dentist holding model of teeth and young girl using toothbrush on it

What is a Dental Sealant?

Team Pediatric Dentistry

Tooth decay is not your friend. It can wreak havoc in your mouth once it gets going, causing cavities and, if left untreated, total destruction of teeth. There are many ways to address tooth decay, such as using fillings for cavities or root canal treatment for more in-depth situations. But what about being proactive and stopping tooth decay before it even begins? 

Preventative methods are a wise step in creating oral health - and that includes dental sealants.

As you eat, food particles get pushed into the nooks and crannies of your teeth - especially your molars. The longer these particles remain, the sugars in food and the bacteria in your mouth can begin to form cavities. Brushing and flossing can help to remove these food particles and bacteria, but sealants are an extra layer of protection.  

Sealant treatments are done when you visit the dentist for a routine cleaning. Once the teeth are clean and dried, the sealant is painted on the chewing surfaces of the tooth so that it can fill any crevices and keep out plaque, tartar, and bacteria. It is then hardened and sealed using a special light. This simple, non-invasive procedure could have incredible, long-lasting benefits.

A dental sealant is a thin coating of BPA-free resin that blankets the chewing surfaces of molars and back teeth as a means of protecting them. The risk of having decay - and cavities - is significantly decreased. However, it is important to remember that the sealant may be a barrier against decay, but it doesn’t mean it can replace regular brushing and flossing. 

Benefits of Dental Sealants

Many pediatric dentists make sealants a part of their routine treatment. And, for good reason, since they come with so many benefits, including: 

  • Protection against plaque. 
  • Long-lasting protection. 
  • Very simple to maintain. 
  • Covered by most dental insurance plans. 
  • An additional layer of support for your oral health. 

And, finally, it’s been found that having dental sealants can greatly reduce your chance of tooth decay and cavities. 

Caring For Dental Sealants

Dental sealants don’t involve any special treatment. They are cared for just like you’d care for any unsealed teeth. Even when you have sealants, it is still recommended that you brush at least twice each day, floss, and have routine professional cleanings every six months. Doing this is your best chance to keep your mouth healthy. 

Sealants last about 10 years, on average. Regular cleanings in the dental office give your dental team a chance to see how much of the sealant is still remaining and whether or not any needs to be added. This means you will always be protected. 

Learn More About Dental Sealants at Pediatric Dental Associates

At Pediatric Dental Associates, we are all about creating a solid foundation for your child’s oral health - now and in the future. One of the tools that we use to do that is dental sealants. If you would like to learn more or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us at 908-735-6300. Or, request an appointment online.