Sealants are like a shield for your child’s teeth. They’re a protective, tooth-colored covering that your dentist applies to the surface of a child’s back teeth (molars).
Sealants make it easier to clean teeth and keep food, bacteria, and plaque from getting trapped and causing cavities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), untreated cavities can lead to pain and infections, which can make it hard to eat, talk and learn.
When applied in childhood, sealants can save a lot of money over a lifetime. The CDC also found that sealants can reduce cavities (and the need for fillings) by up to 80% immediately and up to 60% for four years or more.
Why should children get sealants?
- 90% of cavities occur in the back teeth, which do most of the chewing and are hard to reach and clean
- Toothbrushes aren’t able to reach into all the grooves in teeth
- Without sealants, cavities can form, causing toothaches, infection, and problems with eating, talking and learning
- Sealants can prevent the expense and pain of treatments like fillings and crowns
- Bacteria in the mouth can eventually cause other health problems
Sealants are easily applied (it takes just minutes), safe, and painless! There is no drilling, and numbing shots are not usually needed.
When should sealants be applied?
Sealants work best when applied after molars come into the mouth—around age 6 for first molars and age 12 for second molars.
- They usually last for five to 10 years and may need to be replaced after sealants become loose or worn
- Your dentist will check them during regular visits and reapply as needed
All BlueDental plans provide coverage for sealants at little or no cost. Talk to your dentist about sealants today!