Sealants

A close up image of sealants.

What are sealants?

  • Sealants are a clear or shaded thin coating of plastic that protects the grooved or pitted surfaces of the back teeth.
  • Food and germs can get stuck in the pits of the back teeth and stay there for along time. This is because the toothbrush bristles are too large to reach inside these pits making it impossible for food to be brushed away.
  • Children with deep pits and grooves on their teeth are more likely to get tooth decay .

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When should sealants be placed on teeth?

  • Sealants are most often placed on the teeth of children and teenagers between 5 years and 14 years of age.
  • Always check with your dental professional to know when and if necessary.

How long do sealants last?

  • Research shows that sealants can last for many years if properly cared for.
  • If your child has good oral hygiene and avoids biting hard objects such as pencils and ice cubes, their sealants will last even longer.
  • Your dental professional will check the sealants during routine visits and can recommend reapplication or repair. Sealants need to be checked at regular dental visits to make sure they are not chipped or worn away.

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What is the treatment like?

  • The application of sealants is easy, painless, and takes only a few minutes to complete.
  • The sealant is painted on the tooth surface and it flows into the pits and grooves and bonds to the tooth.

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How much does it cost?

  • Most dental insurance companies pay for sealants.
  • Check with your benefits provider about your child’s coverage and talk to your dentist about the exact cost of sealants for your child.

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If my child has sealants, are brushing and flossing still important?

  • Absolutely! Sealants are only one step in the plan to keep your child cavity-free for a lifetime.
  • Brushing and flossing , balanced nutrition, limited snacking , and regular dental visits are still essential to a bright healthy smile.

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