What are Dental Sealants?
A dental sealant is a protective coating placed on the pits and grooves of the molars. Dental sealants make the surface of the molars smoother in order to help prevent food particles and bacteria from forming in nooks and crannies of the tooth. Because molars are also hard to reach, many times even strong tooth brushing habits can miss the molars. This helps cavities from forming.
Dental sealants will typically last three to five years. Most children start receiving dental sealants around the age of 6 or 7. Another set is usually needed when the child turns 12 – 13. Sealants are usually applied at this age because this is typically the age when the first and second molars appear in a child’s mouth.
Why get dental sealants?
Sealants are an exceptionally effective tool to help children fight against tooth decay and cavities. A study by the Centers for Disease control found that dental sealants have shown to reduce the risk of decay by 80% in molars.
What is the process of applying dental sealants?
Dental sealants are a quick and easy process! The pediatric dentist will clean and dry the tooth. Once everything is cleaned off, a gel will be placed on the chewing surface of the tooth. The gel prepares the surface of the tooth and the dental sealant. Once the gel has been rinsed off and the tooth has been dried your dentist will place the liquid plastic material in the grooves of your tooth. A special blue light will harden the plastic. The plastic forms will form the sealant
Unlike fillings, crowns or any major procedures, dental sealants don’t require any drilling or excavating of any the tooth decay.
How do dental sealants look?
Dental sealants are typically a clear or white color, therefore they are virtually indistinguishable. Only by looking extremely closely at the sealant will you be able to tell, however, because sealants are placed on the molars, these are often in the back of the mouth and not a location that is easy to spot.
Want to learn more about dental sealants?
We’ve written a handful of blog posts that dive deeper into dental sealants. These will go over much of what you’ll need to know.
Ask Your Pediatric Dentist: What Exactly are Dental Sealants and How Do They work ?
A great introduction post about dental sealants that will catch you up to speed about what they are and why dental sealants are important.Read More.
What’s the Benefit of Dental Sealants?
Dr. Nanna Ariaban of Polka Dot Dental explains everything you need to know about dental sealants and what their benefits are. Read More
Dental Sealants are Insurance Against Cavities
When it comes to protecting your child’s healthy smile, dental sealants are a wise preventive choice in keeping tooth decay at bay and saving parents’ money. Sealants are about a third of the cost of filling a cavity, according to the Children’s Dental Health Project. Read More