Sealants for children

With back to school visits coming up, dentists should remind their patients (and their parents) that there really isn’t any substitute for brushing teeth and flossing them regularly.

This is because some parents think that sealants will guarantee children from getting cavities. Sealants are only used on a child’s permanent molars, on the chewing surface. They prevent cavities from forming by blocking bacteria and food bits from getting into the little nooks and crannies that a regular toothbrush can’t get at.

Sealants, of course, are a very good idea for children, once they have their permanent molars in. They can reduce the occurrence of cavities by up to eighty percent. A sealant applied at age 6, and then again when the child is 12, will usually last for many years, if not a lifetime.

After application, they should be checked about once every six months, during regular appointments.