What Are Dental Sealants

What are dental sealants?

Sealants are a thin plastic coating painted on the back chewing surface of the teeth. It is a painless procedure that can be done at the dentist office. The sealant is applied as a liquid and hardens in just a few seconds.

Do my children need sealants if we are faithful to brush their teeth well every day?

Fluoride can be found in most toothpastes and drinking water. It is a valuable benefit to help prevent tooth decay. However, the back teeth need added protection. Sealants protect the back teeth as they chew and grind and keep food and germs from penetrating into the teeth. Being proactive and putting sealants on teeth before decay begins can also be a financial gain by saving you money by avoiding dental treatment for tooth decay.

If I brush my children’s teeth regularly, why are they still at risk for tooth decay?

Natural germs in the mouth use sugar to make acid. After a period of time, this acid can begin to decay the tooth. The back teeth are rough and uneven. Food particles can get stuck in the grooves where toothbrush bristles can reach. Even the smallest amount left behind after brushing can begin the decay process to take place. Sealants on the teeth work as the added protection to prevent tooth decay from the smallest amount of food particles accidentally left behind after brushing.

When should my child get sealants?

Generally, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. This will promote healthy teeth during the cavity-prone years of ages 6-14.

A child’s first permanent molars, called “6 year molars,” and usually come in between the ages of 5 and 7.

Can sealants be put on baby teeth?

Some dentists may suggest putting sealants on baby teeth if the teeth have deep pits and grooves. Baby teeth make the way for permanent teeth so it is very important to keep the teeth healthy.

The second permanent molars known as “12 year molars,” generally start coming in between the ages of 11 and 14.

Are adults candidates for sealants?

Adults are candidates for sealants as well to prevent without decay or fillings in their molars.  Any teeth pits and grooves are candidates for sealants, no matter the age of the person.  Teenagers and young adults who are prone to decay may also need sealants.

How long will sealants last?

Sealants can last up to 10 years; however, it is important to have regular checkups. The dentist or dental hygienist can repair sealants by adding more sealant material.

What will happen if the sealant covers a cavity?

Your dentist should perform a thorough checkup before the sealants are put on the teeth, checking for cavities and decay. However, the sealant will prevent the cavity from any further decay as it prevents food particles from penetrating the tooth.

What do I need to do to get sealants and are these covered by insurance?

Talk with your dentist about sealants for all those who might be an applicant for sealants. Commonly, insurance companies are prone to pay for preemptive methods to prevent tooth decay and more costly treatments. However, be sure to inquire with your dental insurance about the treatments that are included in your coverage.