Topical Fluoride and Dental Sealants

Jamie J. Alexander on September 10, 2017

At Jamie J. Alexander, DDS, we help patients have their preferred dental future by taking preventive measures to minimize enamel erosion and future need to restore decayed teeth with fillings or crowns. Two preventive treatments are low cost and highly effective. These are topical fluoride and dental sealants.

Topical fluoride can be painted on your teeth at the end of your dental cleaning appointment. Regular application every six month, adds minerals to your enamel to strength teeth and protect them. Regular fluoride treatment is beneficial in fighting cavities and tooth sensitivity. But, fluoride does little to protect enamel in the grooves of your teeth. Dental sealants add extra protection in the grooves where decay is most likely to occur. Any tooth with grooves can benefit from being protected with dental sealant, so sealants may be recommended for molars and premolars.

Permanent molars that erupt around age 12 are particularly susceptible to decay due to deep grooves. If you are an adult who has some deeply grooved teeth, you may have received sealants when your secondary teeth erupted a decade or more ago. Hopefully, you have escaped dental decay in the grooves of your teeth with the protection of the sealants. But, just because you are now an adult with more regular and effective oral hygiene habits, it doesn’t mean that you won’t continue to benefit from protective sealants. Dr. Alexander may recommend sealants for you, if you have susceptible deep grooves, even if you had treatment with sealant years ago.

As in the case of topical fluoride, the application of sealants is fast and easy. We paint a thin plastic coating onto the grooves of your teeth and harden the sealant with a special light. Sealants typically last a long time and can protect teeth from decay for many years before they need replacement. Studies have indicated that sealants can last up to nine years, but it is beneficial to renew sealants every four years, and sometimes more frequently, depending on the wear observed by the dentist. Keep in mind that sticky candy and hard foods can lead to the deterioration of sealants.

Preventing Damage with Topical Fluoride and Dental Sealants

Dr. Alexander doesn’t want to add expense to your dental care by suggesting unnecessary treatment. He diagnoses and treats every mouth individually. Both topical fluoride and sealant treatments are beneficial and work together in many mouths to establish a lifetime of optimal oral health. The next time you or one of your children is in our office, you may have a conversation about whether one or both of these preventive treatments are recommended.

If you are looking for a dentist who is concerned about preventing future problems and helping you have your preferred oral health future, give us a call today. Dr. Alexander would love to get to know you and your special mouth, and then provide regular care that will achieve your goals. Just reach out by calling 561-459-8317.