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Fight cavities with sealants

Fight cavities with sealants

Sealants can help stop cavities before they begin

Dental sealants are a simple, effective and pain-free way to protect your child’s teeth from cavities. Studies show that 60-70% of children’s cavities can be prevented through sealants.

What are sealants?

When your child has dental sealants, a sealing material is applied to the chewing surfaces of his or her molars to act as a barrier between the tooth and harmful bacteria. The sealing material partially penetrates the tooth enamel, ensuring that it is firmly attached and creating a thin plastic barrier that prevents cavity-causing bacteria from penetrating uneven surfaces. Sealants are proven to be safe, durable and effective.

Why might my child need sealants?

Diet, personal habits, genetics and cavity history are factors that influence risk of cavity and decay. Children who have had at least one cavity (30% of Delta Dental enrollees) are at high risk for developing cavities in the future.1

Sealants form a barrier that protects tooth enamel and helps prevent cavities caused by:

  • Natural shape of developing teeth: When children’s first molars come in around age 6, deep crevices called pits and fissures form on the chewing surfaces of these back teeth. It is difficult for a toothbrush to remove bacteria that grows in these narrow openings.
  • Inadequate brushing: Even children who brush frequently may not brush thoroughly enough to remove all bacteria from pits or fissures.
  • Frequent snacking: Children’s eating habits often include snacking throughout the day, allowing cavity-causing bacteria to remain in the mouth for long periods of time between brushings.

Is application painful?

No, application does not involve any drilling or discomfort, and it typically takes less time than having a tooth filled. Sealants are applied in a dentist office by your dentist or hygienist.

When should my child get sealants?

Sealants are most effective when applied to decay-susceptible biting surfaces as soon as the teeth come in. Many Delta Dental plans provide coverage for sealants, based on age and whether the teeth are first or second molars. Check your Delta Dental Evidence of Coverage booklet for more information.

According to Delta Dental's 2013 Preventive Dental Care Study