Dental Sealant: One Way to Beat the Cavities Before They Form

Have you been dreading the thought of taking your little one back to the dentist because you know that there's a cavity or two that will need to be treated? So many parents feel the same fear and dread that the little ones do when it comes time to go to the dentist and find out how many cavities have formed in the time since you've had your child at the dentist last. Instead of dealing with the cavities, talk with the dentist about dental sealant and how it could prevent them from occurring in the first place.

What is dental sealant?

Dental sealant is a compound that goes onto the teeth like paint but hardens into a shell once it has cured. The sealant is applied to the molars just after a cleaning. It will help to keep food and bacteria from forming between the teeth and in the deep pits that are hard to keep clean otherwise.

The sealant works as a barrier: if the cavity causing substances can't get to the teeth, the teeth won't decay. Now, your kid will still have to brush, floss, and rinse twice each day, but it won't be as stressful for you knowing that those hard-to-reach spaces are coated with sealant.

Does it hurt when the dental sealant is applied?

Your kid won't feel a thing as the compound is painted onto their teeth. It will be a lot like the fluoride treatment that they get painted onto their teeth. The only difference is, the dentist will take his or her time to make sure that the sealant is applied to the tooth entirely, so it will take a bit longer than the fluoride treatment would.

How long does the sealant last?

Dental sealant won't last forever, but it will get your kid through many years before it needs to be applied. Now, there can be a rare instance in which the sealant comes off of the teeth, but that's not a really big deal—you just take your kid back to the dentist, where the tooth will be cleaned again and the sealant reapplied.

Will insurance cover dental sealant?

In most cases, yes, but you'll have to check with your particular policy to see what your coverage permits. Generally, as long as your kid is under a certain age, the dental insurance will cover at least a portion of the treatment.

Talk with your dentist or go to sites like to learn more about the various services that a dentist can provide, including the application of dental sealant.