What are sealants and why are they so important?
Regardless of how well your child brushes and flosses, it is not always possible to remove food/debris from the grooves and pits of certain teeth. Sealants can help with this problem by sealing out food/debris from these surfaces, which can greatly reduce the risk of dental cavities. Sealants are a thin plastic coating that are placed over the biting surfaces of your child’s back teeth, which tend to be more susceptible to dental cavities (these teeth have certain grooves and pits that cause food/debris to collect more easily, and children usually don’t brush their back teeth as well as well as their front teeth, which creates the perfect storm for cavities to form). Many scientific studies have been performed on sealants and their ability to help reduce dental cavities, which show that they work!
Do sealants last forever?
Sealants can last for years, and should be checked at each dental exam to determine if they need to be touched up. If hard and crunchy foods are minimized or avoided, sealants can last even longer. Be sure to ask your child’s pediatric dentist any questions you may have about how best to care for sealants.
Are sealants expensive?
Sealants are considered very affordable given that they are a preventive measure, and are usually covered by your child’s dental insurance plan. Be sure to ask our front office team to look into the cost of sealants for your child.
If I get my child sealants, does that mean they don’t need to brush and floss as much?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Sealants only cover the biting surfaces of your child’s back teeth (usually just the permanent molars and sometimes the premolars), however, sealants do not protect the tooth surfaces in between your child’s teeth (these surfaces need to be flossed) or the other surfaces of teeth (these surfaces need to be brushed). Thus, brushing and flossing should not be stopped or thought of as being less important. Proper oral hygiene care (brushing and flossing) in combination with sealants will help decrease the chances your child develops dental cavities. Remember, the best way to stop dental cavities is to prevent them!