- Health Topics
- Children 4-12
- Pit and fissure sealants prevent decay
Pit and fissure sealants prevent decay
What are dental sealants?
- A sealant is a plastic, film-like material, that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars).
- They are painted on the tops of the teeth and harden to form a shield over the tooth.
Why should my child get sealants?
- When the back teeth erupt, they have natural pits and grooves. Food and bacteria get caught in these grooves and this can lead to cavities.
- Brushing the teeth does not remove all the food and bacteria trapped in these pits and grooves.
When should my child get sealants?
- Teeth can be sealed after the permanent molars have fully erupted into the mouth. The first permanent molars come in around age six and the second molars around the age of 12.
How are sealants applied?
- Applying sealants is very simple and painless. It involves no drilling, freezing or removal of any part of the tooth.
- The tooth is cleaned, the sealant material is applied to the pits and grooves of the tooth and is hardened with a curing light.
How long will sealants last?
- Sealants can last up to 10 years or longer if they are applied correctly and teeth are properly cared for.
- Make sure your dental professional checks the sealants regularly to make certain they are still covering the teeth.
How do dental sealants prevent cavities?
- Dental sealants fill the pits and grooves of the teeth. The teeth are easier to keep clean because food is brushed away easier with a toothbrush.
How much do sealants cost?
- Usually a sealant costs less than filling a tooth that has a cavity.
Is brushing still important when teeth have sealants on them?
- Yes, brush and floss every day! You still have to work on keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy.