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Guard Teeth from Cavities Every Day

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Sealants — plastic coatings that help guard teeth from cavities — play a big part in keeping your teeth healthy, but they aren’t a magic bullet. The American Dental Association stresses these other key ingredients for keeping your mouth cavity-free:

  • Brushing gently, at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Pay special attention to the gum line.

  • Cleaning between your teeth at least once a day with either floss or interdental cleaners.

  • Eating a balanced diet with limited snacks.

  • Regularly visiting your dentist.

Fluoridated water supplies have also helped reduce dental cavities, but children can get too much fluoride. Make sure children put only a pea-sized dab of toothpaste on their brush, and remind them to rinse out and not swallow both fluoride toothpaste and mouthwashes that contain fluoride. Children younger than age 6 should not use a fluoride mouthwash because of the risk of swallowing it.

“Brushing Your Teeth.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth Accessed 2013.

“Flossing.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/flossing Accessed 2013.

“Dental Sealants.” Division of Oral Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, July 10, 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/OralHealth/publications/faqs/sealants.htm Accessed 2013.

“Interim Guidance on Fluoride Intake for Infants and Young Children.” American Dental Association, November 8, 2006. http://www.fairbanksalaska.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/20061108ADA-Interim-Guidance-Fluoride-Intake.pdf Accessed 2013.

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