Fluoride Treatments & Sealants
Fluoride Treatments and Sealants
Fluoride treatments and sealants are painless solutions to help prevent tooth decay. The benefits of fluoride—a naturally occurring mineral found in almost all the food we eat—are supported by more than a half-century of research. Fluoride is in most of our tap water and many toothpastes and mouthwashes. A fluoride treatment involves applying topical fluoride to the teeth, which is then absorbed into the enamel. The result: teeth that are more resistant to decay.
A sealant coats the surfaces of your back teeth, which are particularly rough and susceptible to attracting food particles. When the sealant smoothes the surfaces of your back teeth, food and bacteria can’t get in, warding off tooth decay. Most often, fluoride treatments and sealants are used together to maximize your ability to fight tooth decay.
Who Should Get a Fluoride Treatment or Sealant
Predominantly a preventive measure, fluoride treatments and sealants are especially beneficial for children and teens. Adults who don’t have any decay are also prime candidates.
As soon as children get their permanent molars, a sealant is a good idea. Kids who still have their baby teeth may benefit as well if their teeth are prone to cavities; a sealant can help prevent having to lose those teeth too early.
Fluoride is also available as a supplement, either in drops or caplets, as prescribed by your dentist. Ask us whether a fluoride supplement may be right for you.
Types of Dental Sealants
Here at Cajon Dental, we offer several different types of sealants. Which one we recommend will depend on your unique situation.
SDF (Silver Diamine Fluoride) Sealants:
These are applied directly to cavities or spots of decay to instantly stop the decay.
Other sealants: This thin protective coating can be made of plastic or another dental material and is used to prevent future tooth decay.
Fluoride Treatments and Sealants FAQs
Simple, painless and requiring only a few minutes, dental sealants are often applied during your regular visit. In most cases, there are three steps:
- We clean the tooth surface, including rinsing and drying.
- We apply a gel solution to the tooth to ensure a tight bond with your enamel.
- We paint the sealant onto the enamel, to which the sealant bonds and hardens.
It only takes a few minutes to apply a fluoride treatment. Whether a gel, foam or varnish, fluoride can be applied in several ways, whether using a swab, brush or a tray.
It’s important to note you shouldn’t eat or drink anything for at least a half hour after your treatment, as doing so may wash the fluoride away before it can be properly absorbed into your teeth.
Sealants can protect your teeth from decay for up to 10 years, although they do need to be checked during each regular visit to make sure they’re in good shape. Brushing and flossing help sealants last longer and are the most important things you can do for overall dental health.
We generally recommend a fluoride treatment every six months for children, done during their regular cleaning and exam. Too much fluoride can become a problem, but a bi-annual treatment promotes the health and strength of kids’ teeth.
We’re Ready to Help You
At Cajon Dental, everything we do is centered on you, your health and your experience.