Dental sealants are very thing coatings used to fill in deep grooves and pits in teeth that can harbor bacteria. Sealants are applied to healthy chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent decay and cavities – especially among children. According to the Centers for Disease Control, tooth decay affects more than half of children ages 6 – 8, and even older children and teens. By applying sealants, families can prevent decay and save on the costs associated with filling cavities. It is very common and often recommended, for children to get sealants on their back teeth shortly after the teeth erupt from the gums into the mouth- usually beginning around age 6. Sealants are not just for children- certain adult teeth will also benefit from sealants.
Did you know…
- Dental sealants can last up to 10 years in the average patient.
- Many parents choose sealants for their kids because it is more affordable and less invasive to prevent cavities than it is to treat irreversible dental decay.
- Sealants are white or clear in color, making them virtually invisible when talking, smiling or eating.
- Dental sealants cover approximately 90 percent of the tooth structure and are 100 percent effective when fully preserved on the teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if dental sealants are right for my child?
Sealants may be right for your child if he or she has molar teeth that are healthy and free of decay. Schedule a dental consultation for a complete examination to determine if dental sealants could be a preventative health solution for your children.
What should I expect when my child gets dental sealants?
Your child will not experience any pain when sealants are placed. There is no drilling or minimal drilling (to remove food and plaque from deep grooves that toothbrush bristles will not reach), and the entire tooth is left intact for the procedure. The tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and treated with a special gel before the sealant is painted on and cured.
Are there any special care instructions to follow after the sealants are placed?
Normal eating habits can be resumed immediately after dental sealants are applied. Sealants will be checked at every dental appointment for deterioration. Sealants that are damaged or missing can be repaired or replaced.