What Are Sealants?
Sealants protect the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, especially the chewing surfaces of back teeth, where most cavities are found. Made of tooth color plastic, sealants are applied to the teeth to help keep them cavity-free.
How Do Sealants Work?
Even if your child brushes and flosses carefully, it is often difficult to clean the tiny grooves and pits on certain teeth. Toothbrush bristles are just too thick to reach into the pits and fissures. Food and bacteria build up in the grooves, placing your child in danger for decay. Sealants “seal out” food and plaque; thus reducing the risk for decay.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Research shows that sealants can last for many years. So, your child will be protected throughout the most cavity-prone years. If your child has good oral hygiene and does not bite on hard objects, sealants will last longer.
Which Teeth Should Be Sealed?
The teeth most at risk for decay - and therefore most in need of sealants – are the six- year molars and twelve-year molars. Many times the permanent premolars and primary molars will also benefit from sealant coverage.
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. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are essential to a bright, healthy smile!