What are dental sealants?
Sealants are thin, plastic coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.
Sealants are put on in dentists’ offices, clinics, and sometimes in schools. Getting sealants put on is simple and painless. Sealants are painted on as a liquid and quickly harden to form a shield over the tooth.
Why get sealants?
The most important reason for getting sealants is to avoid tooth decay.
Fluoride in toothpaste and in drinking water protects the smooth surfaces of teeth but back teeth need extra protection. Sealants cover the chewing surfaces of the back teeth and keep out germs and food.
Having sealants put on teeth before they decay will also save time and money in the long run by avoiding fillings, crowns, or caps used to fix decayed teeth.
Who should get sealants?
- Children should get sealants on their permanent molars as soon as the teeth come in — before decay attacks the teeth.
- The first permanent molars — called “6 year molars” — come in between the ages of 5 and 7.
- The second permanent molars — “12 year molars” — come in when a child is between 11 and 14 years old.
- Other teeth with pits and grooves also might need to be sealed.
- Teenagers and young adults who are prone to decay may also need sealants.
Are sealants new?
No, sealants have been around since the 1960s. Studies by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and others led to the development of dental sealants and showed that they are safe and effective.
But many people still do not know about sealants. In fact, fewer than one-third of children in the United States have sealants on their teeth.
How can I get dental sealants for my children?
Dr. Hawkins can give you more information about the dental sealants we offer and discuss whether sealants are right for you and your family.Schedule a Consultation Here