Maybe you’ve recently taken your child or teenager to the dentist and it was recommended that your child get sealants put on their teeth. Now you may be wondering, what exactly are sealants and how will they benefit your child’s oral health? We will explore these questions and more in today’s post.
What are sealants?
A sealant is a topical, plastic coating that can be safely applied to the chewing surface of the teeth. Sealants are most often applied to the pre-molars and molars of children between the ages of 6 and 14, but can also be used on adults.
What do sealants do?
Teeth, especially back teeth, have various pits and grooves on their chewing surface. Food particles, plaque and bacteria can collect in those grooves and cause tooth decay. A sealants job is to protect the tooth by covering the pits and grooves and preventing that build up from ever occurring. In this way, sealants help prevent tooth decay and prolong the need for dental treatments such as fillings, crowns, or caps.
Who should get sealants?
As we mentioned above, sealants are typically recommended for children and teenagers who are at risk for developing cavities. Once a child has their pre-molars or molars, applying sealants to these back teeth can help prevent cavities from occurring and keep their teeth healthy, longer. Children tend to have pits and grooves in their teeth that are deeper and less calcified than adult teeth, making them the perfect fit for sealants.
Does insurance cover sealants?
There are many insurance companies that cover sealants for children, up to a certain age. It is best to check with your dental insurance provider to see if they cover sealants and if so, what exclusions there might be surrounding the treatment.
Do sealants hurt?
Having sealants applied is completely painless. The teeth being treated will be cleansed, dried, and prepped before the sealant is painted on. Once the paint hardens, the treatment is complete. It is very quick and does not cause any discomfort.
How long do sealants last?
Sealants can last up to 10 years. However, it is important to practice good oral hygiene and visit the dentist regularly to make sure the sealants have not been damaged or worn off. Sealants can always be re-applied if needed, however insurance may not cover a second application.
At Easton Dentists we recommend sealants as part of your oral preventative care, especially for children. So, if you’re ready to schedule an appointment for yourself or your child to have sealants applied, contact us today and we’d be happy to get you an appointment!