Sealants are a thin protective coating painted on the teeth to help prevent cavities and to keep the teeth intact. This simple and relatively inexpensive procedure is shown to have huge benefits.
Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that dental sealants prevent 80% of cavities for two years after application. They also continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to four years.
Sealants can be retained in the mouth for up to nine years, according to the CDC. About 43% of 6- to 11-year-old children have a dental sealant. School-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants.
When is the best time for my child to get sealants?
The optimal time for a child to get sealants is when they are getting molars and premolars in. The natural “pits and fissures” in new teeth are prime candidates for sealing because brushing alone often cannot reach in these places. Ages 6, 12 and 18 are the most common time for the eruption of premolars and molars and, hence, sealants.
Do babies need sealants?
Treating younger teeth with sealants is normally only for children with an increased risk of tooth decay. If sealing is recommended, the child should be old enough to hold their mouth open and not move for a few minutes.
Does insurance cover the costs of sealants?
Many dental insurance plans cover the cost of sealants for children only. Check with your plan.
Do sealants make teeth feel different?
Teeth might have a slightly different texture just after the sealant is applied. After that, most patients report their teeth feel the same as before treatment.
How long do sealants last?
Sealants can last up to 10 years. Dr. Nick and team will check the sealants each time your child comes in for a cleaning and exam.
Is the procedure painful?
Not at all. No drilling is required. Our hygienist or dentist will simply paint thin coatings of the sealant over the teeth in a procedure that takes just about 20 minutes. Your child will need to be able to sit still and keep their mouth open.
Let’s discuss if sealants are a good treatment option for your child!