What are sealants?
A sealant is a material made of clear or shaded plastic that protect the grooved and pitted surfaces, particularly the chewing surfaces of back teeth where most cavities in children occur. Grooves in these teeth are so narrow that a toothbrush cannot effectively fit into the spaces to remove plaque. Dental sealants can be 100% effective in preventing those teeth from decay. It is recommended that children get sealants as soon as their permanent molars erupt—usually between the ages of 6 and 12.
What is involved?
Applying a sealant is quick, painless, and takes only one visit. The tooth is cleaned, conditioned, and dried. The sealant is designed to flow into and fill the pits and grooves of the teeth. The dentist then either allows the material to harden naturally or hardens the material with a special light. The patient will be able to eat immediately after the appointment.
What should I know before my child gets a sealant?
Sealants last an average of two to four years, but can last as many as ten years with proper care. They can be very effective protection provided they are monitored. Your dentist will check the sealants during regular check-ups, and reapply them if needed. While sealants provide excellent protection against decay, they work best in conjunction with a proper oral hygiene routine including brushing twice daily, wise food choices, and regular dental care.