Dental hygiene and regular professional consultation (maintenance) are the keys to a healthy smile. At Dental Palermo problems not only are treated but also prevented. We teach how to prevent more complex treatments.

Brushing and Flossing

Tooth brushing is a daily habit in the hygiene of a person. It is a necessary activity for the removal of dental plaque related to both dental caries and periodontal diseases (known as gingivitis and periodontitis) and the key to prevention.

Aside from brushing there is another method that helps to remove plaque from the gingival sulcus: flossing. This may be waxed, unwaxed, in tape form, or particularly for orthodontic and prosthetic cases.

Types of Toothbrushes

Toothbrush bristles can be natural or synthetic. Currently the recommendation is to use synthetic bristle brushes and a medium or soft hardness.

  • Periodontal brush: : Three or four bristle strips, which is normally used. It is used in cases of gingival inflammation and deep periodontal pockets. It is also recommended for children with fixed orthodontic.

  • An end-tufted brush: A type of toothbrush used specifically for cleaning along the gumline adjacent to the teeth.

  • Electric Toothbrush: Uses electric power supplied usually by a battery to move the brush head rapidly, either oscillating side to side, or rotation-oscillation (where brush heads rotate in one direction and then the other).

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay. Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on these surfaces. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay by keeping germs and food particles out of these grooves.

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.

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.

Dental sealants do not eliminate the need for fluoride treatment. 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.

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.