Dental sealants are clear coatings applied to the surfaces of a child’s molars to prevent the development of tooth decay. They work by preventing food and plaque from resting in the grooves and crevices of molars – an area especially susceptible to cavities. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, nearly 1 in 3 U.S. children ages 6 to 12 currently have sealants on their teeth.
Common concerns and questions:
Will dental sealants affect the way my child’s teeth look?
Sealants bond directly to the teeth, where they harden to a tooth-colored coat. The color and shiny appearance of sealants make them really hard to see, unless you have a dental light.
We like to say that they are like a tooth-colored fingernail polish!
What will my child experience when getting sealants?
The process of getting sealants is fast and painless! First, the tooth is cleaned. Then, the sealant material is applied to the tooth, where it hardens into a coating. We make sure the bite is normal and the procedure is complete.
Will sealants prevent all cavities?
While sealants are extremely effective for preventing tooth decay in children, they do not replace other forms of preventative oral health care. Children should still brush with toothpaste every day and floss. Regular dental exams and a diet limiting soda, sugared beverages and sugared treats are essential for good long-term oral health.