Sealants protect them. Sealants can save time, money, and the discomfort sometimes associated with dental fillings. Fillings are not permanent. Each time a tooth is filled, more drilling is done and the tooth becomes a little weaker.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; cdc.gov.
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