FAQ You Need to Know About Dental Sealants For Your Child

If you’ve brought your child into the dentist’s office for a checkup lately, you might have heard them talk about dental sealants.

Sealants are a protective coating that we place on permanent molars after they erupt, to reduce your child’s risk of tooth decay. Because they cover the deep grooves and crevices of hard-to-clean areas, sealants help children get through the early formative years with fewer cavities.

Does My Child Have to be Numbed?

No. Sealants are not like getting fillings, so there is no numbing or drilling or anything that can be potentially scary to your child. You could describe it as if we’re painting the teeth!

How Long Does it Take to Apply a Sealant?

Not long at all. A sealant can be completed in just a few minutes. In most cases, they’re just added to your child’s routine cleaning and exam appointment.

How Long do Sealants Last?

Sealants aren’t permanent, but they can last for several years or decades. Sometimes, sticky foods such as taffy or caramel can pull them off. The sealants will need to be checked at each of your child’s appointments to see if a touch up or replacement is needed.

Which Teeth Get Sealants?

In most cases, dentists seal the “6 year” and “12 year” molars, which erupt around those ages, respectively. Some children get their teeth sooner or later than others, so there is a little bit of wiggle room. We highly recommend sealing all teeth containing grooves, including front teeth, back teeth, primary teeth, and secondary teeth.

Does Insurance Cover Sealants?

Most dental insurance plans cover sealants at 100% until a child is about 14 years old. This varies from plan to plan. Even if your coverage doesn’t include sealants, they are an affordable investment that can potentially save you hundreds of dollars in dental care in the future.

Which Parts of the Teeth are Sealed?

Sealants only go on the chewing surface of teeth, or sometimes on the cheek-side if there is a pit or groove. They do not protect the areas between teeth, so it is still important to floss your child’s teeth daily.

With prevention focused pediatric dentistry, your child can enjoy healthy teeth for life. Ask your family or pediatric dentist about whether or not your child is ready to get dental sealants.

About the Author

I am a family dentist who treats children as well as adults. Making smiles people love, extreme makeovers and complex dental reconstruction is our niche including implants, TMJ, orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry. As a participant in the blog, I will be offering dental perspectives on pediatric safety and health care options on a regular basis. I can be reached at www.suwaneedental.com. Blessings to all! Dr Williams is a member of the PedSafe Expert team


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