The Howlin Building
10085 Dunkirk Way, #202
Dunkirk, MD 20754

301-855-6008 · 410-257-2400
Fax: 410-257-0628

Q. What are sealants?

A: Sealants are a clear, acrylic-like material that helps shield decay-causing bacteria from the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Getting sealants put on is simple and painless. They are painted on as a liquid and quickly harden to form a shield over the tooth. This protective barrier covers the pits and grooves that are in the back teeth. Sealants can last up to 10 years but they need to be checked at regular dental check ups to make sure they are not chipped or worn away. Once the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear, it is best to apply sealants as soon as possible. As a child's most cavity-prone years continue until the mid-teens, the premolars should also be sealed as they appear. Sealing one tooth costs less than filling one tooth. Having sealants put on healthy teeth now will save money on the long run by avoiding fillings to fix decayed teeth.