You may have heard about sealants for kids’ teeth and teens, but you might not know much about them. Learning more about the benefits of dental sealants can help you make a more informed decision.
Dental sealants provide extra protection to chewing surfaces on teeth. Sealants are often placed on kids molars as their adult teeth erupt. However, adults can also benefit from sealants. If you’re more prone to cavities or simply want to ensure your back teeth stay as healthy as possible, sealants may be the dental solution for you.
In this article, we’re providing expert insight into dental sealants. You’ll learn whether teeth sealants for children are safe and effective (spoiler alert, they are!) and answers to these questions:
- How effective are dental sealants for kids?
- Do you know teeth sealant’s pros and cons?
- Is sealing teeth necessary for kids, teens, and adults?
Keep reading to find out more about why children (and adults) should get sealants on their teeth.
What Are Sealants?
Sealants are a thin, protective coating made of plastic (or other dental materials) that adheres to the chewing surfaces of your teeth. They help cover teeth and significantly decrease the risk of cavities and tooth decay. Since molars have deep grooves and pits, they’re the most common recipients of sealants.
Getting dental sealants is a quick and painless procedure that dentists can perform in one visit. For a typical sealant process, the dentist will:
- Clean and dry the teeth that will receive sealants
- Place a gel on the tooth’s chewing surface
- Rinse off the gel and dry the tooth
- Cover the tooth with the plastic sealant material
- Use a special blue light to harden the sealant material onto the tooth
Once the sealant process is complete, you won’t need to make any major changes to your diet. However, avoiding hard or sticky foods (e.g., ice, gummy candy) is recommended as these foods can damage sealants.
Now that we know more about what sealants are, let’s answer some other questions you may have.
Top Questions About Dental Sealants for Kids and Adults
Is Sealing Teeth Necessary?
It’s not critical to get sealants, but they are very beneficial and highly recommended. The CDC estimates that:
- Dental sealants help prevent 80% of cavities in molars
- Children ages 6-11 who don’t get sealants have more molar cavities than those who do
The best time to get sealants placed is as soon as permanent molars erupt, usually starting around ages 5-7.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
There isn’t a hard and fast lifespan for dental sealants for kids’ teeth. They can often last a few years before your dentist needs to replace them. Every time you visit the dentist, they can check on your sealants.
Practicing good oral hygiene and avoiding hard or sticky foods can help extend sealant life.
Can Adults Get Sealants?
Yes, adults can get sealants. It’s most common for children to get sealants as soon as their adult molars erupt. If you’re a teenager or adult who hasn’t received sealants before, you can still get them and reap all the benefits.
Since sealants need replacing every few years, it’s also not uncommon for someone to get multiple sealant procedures done throughout their life.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Sealants for Kids and Adults?
When it comes down to teeth sealant’s pros and cons, the most significant benefit of dental sealants is that they protect molars from cavities and decay.
Your back teeth have many deep grooves and pits that can be difficult to clean. Sealants cover those holes and make your teeth more resilient.
However, sealants aren’t a replacement for good oral hygiene. It’s still important to brush your teeth twice a day, floss, and schedule regular visits to the dentist. But sealants do provide extra protection from cavities and decay.
Are There Any Tooth Sealant Dangers?
There are no significant dangers or side effects to sealants. Some people may have an allergy to certain sealant materials. If you think you might be allergic, talk with your dentist about potential alternatives.
People also frequently ask about BPA in sealants. Yes, there is a trace amount of BPA present in sealants, but it isn’t harmful. Each day, you breathe in eight times more BPA than what’s found in dental sealants.
Overall, sealants are very safe and effective in protecting against cavities.
What Is the Cost of Dental Sealants?
Most dental insurance plans cover the cost of sealants on children’s teeth. Some plans may also offer dental sealant discounts.
Even if your insurance doesn’t cover sealants or have any discounts, they’re relatively inexpensive and worth the out-of-pocket expense. The average cost of sealants is usually around $30-60 per tooth. This is a small price to pay for protection against cavities which can lead to more expensive dental treatments.
The Best Place to Get Dental Sealants for Kids in Richmond, VA
Sealants are a dental procedure that covers up the grooves and holes in molars. Kids aged 6-12 most commonly receive dental sealants, but adults can also get sealants.
Receiving sealants isn’t necessary, but sealants for kids’ teeth help protect teeth from cavities and decay. The process is entirely safe, and sealants often last a few years before needing replacement. Your insurance company may cover sealants, but the process isn’t expensive and worth the out-of-pocket cost if they don’t.
If you’re still wondering, “Are sealants a good idea?” or “Do sealants really work?” you can always talk to a dentist.
At Northside Dental Co, we’re trained and equipped to handle sealants for children, teens, and adults. We also offer a comprehensive list of other dental procedures, including:
Whatever your needs may be, we’re ready to provide expert dental advice and solutions.
Book your appointment online or give us a call at 804-767-3410. New patients are always welcome!