Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Our pediatric dentists will take special care of children’s teeth through a thorough cleaning and through the use of fluoride treatments, which will help strengthen the teeth for the future.
Sealants can help preserve a smile for a lifetime! Though dental sealants are not a cure-all in preventing tooth decay, they are cost-effective and helpful to patients – particularly children – in controlling decay in certain areas of the mouth.
A dental sealant is an acrylic-like material that helps shield out decay-causing bacteria from the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. We base our diagnosis and recommendation for dental sealants on the patient’s susceptibility to tooth decay and how the teeth were shaped when they originally formed below the gum. Though there is no specific age at which sealants are indicated, often we will recommend that the best time to apply them is when the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear.
Are sealants suitable for all teeth?
Sealants are applied only to pit and fissure areas of specific teeth. Unfortunately, they cannot be applied to the surfaces in between teeth where daily flossing is recommended to prevent decay.
How are sealants applied?
In this painless procedure, a solution is applied to the chewing surface of the tooth to condition the enamel and help the sealant material to bond more effectively. The tooth is then thoroughly washed and dried. The sealant material is applied with a brush and allowed to harden, sometimes using an ultraviolet light. The procedure takes only a few minutes.
How long do the sealants last?
Depending on your chewing pattern, the sealant effect can last for many years.
How do I care for the sealants?
Chewing ice cubes, hard pretzels, hard candy or very sticky foods should be avoided as much as possible.