Dental sealants protect against tooth decay. School-age kids without them have three times more cavities than children with them. Find out more about dental sealants with these common questions to determine if they sound right for your kids.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Sealants
How do they work?
Sealants are made of plastic and usually clear, though they can be white or tinted. Dentists paint the liquid plastic over teeth, which quickly cures to create a lasting seal.
Oral bacteria feed on leftover food in the mouth to produce decay-causing acids and plaque. Sealants create barriers between teeth and food particles to prevent cavities.
Are sealants applied to every tooth?
Sealants are usually applied to the back teeth, or molars. Unlike incisors and canines, molars have grooves that accumulate food particles and bacteria, which a toothbrush can’t always reach.
How long do they last?
Dental sealants last about 10 years when applied correctly. They protect against 80% of cavities for two years and 50% of cavities the following four years. However, they eventually wear away and require re-application to continue protecting teeth. Routine dental visits help determine whether it’s time to reapply.
Do my kids still need fluoride?
Yes. Sealants are one part of any preventive dentistry plan and aren’t substitutes for daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste and using dental floss. Fluoridated dental products strengthen enamel and provide remineralization for teeth.
If you’re interested in dental sealants for your children, contact Pediatric Dentistry Kahala. The pediatric dentistry practice has served Honolulu, HI, for over 30 years, offering a warm, welcoming environment designed to ease dental fears and help children understand the importance of oral health. Call (808) 737-0076 today to make an appointment, or visit the children’s dentist online for patient forms. Like the Facebook page for additional dental health tips.