Dental sealants are like a protective covering for your teeth. Similar to a raincoat, sealants provide protection to the grooved, pitted chewing surfaces of your child’s back molars from the acidic environment that surrounds them. Back molars are more susceptible to cavities and sealants help work against tooth decay and decrease the risk of cavities.
Applying Dental Sealants
Applying dental sealants is a quick, simple process completed during the same appointment as your routine cleaning. Dental sealants are made of clear plastic. They are painted directly onto the tooth, after cleaning and drying the tooth for application. As the sealant is painted on, it flows into the grooves of the chewing surface to fill the nooks and crannies. Although sealants don’t guarantee your child will not get a cavity, they are an effective way to lower the risk.
Once the sealant is painted on, your child’s dentist will harden the sealant with a special light, taking no more than a couple minutes to complete. Your child will be able to eat immediately after the application. During their future regular appointments, your child’s dentist will check their sealants and perform any reapplications or repairs as necessary.
Are Dental Sealants Helpful for Kids?
Dental sealants provide another layer of protection when it comes to warding off cavities. Dental sealants do not guarantee your child will not get cavities, but it significantly decreases their risk. The pits and grooves of the back molar are difficult to keep clean with brushing alone, so sealants help deter food, bacteria, and acid from settling into the crevices and causing cavities.
Dental Sealant FAQs
Are Sealants Covered by Insurance?
Yes! Most insurance companies provide coverage for dental sealants. In most cases, this coverage falls under preventative care, although coverage may vary. Some companies may only cover sealants for specific teeth or determine coverage based on the age of your child. Discuss your coverage with your insurance company and talk to your pediatric dentist to determine what works best for you and your child.
Do Sealants Need to be Reapplied?
Sometimes sealants do need to be reapplied. During each exam, your child’s dentist will check the sealants and determine if a repair or reapplication needs to take place. Our dentists guarantee our sealants for 3 years. If a sealant needs to be reapplied within those 3 years, we will replace it at no charge.
Should My Child Continue to Brush and Floss After the Dentist Applies Sealants?
Yes! Following the application of sealants, have your child continue their oral hygiene regimen as usual. Sealants act as one layer of protection to aid in lowering the risk of caries. Be sure your child is brushing their teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and maintaining a healthy diet to help protect their teeth. Continue visiting the dentist every 6 months for regular cleanings to make sure the sealants are still intact, and your child’s smile is happy and healthy!
Schedule a dental cleaning for your child online or call one of our locations in Greenville, Anderson or Easley, SC.