Dental sealants protect the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, especially the chewing surfaces of back teeth where most cavities in children are found. Made of clear or shaded plastic, sealants are applied to the teeth to help keep them cavity-free.
Even if your child brushes and flosses carefully, it is difficult – sometimes impossible -to clean the tiny grooves and pits on certain teeth. Food and bacteria build up in these crevices, placing your child in danger of tooth decay. Dental sealants seal out food and plaque, thus reducing the risk of decay.
Will sealants make teeth feel different?
Sealants will not result in any change in bite because they are very thin and only fill the pits and grooves. At first they may feel somewhat bulky, but a few days of normal chewing will wear the sealants into place.
How long will dental sealants last?
A sealant application can last as long as five years and often longer. Sealants should be checked regularly and reapplied if they wear off. Because teeth are more likely to decay when they first appear in the mouth, dental sealants are recommended for children and teenagers.
Why is sealing a tooth better than waiting for decay and filling a cavity?
Sealants help to keep teeth healthy by protecting them from decay. Decay destroys parts of the tooth. Each time a tooth is filled or a filling is replaced, more tooth is lost. Silver fillings last about six to eight years before they need to be replaced. Using sealants saves time and money and helps to keep teeth healthy.