Fluoride and Sealants

Fluoride helps make teeth strong and prevent tooth decay. If the water where you live does not have enough fluoride, we may prescribe fluoride tablets. (Kiel is one of the only surrounding cities that does not.) Also, if you live in the country, you may think about getting your water tested to see how much is already in your water, so your children get just the right levels. Most often well water does not contain fluoride. If your children need supplements, you would give them one prescription pill daily starting at about 6 months old. Only give as much as the directions say or we provide because too much fluoride can cause spots on teeth. The children can take the supplement until they are 12 to 16 years old.

Many children are now drinking bottled water, which most do not contain fluoride. While some bottled water naturally contains fluoride, the majority does not. Make sure to check the bottle and then let us know about how much the child is taking in from tap or bottled water.

Another key to preventing decay in childhood are sealants. Sealants are plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of adult molar teeth. The pits and grooves on these teeth can be really difficult for anyone to clean. So these areas tend to build up plaque and cause cavities. So we bond the sealant to the enamel of the tooth to prevent cavities from every starting. The first and second adult molars are the most common teeth to have sealants placed on—these erupt around age 6 and 12 and are placed at about those ages.