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Dental Sealants - Proven to help prevent cavities

Frequently asked questions

Are cavities that bad?
Yes! Cavities permanently damage teeth. Having a cavity and even drilling to fill a cavity weakens a tooth. That means a much greater chance that the tooth will need more expensive care in the future. If a cavity is painful, your child may have difficulty concentrating at school, sleeping well, or eating the foods they need to stay healthy. A cavity left untreated can cause a serious infection.
Can you see or feel the sealant?
Sealants can only be seen up close. Sealants are usually clear or slightly tinted, and are not seen when a child talks or smiles. As with anything new that is placed in the mouth, a child may feel the sealant with the tongue for the first day or so.
How long will sealants last?
A sealant can last for five years or more. Brushing at least twice a day and not chewing hard things like hard candy, popcorn kernels, ice, etc., will help sealants last longer. Getting regular dental check-ups is also important. At dental visits, your child’s sealants will be checked and repaired if they have started to come out.
Can my child get sealants if they have braces?
Yes, even if your child is seeing an orthodontist, it is very important that they also see their regular dentist for cavity prevention.
How much do sealants cost?
Prices vary, but a sealant costs less than filling a tooth due to a cavity. Most dental benefit plans cover sealants. If you don’t have dental coverage, click here.
Why aren’t sealants used on all the teeth?
Sealants are useful for filling in the grooves of the molars. Dental sealants don’t work on teeth that are smooth on top.
Are there any risks with sealants?
There has been some media coverage of the potential for dental sealants to contain Bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is rarely used as an ingredient in dental sealants. BPA may be present in the rare case that the materials fail to fully react. If exposure did occur, it would be at levels well below those known to have any biological effects.
Are sealants just for kids?
Adults prone to cavities may also benefit from dental sealants. Ask your dentist if they would be right for you.
Should sealants be put on the baby teeth?
Your dentist might think it is a good idea, especially if your child’s baby teeth have deep pits and grooves or your family has a history of cavities.
How can I get dental sealants for my children?
Talk to your dentist. If you don’t have a dentist and are concerned about the cost, call the Idaho Careline by dialing 2-1-1. The Idaho Careline keeps a list of Idaho dental offices who take Medicaid and who provide lower cost services based on a family’s income.
Is brushing still important when teeth have sealants on them?
Yes! Germs and plaque build up in our mouths every day. Have your child brush each morning and before bed.
What else can I do to help prevent cavities?
  • If your child can’t tie their shoes yet, they still need your help brushing their teeth. Let them brush first, then you brush their teeth again to get any areas they miss.
  • Brush and floss with your child. They will watch and learn from you.
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride. Use a pea-size amount for children 6 or older, just a light smear for younger children. Brush for two minutes to allow the fluoride to do its work.
  • Get regular dental check-ups to help clean hard to reach places and to catch any cavities before they spread.
  • Ask your dentist if additional fluoride is right for your child.
  • Make fruit juice, soda, and sports drinks only a sometimes treat.
  • Help your older child be aware of hidden sugars and acids in sports drinks, diet drinks and simple carbohydrate snacks such as chips and french fries.
  • If you buy candy, choose items that melt quickly, like chocolate. Sour or sticky candy and candy that is sucked on is bad for the teeth.
  • Instead of candy, give items such as colorful pencils, stickers, trading cards, or crayons at holidays and celebrations.