What Are Sealants? When and How Do They Protect My Teeth?

Dental sealants are just one tool that dentists use to protect teeth against decay and damage. While they are not for everyone, dental sealants can play an important part in maintaining the health of your teeth and getting the most out of daily dental hygiene activities like brushing and flossing.

Sealants are a thin, protective coating that is typically applied to the back molars. It’s an easy process, with the sealant painted directly onto the tooth enamel and then allowed to dry. Sometimes the drying process uses a curing light. Once they’re in place, sealants blend in with the surrounding tooth and will likely not be visible to anyone else.

The general idea of a dental sealant is that it seals off all the grooves and impressions in the targeted teeth that are generally very difficult to reach by traditional flossing and brushing. Sealants eliminate the possibility of food and other particles becoming trapped in those difficult-to-reach places and going on to form cavities or cause decay.

While they are not a permanent fixture, sealants can last a considerable amount of time. They will remain in place for up to ten years if properly maintained. Their effectiveness does wane with time, and they offer the most protection in the first two to four years after placement.

Who Can Get Sealants?

Traditionally, sealants are placed on healthy teeth that have no cavities or decay. This means they’re most often used on children, although adults who have healthy teeth with no presence of tooth decay or cavities would also be eligible for sealants.

Sealants can be particularly helpful for kids. Nearly 30% of children between the ages of 2 and 5 will develop a cavity. Sealants can help prevent that from occurring.

Even though sealants have most often been used for children and many adults would have been rendered ineligible due to existing decay, dental technology has made incredible advancements in recent years. Using the Waterlase™ technique, more adults may now be eligible for sealants. The precision offered with Waterlase™ allows your dentist to remove debris and properly sanitize the tooth, making sealants possible!

If you are ineligible for dental sealants, remember that they are only one option of many when it comes to protecting your teeth.

Discuss With Your Dentist

The best way to determine whether sealants are right for you is to speak with your dentist. Sealants can be an incredibly useful aid in dental hygiene when used alongside proper brushing and flossing practices. Even if you are not personally a candidate for sealants, speak with your child’s dentist about the possibility of using sealants on their teeth.

When it comes to your teeth, the importance of preventative care can’t be overstated. Any added protection against cavities and tooth decay will work to the benefit of your teeth and overall dental health.


What Are Sealants and Why Are They Needed?

Proper dental care can affect your overall health. Brushing and flossing can help with overall cleanliness in your mouth, but brushes only reach certain portions of your teeth. Your dentist might recommend sealants to help keep your overall oral health on track. What are sealants, and why do you need them?

What Are Sealants?

A dental sealant is a thin coating that your dentist paints on the surfaces of your molars and premolars in an attempt to prevent tooth decay. The sealants form a protective cover that shields your teeth from germs and food. Sealants effectively protect against 80% of cavities for up to two years. They continue protecting against approximately 50% of cavities for up to four years.

Sealants do not take the place of brushing and flossing for your overall oral health. They do help to provide an extra layer of protection to your teeth. However, cavities can develop even in sealed teeth. Discuss with your dentist how you can best maintain your sealed teeth.

Why Do You Need Sealants?

Sealants get into the depressions of the teeth to protect portions of the surface that toothbrushes can’t always reach. Specifically, sealants protect the back teeth. They help keep particles of food out of the indentations that the bristles of a toothbrush simply can’t clean because a toothbrush is designed to clean the smooth surfaces of the teeth.

Who Needs Sealants?

Cavities are likely to form in the indentations and grooves of molars and premolars. For this reason, it’s recommended that children and teenagers get sealants as soon as their permanent molars and premolars come in, starting around age 6. Adults who have no cavities or fillings are also good candidates for sealants.

Some dental insurance policies will pay for sealants if your dentist recommends them. However, many times insurance will only cover them for children. Consult with the professionals in your dentist’s office or your insurance company to determine whether your insurance will cover the cost of sealants.

Consult Your Dentist

If you still have questions about dental sealants or if you or a member of your family need them, speak to your dentist. Your dentist can give you more information about sealants. Dr. Foutz can assess your situation and discuss whether you need to consider sealants.

Ezbond A. Foutz, D.D.S.
4 Generations of Dentists Spanning 3 Centuries
1st Generation:

Great Grandfather

Dr. Ezbond A. Foutz
Harold B. Foutz, D.D.S.
4 Generations of Dentists Spanning 3 Centuries
2nd Generation:


Dr. Harold B. Foutz
Lawrence C. Foutz, D.D.S.
4 Generations of Dentists Spanning 3 Centuries
3rd Generation:


Dr. Lawrence C. Foutz
Barton H. Foutz, D.D.S.
4 Generations of Dentists Spanning 3 Centuries
4th Generation:

Family and Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Barton H. Foutz