Sealants and Fluoride

Are Dental Sealants For Children a Good Idea?

We highly recommend dental sealants, especially for children, because they are a proven, long-lasting defense against cavities. They’re also relatively easy to apply to teeth, require no extra care or maintenance, and are invisible. As your child’s baby teeth push out and we start to care for their permanent teeth, we’ll know when the time is right to apply dental sealants. The back teeth, especially, contain lots of crevices on the chewing surface that can trap food and bacteria, putting your child at risk for cavities. Those back teeth are the best candidates for sealants.


Can Adults Get Dental Sealants?

While children are most often the ones getting dental sealants, adults get cavities, and sealants are just as effective in preventing them in adults. Adults generally maintain better brushing habits than children and can be trusted to keep their back teeth clean and free of bacteria. But if your teeth are deeply grooved or your enamel is weak, ask us about sealants. They can’t be applied to teeth with cavities or fillings, but they can go on all healthy teeth to help keep them strong and resilient.


How Long Does It Take to Get a Dental Sealant?

We can take care of dental sealants during a regular checkup or during a quick follow-up appointment. The process doesn’t take long: Dr. Pinson or one of our hygienists will clean, dry, and prep the area before applying the material. We’ll advise you to avoid eating or drinking for a short time afterward to give the treatment a good chance to harden and bond to your tooth. From there, you won’t have to think about the sealant again.


What’s The Difference Between Topical Fluoride and Fluoride in Toothpaste?

Topical fluoride, the kind used in a professional treatment, comes in a gel form and is more concentrated, and more effective, than what you will find in toothpaste, drinking water, or certain foods. The amount of fluoride in a professional treatment is like giving a booster shot to your teeth – serving as an important step in keeping your teeth strong and preventing cavities. 


How Often Do I Need Fluoride Treatments?

That depends on your age and teeth, and it’s something Dr. Pinson can talk through with you during a checkup. Children will often receive fluoride treatments at every visit or once a year. That’s because their teeth can benefit most from the strengthening power of fluoride. Adults may not need fluoride treatments as often, but it is still an effective preventive tool. Especially when you consider many people drinking distilled or bottled water instead of tap water may miss out on other ways that fluoride can get to our teeth daily.


If you have any questions feel free to contact our office via phone, email, or schedule an appointment online.