Sealants and Fluoride
Dental sealants and fluoride are two incredibly efficient, cost-effective treatments designed to protect your teeth. Both of these options are long-lasting and require very little time to apply. Although sealants and fluoride are most common for children and young adults, they are excellent for patients of all ages!
How Do Sealants Work?
Sealants are thin layers of plastic that protect the back teeth from bacteria and food debris. By painting this resin material onto the chewing surface of the teeth, we can create an effective, long-lasting protective barrier.
In addition to acting as a shield against decay, sealants also smooth the bumps and ridges of your teeth. This makes it easier to clean your teeth and remove small bits of food that might otherwise get trapped in the rough surfaces of your molars.
Who Are Sealants for?
Since children usually eat more sweet foods than adults and may not brush and floss as often, they are often at a higher risk of developing cavities. Because of this, Dr. Hawkins often recommends that young patients get sealants to protect their new teeth.
Although children and teens are the most common recipients of dental sealants, this treatment is great for patients of all ages. If you would like an added layer of protection against cavities, ask us about sealants. This simple treatment can be applied in less than an hour and can save you and your family hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in restorative treatments later on.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that can boost the strength of your enamel and improve your resistance to tooth-decaying acids. When a person ingests small amounts of fluoride every day, it will eventually begin to manifest in their saliva. Once your body begins to redistribute the mineral, you will have a consistent source of protection for your teeth!
Fluoride is very important for your oral health. Because of this, most dental hygiene products, like mouthwash and toothpaste, contain some amount of fluoride. Many cities will even add small amounts of the mineral to the public drinking water. In small dosages, fluoride is completely safe and will help reduce your risk of developing dental diseases and decay.
Do I Need a Fluoride Treatment?
Dr. Hawkins recommends fluoride treatments for children and adults who may not be ingesting enough of the mineral in their day-to-day lives. An in-office treatment is quick and inexpensive. With a single treatment, you will receive enough fluoride to provide benefits for three months or longer. By using dental products with fluoride, you can improve the longevity of your treatment and keep your smile healthier for longer.
Is Fluoride Safe?
Yes! In proper dosages, fluoride is harmless. However, it can cause a rare condition known as “fluorosis” when too much is ingested. This condition is not dangerous but may cause permanent stains and pits in the teeth. Because of this, it is important to keep your children from eating their toothpaste.
If you would like to learn more about how you can protect your family’s teeth with sealants or fluoride, please call our office at 740-423-8416 to schedule a consultation.