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What Parents Need to Know about Dental Sealants

There are many ways that dentists help children grow healthy smiles that last a lifetime. One common tool used by dentists are dental sealants, which help prevent cavities from occurring in molars. Here’s everything parents need to know about dental sealants. 

How do Dental Sealants Work?

Food left on teeth fuels bad bacteria that cause cavities by giving them the nutrition they need to thrive. Molars are particularly susceptible to cavities because the naturally occurring pit can more easily trap food particles than other teeth. Dental sealants work to prevent cavities by sealing pits and fissures that naturally occur in molars. Sealants “seal off” the pit and fissure to prevent cavities and tooth decay from worsening and keep the tooth healthy. 

Who can get Dental Sealants? 

Most dental sealants are applied to children as their adult molars begin to erupt, between the ages of 6 and 12. Sealants are often applied as a preventative measure to keep food particles out of the pit and fissures in molars. Adults can have sealants applied, but it is not common. Most adults that get sealants do so because their dentist has deemed that their teeth are more susceptible to cavities than normal.

What Kinds of Sealants are Popular? 

Dental sealants are primarily made of a composite liquid resin that is then cured by light or chemical exposure to adhere to the tooth. 

How Long do Dental Sealants Last? 

With proper oral care, dental sealants can effectively last for up to 10 years. During dental checkups, your child’s pediatric dentist will inspect their sealants to see if they are holding up well and working properly.

Do Dental Sealants Hurt? 

Applying sealants is a quick and painless process. There is no drilling or scraping involved. Your pediatric dentist will clean the tooth first then apply a gel-bonding agent to it. The dentist will then apply the sealant and cure it with a special blue light, or chemical rinse.  After the bonding is dry, the dentist will then clean any residue left on the tooth, and the procedure is done! 

Does Your Child have a Dental Home?  

Your child’s oral health can be greatly improved by finding them a dental home that they are comfortable visiting. If your family doesn’t have a dental home yet, then use our Pediatric Dentist Locator Tool to find reputable pediatric dentists near your family today.

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