Sealants are a great way to protect against tooth decay on your back teeth and we recommend them for most children and teenagers. This is the best way to prevent future cavitites and it is an easy procedure that our hygienist perform. We can usually place sealants during your 6 month check up. Insurance typically pays very well to have sealants placed because it is a preventive measure. Sealants are afforable and saves parents money in the long run.
Dr. Reese prefers to see children in our office starting around the age of 8 years old. We suggest our parents with younger children to take them to a dental pediatric office, starting when their first tooth comes in and having regular 6 month check ups to get them used to going to the dental office. The pediatic office is equiped to make the little ones visit fun and enjoyable for all!
Dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth -- usually the back teeth (the premolars and molars) -- to prevent tooth decay. The sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.
Although thorough brushing and flossing can remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, they cannot always get into all the nooks and crannies of the back teeth to remove the food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas from tooth decay by "sealing out" plaque and food.
Who Should Get Sealants?
Because of the likelihood of developing decay in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars, children and teenagers are candidates for sealants. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.
Typically, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. In this way, the sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14.
In some cases, dental sealants may also be appropriate for baby teeth, such as when a child's baby teeth have deep depressions and grooves. Because baby teeth play such an important role in holding the correct spacing for permanent teeth, it's important to keep these teeth healthy so they are not lost too early.