Sealants & Fluoride
SealantsSealants are a durable, strong plastic coating placed on the surface of teeth to prevent decay. They are specifically set on the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars—the permanent back teeth—typically when the tooth has come in and has completely passed the gum. Chewing surfaces are sealed as each of the teeth break through the gum line so that the tooth is protected from cavities.
Sealants are used in conjunction with fluoride to add extra protection for the naturally uneven surfaces of the back teeth. Sealants come in clear, white, or can be tinted to match the patient's tooth surface. Once placed, they are virtually invisible and protect teeth for many years.
FluorideFluoride is a natural mineral that has been proven to strengthen teeth and prevent the incidence of tooth decay. The American Dental Association recommends fluoride treatment for children as soon as teeth emerge. This simple preventive measure of applying a fluoride varnish to a child's first teeth can strengthen teeth at risk for decay and create a tooth surface that is more resistant to decay.
Applying a fluoride varnish protects a child's primary (first) teeth from decay. Fluoride is applied twice a year from ages one to six or seven when the child gets their permanent teeth. Fluoride varnish works by repairing gaps in the tooth enamel, protecting teeth from plaque forming bacteria that likes to colonize in small pits and gaps.
Fluoride is easily applied to teeth. It dries almost immediately upon contact with clean dry teeth and will not be removed by saliva. The procedure is quick, painless, and often included in dental insurance coverage, but you will want to check with your provider to be certain.