Dental sealants are thin coatings that when painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars) can prevent cavities (tooth decay) for many years. Do Dental Sealants Really Work? Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from cavities by covering them with a protective shield that blocks out germs and food. Once applied, sealants protect against 80% of cavities for 2 years and continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to 4 years. Children aged 6 to 11 years without sealants have almost three times more first molar cavities than children with sealants.
Depending on state law and regulations, sealants can be applied by a dentist, dental hygienist, or other qualified dental professional. This can be done in dental offices or using portable dental equipment in community settings like a school.
Read more in this great article by the CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/dental_sealant_program/index.htm
Should I ask my dentist to put sealants on my child’s teeth?
Yes. Dental cavities are one of the most common chronic conditions among children and teens. Left untreated, cavities can cause pain and infection and problems in eating, speaking, and learning. Sealants are an extremely effective yet underutilized shield that protects children’s teeth from cavities.
How long do Sealants last?
Sealants have shown to still work 9 years after placement. However, sometimes they do fall off, so they should be checked at regular dental appointments. If a tooth loses a sealant, the protective shield is gone and the tooth can get a cavity. Missing sealants are easy to replace.
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