Dental Sealants are a preventive treatment used in children to protect the permanent back teeth from decay. In children, most cavities start in the deep grooves of the back teeth. A Sealant is a plastic coating that is placed into the grooves while in a liquid state, then quickly hardened with a bright light. A special bonding technique is used to ensure a tight attachment to the tooth. As a result, one application of sealants protects for many years.
Every child should have his or her permanent molars sealed when the first molars erupt around age six and again when the second molars erupt around age twelve. If you have children between the ages of 6 and 13, be sure to discuss having sealants to protect their molars from decay and cavities.
Fluoride benefits both children and adults. Before teeth break through the gums, the fluoride taken in from foods, beverages and dietary supplements makes tooth enamel (the hard surface of the tooth) stronger, making it easier to resist tooth decay. This provides what is called a "systemic" benefit.
After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild (remineralize) weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other fluoride dental products, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth. This provides what is called a "topical" benefit.
In addition, the fluoride you take in from foods and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth with tiny amounts of fluoride that help rebuild weakened tooth enamel. Think of fluoride as vitamins for strong, healthy teeth. Fluoride can also help with those with sensitive teeth. Although it’s most often recommended for children, adults can benefit from in-office fluoride topical applications as well. Ask our hygiene team if fluoride is right for you.