dental sealants in Long Island

Like routine checkups and fluoride treatments, dental sealants are an integral part of a preventative oral care routine. These thin, protective layers help cover cavity-prone areas to reduce the risk of tooth decay.


In almost all scenarios, dental sealants are applied to the rigid chewing surfaces of permanent molars (back teeth.) Since the deep grooves and fissures on these surfaces can easily harbor bacteria—and may be physically too narrow to clean with a toothbrush—sealants create a smoother and shallower surface area that is easier to clean. On the other hand, primary (baby) molars usually do not have the same deep fissures or grooves as adult molars do.


Best Age for Dental Sealants


Since sealants work best for permanent molars, your child will usually be a little bit older once these treatments are applied. The first set of permanent molars typically erupts around age 6 (hence why they’re referred to as “6-year molars”) and the second set around age 12 (“12-year molars”). The actual age when those teeth erupt can fluctuate by a year or so, and girls usually tend to get their teeth earlier on than boys do.


How Quickly to Get Sealants


The overall purpose of dental sealants is to prevent cavities before they start, it’s best to apply them immediately after your child’s molars erupt. The teeth need to be just through the gums enough for all of the grooves and fissures to be fully visible. It’s natural for the edges of the gum tissues to partially cover a tooth as it erupts. If your child isn’t ready for sealants at their checkup, our Long Island dentists will re-evaluate those teeth at their next six-month appointment. By then, it’s usually just fine to go ahead and apply the sealants.


Waiting too long to place sealants could jeopardize how effective they are. If you wait a few years before the sealants are applied, especially deep grooves could have already developed early stages of decay. That’s why this preventative service is best completed as soon after molar eruption as possible.


Can Adults Get Sealants?

Absolutely. Maybe you had sealants for several years. Since they’re not a permanent restoration, sealants can eventually fall off or get pulled out by sticky foods. So if you lose a sealant and you want to preserve your healthy smile, you can always elect to have it replaced during your dental checkup.


While dental insurance usually covers sealants for children, it usually isn’t included as a benefit for adults. Fortunately, sealants are only a fraction of the cost of a dental filling (and better, too)!


Are Sealants Right for Your Child (or You)?


Contact our family and pediatric dentistry providers today to reserve your next six-month checkup. During you or your child’s cleaning with our hygienist, we’ll review any preventative care techniques or tips that you might want to consider. Including dental sealants.


Sealants are a completely comfortable, quick way to reduce your family’s chances of cavities. Contact Sachem Dental Group to learn more.