Dental Sealants

What Are Dental Sealants?

sealants1Dental sealants are recognized as an effective approach to preventing pit and fissure caries in children. They are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay. Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on these surfaces. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay by keeping germs and food particles out of these grooves.

Which Teeth Are Suitable For Sealants?

The groves and pits in the back teeth are the most common places for cavities to begin in children. The first molars usually come into the mouth when a child is about 6 years old. Second molars appear at about age 12. It is best if the dental sealant is applied soon after the teeth have erupted, before they have a chance to decay.

How Do Sealants Fit Into A Preventive Dentistry Program?

Sealants are one part of a child’s total preventive dental care. A complete preventive dental program also includes fluoride, twice-daily brushing, wise food choices, and regular dental care.

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Why Is Sealing A Tooth Better Than Waiting For Decay And Filling The Cavity?

Tooth decay damages teeth permanently, dental sealants protect them. They can save time, money, and the discomfort sometimes associated with dental fillings. Fillings are not permanent. Each time a tooth is filled, more drilling is done and the tooth becomes a little weaker.