dentist
0-12
Months
1-4
Years
5-10
Years
11+
Years
General
Information by Age Group:
0-12 Months 1-4 Years 5-10 Years 11+ Years General

Sealants

What are sealants?

Your teeth are shaped with grooves and pitted surfaces. Sealants help protect these areas so food and bacteria do not get trapped especially when chewing. Sealants are made of clear or shaded plastic and generally applied to the back teeth where most cavities are prevalent.

How do sealants work?

Even with proper brushing and flossing, food and bacteria can build up inside tiny grooves and in the pits of some teeth resulting in decay. Sealants act by “sealing out” food and plaque buildup inside these tiny crevices thus reducing the risk of tooth decay.

How long do sealants last?

Sealants tend to last for many years if cared for properly. If your child receives sealants, they are most likely protected during their cavity prone years. Sealants last longer if your child practices good oral hygiene and avoids biting hard objects. During routine dental visits, your dentist will check the sealants to see if they need to reapplied or repaired.

What is the treatment like?

The tooth is first cleaned, condition and then dried. Following, the sealant is spread onto the grooves of the tooth and hardened with a special light. Sealant treatments are generally completed in one visit and fairly quick to apply

How much does it cost?

Sealant treatments offer valuable decay protection and considered very affordable. Most dental insurance companies cover sealants however they may have some age or specific tooth limitations. It is recommended that you talk with your benefits provider about your coverage and your dentist about the exact cost for the sealant treatment.

Which teeth should be sealed?

The surfaces of your teeth are usually kept clean with the natural flow of saliva in your mouth however it does not wash the grooves and fissures. The teeth with the most prevalent risk of decay are the six-year and twelve-year molars. Permanent premolars and primary molars may also benefit from sealant coverage as they contain many grooves and pits. Every child is different, so your dentist will assess your child’s mouth and recommend the proper sealant treatment if necessary.

If my child has sealants are brushing and flossing still important?

Yes! Sealants are only a part of a whole regime of keeping your child cavity-free. It is important to follow proper brushing, flossing, eating a nutritious diet and regular dental visits in order to achieve a bright, healthy smile!
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