Importance of Dental Sealants by Dr. Jeffrey Bennett
What are dental sealants?
Dental Sealants are a thin, plastic coating that is applied over the back molars to fill in the deep groves that are often missed by young brushers. If those grooves aren’t filled, this is the first place that decay can develop.
When should kids get sealants?
40% of kids develop cavities by Kindergarten! Children should get sealants on their first permanent molars (called 6-year molars) as soon as the teeth come in – before any decay starts.
What is the process?
Pain free, each tooth is cleaned and dried. Cotton is placed around the molar area to keep the teeth dry. A gel is then applied to each tooth’s chewing surface to make it rough, so the sealant will stick. The teeth are rinsed and dried again. Then the sealant, in liquid form, is applied. We use a special light to cure the sealant, which bonds it to the tooth and makes it hard within seconds. The whole procedure takes about 5 minutes per tooth.
How long do sealants last?
Up to 5 years, however, they need to be monitored for chips and normal wear during regular checkups. As a matter of fact, I still have some of the dental sealants that I had placed more than 25 years ago.
Do my kids have sealants?
My daughters are late bloomers, so my 9-year-old, Makena is just now ready for sealants on her first molars. It is a priority on our to-do list, as there is no other more successful, preventative dental procedure to prevent decay.