Brushing and flossing are the best ways to help prevent cavities. But everyones teeth is shaped differently, some teeth are born with extra nooks and cranny's which makes keeping them clean a difficult task for children (especially those molars all the way in the back).
What are sealants?
Sealants are a thin protective coating, the same material as in a regular white filling. It adheres to the chewing surface of your tooth. This helps prevent cavities from forming.
Sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars. According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), "school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants."
How Do Sealants Work?
Think of them as raincoats for your teeth. When the cavity-causing bacteria that live in everyone’s mouth meet leftover food particles, they produce acids that can create holes in teeth. These holes are cavities. After sealant has been applied it keeps those bits of food out and stops bacteria and acid from settling on your teeth—just like a raincoat keeps you clean and dry during a storm.
Who Can Get Sealants?
Children and adults can benefit from sealants, but the earlier you get them, the better. Your first molars appear around age 6, and second molars break through around age 12. Sealing these teeth as soon as they come through can keep them cavity-free from the start, which helps save time and money in the long run. Ask your dentist if sealants are a good option for you and your family.
How Are Sealants Applied?
It’s a quick and painless process. Your dentist will clean and dry your tooth first, and then brush a special gel to prepare the tooth. After a few seconds, the gel will be rinsed and dried off and then a sealant will be painted onto the grooves of your tooth. You can eat right after the procedure!
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Sealants will often last for several years before they need to be reapplied or repaired. During your regular dental visit, your dentist will check the condition of the sealant and can reapply them as needed.
Are Sealants Covered By Dental Plans?
Dental plans cover sealants under preventative or basic care. Call your provider to confirm.
Come schedule a visit!