Preventative Dentistry: Sealants and Fluoride

A well-practiced oral hygiene routine can only protect your teeth so much. That’s why sealants and fluorides are an important part of preventive dentistry. Sealants and fluorides help protect your teeth from tooth decay.

Sealants

child smiling in dentist chair

A sealant is a thin coating that is painted over the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. It is applied as a liquid, and it hardens to form a shield over the tooth. It is important to help protect the small pits and grooves of the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, as toothbrush bristles can miss food and germs stuck there.

Having a sealant applied is quick and painless. It is usually applied at a dentist’s office in a few easy steps:

  1. The tooth is cleaned.
  2. The tooth is dried and cotton is placed around the tooth to keep the area dry.
  3. A solution is put on the tooth to make the surface slightly rough, to help the sealant stick better.
  4. The tooth is rinsed and dried again.
  5. The sealant is applied and with the help of a special light, the sealant will dry.

Sealants will last for several years before they need to be reapplied.

Fluorides

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that can help make the enamel (outer surface of teeth) more resistant to tooth decay. Where can you find fluoride? As fluoride is a natural mineral, it can be found in more places than you’d expect!

  • Water

Fluoride is found in most water sources—such as rivers, lakes and even the oceans. Fluoride is commonly added to public water supplies at the appropriate level to help combat tooth decay.

  • Toothpaste

Brushing twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride can help prevent tooth decay/cavities. Be sure to look for a toothpaste containing fluoride that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

  • Professional Treatment

Your dentist can apply a fluoride treatment during a dental visit if he or she recommends it. It is usually applied as a gel or a foam.

TruAssureVBA dental plans are administered and underwritten by TruAssure and are offered in association with the DenteMax Plus dental network arrangement, which includes participating dentists from the United Concordia, DenteMax and Connection dental networks in all states but North Carolina, where the DenteMax Plus network arrangement includes DenteMax and Connection dental networks.

The information contained above is intended to be educational in nature, does not constitute medical advice, and should not be relied on as a substitute for actual professional medical advice, care or treatment. If you have any vision, dental or other health related concerns, VBA encourages you to immediately contact your optometrist/ophthalmologist, dentist/orthodontist or any other competent, licensed, medical professional.