Sealants are a common preventive treatment in dentistry. Some teeth have fine grooves or pits that accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn’t brush, but because the grooves are too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. When plaque accumulates, it can lead to cavities and other types of tooth decay. To apply sealants, a plastic material is brushed onto the tooth, filling these narrow grooves and preventing the cavity-causing buildup. Sealants make healthy teeth possible.
Fluoride is a chemical compound that is proven to be beneficial to teeth. It strengthens enamel and prevents decay. As a result, there are many over-the-counter toothpastes and mouthwashes containing fluoride. However, those who are at an extra high risk for cavities may benefit from professional fluoride treatments in addition to daily doses. This is generally delivered in the form of a gel, foam or solution that is highly concentrated with fluoride. It’s typically applied with a swab or brush or even placed in a tray that is held in the mouth for several minutes.