Dental Sealants 101

Written by Nancy

If you have a young one that loves candy and hates brushing, learning about the possibility of cavities may not be anything new for you.

Instead of worrying about the possibility of tooth decay, learn about options that you have. The teeth at the back of our mouth, the molars and the premolars have depressions and grooves that are difficult to clean.

Dental sealants are plastic coatings placed over the chewing surfaces of teeth to help protect these from decay. These are also used for adults to cover any caries or deep grooves to prevent decay.


The teeth surface onto which the sealant is to be placed is cleaned, washed and dried. An acidic solution is placed and cleaned off to create a rougher surface. This etched area allows for the seamless placement and bonding of the dental sealant which is then hardened with a light.

Once it has hardened, it takes a varnish form and you can chew with that tooth again.



Because the teeth at the back of your mouth do most of the work in chewing; it’s easy for food to settle there. Sealants can protect these surfaces by evening out the crevices and preventing the decay from escalating to a cavity.

Sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by 80% in molars. In fact, research shows that school-aged children without sealants have almost 3 times more cavities than those with sealants.

Sealants are effective and have no side effects. Your dentist will check for allergies beforehand.

The facts

Sealants can last for several years before they need to be reapplied. Your dentist can easily keep an eye on the progress with regular dentist visits and reapply them if needed. Fluoride is a popular treatment for decay but pit-and-fissure sealants are more effective in reducing the development of decay and caries lesions.

Sealants are also reimbursable under many dental health plans. They are in fact very cost-effective because they prevent tooth decay which can cause more severe problems such as gum and periodontal disease that requires more expensive treatments.

Get a checkup

if you feel your child may be prone to this issue or you have noticed signs of decay in their teeth then sealants are a worthy consideration.

Dana D. Keith is a family dental practice that believes in prevention rather than cure and sealants can be a great investment for your child in preventing dental complications. Get the best dental treatments in Silver Spring with them.

Call them at (301) 2236-9000 to schedule an appointment today!

About the author



I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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