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Stop cavities with sealants

If you want to prevent your child from having cavities, dental sealants are a simple, effective and painless way to protect your child’s teeth. Sealants can reduce cavities in children by 80%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why children get cavities

Children are prone to cavities because of the natural shape of their growing teeth. When a child’s first molars come in around age 6, deep crevices form on the chewing surfaces of these back teeth. They’re so narrow that the bristles of a toothbrush can’t reach into them, making them difficult to clean. However, these crevices provide plenty of room for bacteria to grow.

Children’s eating habits also lead to cavities because their diets usually include frequent snacking. By age 6, children usually brush their own teeth. You may need to check their technique to make sure they’re brushing properly.

What are sealants?

When your child gets dental sealants, your dentist or hygienist will apply a sealing material to the chewing surfaces of the molars to act as a barrier between the tooth and harmful bacteria.

The sealing material partially penetrates the tooth enamel and creates a thin plastic barrier that prevents cavity-causing bacteria from penetrating uneven surfaces. Sealants are proven to be safe, durable and effective.


Who needs sealants?

Children and teenagers ages 6 to 15 are the best candidates for sealants.

Sealants can be a great preventive measure for all children but may be especially beneficial to kids who:

  • Had cavities in their baby teeth
  • Have a family history of dental problems
  • Take medications or have health conditions that cause dry mouth (such as asthma)
  • Are exposed to secondhand smoke
  • Don’t drink fluoridated water

Application is fast and painless

Your child will be happy to know that sealants don’t require any drilling or cause any pain or discomfort. Application takes less time than having a tooth filled.

Sealants are most effective when applied 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 plan details to confirm your coverage.

Flyer: Want to avoid cavities?

Last updated June 09, 2022

The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.