Dental sealants are an amazing preventive dental treatment. Also called “pit and fissure sealants”, their intention is to protect the teeth from developing tooth decay in the pits and fissures of the teeth. The teeth that can be sealed are the first and second permanent molars, first and second permanent premolars, and sometimes the pit on the tongue-side of the upper permanent lateral incisors.
The ideal time to seal permanent teeth is when they have just erupted. These teeth erupt at different times in a child’s life. The first is around 6 years of age. The rest of the teeth mentioned erupt at varying times between the ages of 8 and 13. It is very important to seal the teeth before they have had a chance to collect food in those grooves. If this happens for too long, the process of demineralization can begin.
Sealants are an easy, inexpensive way to protect your child’s teeth from getting cavities in the area that is the most common area to get a cavity. Most insurance companies cover them 100% up to a certain age. When sealants are placed, it is possible for your child to never have a cavity or a filling. I know I am a dentist, but neither of my children have ever had a cavity and they are 23 and 18. And they were not angels, just because their Mom was a dentist!
And P.S. It is not too late to have teeth sealed when you are an adult either. The dentist just needs to make sure there is no sign of decay present before sealing. Just because you made it through your childhood without developing a cavity, doesn’t mean you will never get one. Prevention is always the key to health!
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