The Story behind Sealants

kidsandsealantsDental sealants are the most under-utilized, cost-effective means of preventing tooth decay. Sealants are the invisible protector of teeth most at risk of tooth decay. Although sealants protect the teeth hit by four out of every five cavities in our children, why do few children get them?



-Made of clear or shaded plastic, sealants protect the chewing surfaces of back teeth, as well as surfaces of other teeth that may have pits or grooves.


  • -Even if a child brushes and flosses carefully, it is almost impossible to clean the deep pits and valleys on back teeth. Food and bacteria build up in these narrow grooves and pits, placing a child in danger of tooth decay.


  • -Sealants seal out bacteria and the sugars that feed them, thus reducing the risk of decay.


  • -A pediatric dentist applies sealants in one easy and comfortable visit. The dentist dries and conditions the tooth, “paints” on the sealant, then allows it to harden.


  • -Sealants provide cost savings when placed on patients during periods of greatest risk.



-Pit and fissure decay accounts for 80 to 90 percent of cavities in permanent back teeth and 44 percent in baby teeth. Since these are the areas that sealants protect, it is easy to see why sealants benefit children.


  • -Sealant placement in children and adolescents has shown a reduction of cavities incidence of 86 percent after one year and 58 percent after four years. With appropriate follow-up care, the success rate of sealants may be 80-90 percent even after a decade.



  • -Sealants cost less than half of what a filling costs, a good value in view of the decay protection offered.


  • -The teeth most at risk of decay, and therefore, most in need of sealants are the six-year and twelve-year molars.



  • Teeth are at greatest risk of decay when they first erupt into the mouth. The sooner the sealant is applied, the better.


  • -Sealants last longest if a child has good oral hygiene, visits the dentist regularly and avoids biting on hard objects such as ice cubes.


Lake Cities Dental, 1101 East State Highway 114, Suite 104, Southlake, TX 76092 / Call: (817) 410-7373 / Website: / Facebook: / Twitter: @Lake_Cities


*Source – Information was used in its entirety from Fast Facts, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry 2014