Dental sealants are a preventative measure that can save your child a lot of pain (and you a lot of money) down the road. Here’s everything you need to know about dental sealants, including when to get them, how long they last, and whether they’re worth it.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating your dentist applies to the chewing surfaces of your child’s permanent molars and premolars. The sealant fills in any tiny grooves or pits in the tooth, making it easier for cavity-causing bacteria to be swept away by saliva and brushing. This helps protect your child from cavities and tooth decay caused by trapped food particles.
Why Are Dental Sealants Important?
Dental sealants help protect your child’s permanent teeth from cavities and other forms of decay. Cavities can cause tooth pain, loss of teeth, and even infections that spread throughout the body. By using dental sealants, you can help prevent these problems before they start. According to the CDC, ‘School-age children without sealants have almost three times as many cavities in the first molars as children with sealants”.
Are Dental Sealants Really Necessary?
Dental sealants are a necessary part of your child’s oral health routine. According to the CDC, sealants can reduce cavities by up to 80%, which is a significant benefit.
What Age Should Kids Get Sealants?
According to the CDC, children should get sealants on their molars as soon as they come in, usually around age 6 or 7 for first molars and age 12 for second molars.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Dental sealants can last up to 10 years, but they need to be checked and reapplied as needed.
Are Dental Sealants Worth It?
Absolutely! Cavities are no joke—they can cause a lot of pain and are expensive to fix. Dental sealants are a preventative measure that can save you a lot of time, money, and pain down the road.
Are Sealants the Same As Fillings?
No—dental sealants are applied to healthy teeth to prevent cavities, fillings are used to treat teeth that have already developed cavities.
How Are Dental Sealants Applied?
Dental sealants are applied in a simple, painless procedure. Your child’s dentist will first clean the teeth that need to be sealed and then dry them with a special air-drying tool. Then, the sealant is painted onto the tooth enamel and hardened with a special blue light. The entire process usually takes less than 10 minutes.
What Are Dental Sealants Made Of?
Dental sealants are typically made of medical-grade resin, a type of plastic. This material forms a tight bond with the tooth enamel, creating an effective barrier against bacteria and food particles.
Are Dental Sealants the Same As Fluoride?
No—fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel on your teeth, while dental sealants create a barrier against bacteria. Both are important for oral health, and it’s best to use both together.
Are Sealants Covered by Insurance?
To find out if dental sealants are covered by insurance, check with your provider to learn more about coverage specific to your plan. At Youth Dental and Vision, we accept Medicaid, CHP+, Delta, United Healthcare, Assurant, Cigna, United Concordia, Guardian, Denver Health, personal payment plans, and more.
Promote Healthy Smiles
Dental sealants and good oral health habits, like regular brushing and flossing, will help prevent dental health problems in the future.
Good oral hygiene habits include:
- Brushing twice a day, for two minutes each time
- Flossing every day
- Limiting sugary foods and drinks
- Using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash
- Visiting your dentist regularly
Kids Dental in Denver
Dental sealants are protective coatings that protect teeth from decay, and they are an important preventative measure for kids of all ages. If you have questions or concerns about whether they are right for your child, talk to one of our pediatric dentists. Denver Youth Dental is committed to providing quality dental care for kids of all ages. Visit us today in Aurora, Denver, Thornton, and Hampden. To schedule an appointment at any of our locations, call (720) 707-0229 or complete the online booking form.