Dental Sealants Can Prevent Tooth Decay

Dental sealants are plastic resins that cover the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars to prevent food debris and bacteria from damaging teeth. They are most effective for children but can also benefit adults with high risk of tooth decay.


A dentist will isolate the tooth to be sealed by cleaning and placing cotton around it to keep saliva away from the area. The dentist will then apply an acidic gel to the tooth surface that roughens it up, rinse, and dry the tooth.

Prevents Cavities

While brushing and flossing are the best way to prevent tooth decay, the bristles of a toothbrush cannot reach all of the tiny grooves and pits on chewing surfaces. These microscopic cracks are ideal hiding places for bacteria that can cause cavities. Thankfully, dentists can protect these vulnerable areas by applying a thin plastic coating known as dental sealants.

The dentist cleans and dries the chewing surface of each tooth before painting it with liquid sealant. The dentist then uses an etching solution to roughen the surface of the tooth, which creates a robust bond between the tooth and the sealant. After the tooth is dry and cleaned again, the dentist puts on a protective coat of clear sealant over the deep pits and fissures to keep out food particles and cavity-causing bacteria.

Sealants can last up to 10 years, although they may need reapplication during regular preventive appointments. People who clench or grind their teeth, have a habit of swallowing acidic foods like coffee or soda, or are at high risk for decay may benefit from the extra protection offered by sealants.

Prevents Tooth Decay

Dental sealants act as a barrier to protect your teeth from bacteria and acids in your saliva that lead to tooth decay, plaque, and cavities. They seal out the small grooves and pits on your back teeth (molars) that are difficult for your brush to reach, preventing food particles and bacteria from settling in these nooks and crannies.

Often, it’s hard to get all the grooves and pits in your molars with a toothbrush, especially when you’re eating sticky or sugary foods. Sealants give your molars extra protection against decay, helping to prevent cavities and the need for costly treatments down the road. The process is quick and painless, especially if your child has a history of tooth decay or difficulty brushing their teeth well. Sealants are typically recommended for children, but adults can also benefit from the protective coating. Sealants are made of safe plastic resins, and while there is a small amount of BPA (Bisphenol A) exposure during the application process, the exposure level quickly goes away.

Prevents Tooth Wear

Typically, children and teenagers are the most at risk of developing cavities. However, adults with healthy molars can also benefit from sealants. These protective plastic coatings fill the depressions and grooves of molars and premolars, making them easier to clean and less likely to harbor plaque bacteria.

Before applying dental sealants, a dentist or hygienist will thoroughly clean each tooth to be sealed. The chewing surfaces are then dried and covered with cotton or another absorbent material to keep them dry. An acid etching solution may be used on the chewing surfaces to roughen them up, which helps the sealant bond properly. After the teeth are cleaned and dried, the sealant is painted on and shined with a curing light to harden it.

Resin sealants typically last longer than glass ionomers, requiring no further upkeep other than regular dental checkups and cleanings. They also have a higher retention rate than other types of dental sealants.

Prevents Tooth Discoloration

Dental sealants prevent the erosion of the enamel on your molars and premolars. These are the chewing surfaces that have natural grooves and pits that can be difficult to clean with a toothbrush, leaving them vulnerable to decay. The bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack the enamel and can cause holes (cavities) to form. Sealants cover these grooves and prevent them from trapping food particles that can feed the bacteria.

The process for applying sealants is quick and painless. First the teeth are cleaned and dried, then a gel is applied to the surface of the tooth that will be sealed, roughening it up so that the sealant can adhere more firmly. The tooth is rinsed and dried again, then the sealant is applied to the chewing surface and set with a safe blue light.

Typically, children and teenagers receive sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as they come in, but adults who have healthy teeth can also benefit from them. Sealants work in tandem with brushing and flossing to provide a strong one-two punch against tooth decay.

Prevents Tooth Slippage

Since their introduction, dental sealants have reduced the likelihood of kids developing tooth decay by up to 80%. They are typically applied to molars and premolars that have deep pits and grooves on their chewing surfaces. These areas can be difficult to clean, so they are more prone to bacteria buildup and cavities.

The process for applying sealants is quick, painless, and does not require a local anesthetic. First, the teeth to be sealed are cleaned and dried. A mild acid etching solution is then painted on the chewing surface of the teeth to roughen them up, which helps the sealant bond with the enamel. After a few seconds, the acid is rinsed off and the tooth is dried again.

After the teeth are dry, the sealant is painted onto the teeth and cured with a curing light. Some concern has been raised about the potential release of BPA (Bisphenol A) from sealant materials, however this has not been proven to be a significant issue and scrubbing and rinsing immediately after application will reduce any exposure.

Prevents Tooth Pain

Tooth decay is a common dental issue that can cause pain and lead to serious health issues if left untreated. But the good news is that it’s largely preventable with proper oral hygiene and regular visits to our dentist in 33781.

During the sealant procedure, our dentist will clean and dry the chewing surfaces of your back teeth to remove any bacteria or food debris. Then, they will apply an acidic solution to the tooth surface for a few seconds before washing it off. This roughens the chewing surfaces and makes it easier for the sealant to bond with them.

Then, the dentist will paint on the sealant in liquid form and use a curing light to harden it. Once it’s set, the sealant will create a thin plastic coating that protects the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. The sealant can last for years, but it will need to be reapplied periodically to maintain its protective benefits.