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Duke Oral Health

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DSPD Safety Protocol

What are sealants?

Sealants protect the surfaces of teeth with  grooves and pits, especially the surfaces of back teeth where most cavities are found.  Made of shaded, tooth color plastic, sealants are applied to the teeth to help keep

them cavity-free.


How do sealants work?

Even if your child brushes his/her teeth and flosses carefully, it is difficult – sometimes impossible – to clean the tiny grooves and pits on certain teeth.  Toothbrush bristles are just too thick to reach into the pits and fissures.  Food and bacteria build up in these depressions placing your child in danger of decay.  Sealants “seal out” food and plaque reducing the risk of decay.


How long do sealants last?

Research shows that sealants can last for many years.  So, your child will be protected throughout the most cavity prone years.  If your child has good oral hygiene and does not chew on hard objects like ice cubes, crunchy candy or sticky foods, sealants will last even longer.


What is the treatment like?

Dr. Keels can apply a sealant quickly and comfortably!  It is only one visit.  We condition the tooth and then dry the tooth, paint the sealant on, then harden it with a blue light.  It’s that easy!


Which teeth should be sealed?

The teeth most at risk for decay - and therefore most in need of sealants – are the six- year molars and twelve-year molars.  But any tooth with groves or pits may benefit form the protection of sealants.


If my child has sealants, are brushing and flossing still important?

Absolutely!  Sealants are only one step in the protection against decay, therefore they aid in keeping your child cavity – free for a lifetime.  Brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are essential to a bright healthy smile!