Dental Sealants are used to fill in narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn’t brush, but because they’re too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. These teeth develop cavities over time, and you don’t want that. So the dentist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.
Dental Sealant Schedule
The American Dental Association recommends that kids get dental sealants as soon as their adult molars come in. The first permanent molars, called 6 year molars, come in between the ages of 5 and 7. The second permanent molars, the 12 year molars, come in between the ages of 11 and 14. Dental sealants should be applied at the first dental visit after those sets of molars have erupted.
Applying dental sealants is quick and painless, and can be done at the end of a teeth cleaning visit, after the teeth have been brushed and dried. The dentist will then place an acidic gel on the teeth, which roughs up the surface so the dental sealant will bond with the tooth or teeth. Then they will rinse the gel, dry the teeth again, and “paint” on the sealant. The last step involves using a special blue light to harden the sealant.
Many kids with dental sealants never get a single cavity! And the cost of dental sealants is by far lower than the cost of dental fillings, and many dental insurance plans cover dental sealants as a preventive services just like teeth cleaning. Check with your dental plan to see what your exact coverage is. Studies show that dental sealants on permanent molars reduce the risk of cavities by 80%, so it’s well worth the investment in your child’s dental health and their smile!
And be sure to schedule regular visits with your dentist to keep your smile looking it’s best! Call the Towson Dental office at 410-339-5858 to schedule an appointment, or fill out the form. We’re always accepting new patients! We’re conveniently located on Osler Drive near Towson University and The University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center.