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What Are Sealants and How Do They Work?

You brush. You floss. You keep regular preventative care dental appointments. Is there anything else you can do to help keep your kiddo’s teeth healthy? Yes! Sealants are one of the most effective ways of preventing tooth decay – find out more up ahead.

What Are Sealants?

Sealants are a semi-permanent protective coating that is applied to the teeth. They reduce the amount of contact acid and bacteria have with the teeth, preventing acid from eating away at the tooth’s surface.

They also smooth the grooves of the teeth that are especially hard for children to reach and keep clean.

It’s recommended that you add them to your kids dental services soon after the first molars erupt, then again as more erupt at age 6 and age 12.

Sealants are clear or tooth-colored, so they do not affect the appearance of your little one’s smile.

How Do They Work?

Sealant application is an easy process that can be done at your child’s routine dental visit. First, the teeth are cleaned and dried. Then, a gel that helps the sealant stick is applied, then rinsed away. The teeth are dried again and then the sealant is brushed on. A light source is used to cure the sealant, ensuring that it will harden and last – usually 5 to 10 years.

Sealants are typically applied to the back teeth, as the molars have those deep grooves and ridges that are tough to clean. The sealant smooths out the surfaces, keeping bacteria out and helping to prevent cavities.

The next time you call your child’s dentist, see if you can make sealants a part of your kids dental services. Along with regular brushing, flossing, and preventative care visits, sealants are one of the best ways to prevent tooth decay.