dental sealants

A dental sealants to-do list: protect the enamel, prevent potential cavities, and provide peace of mind.


What are dental sealants?

Quick. Easy. Painless. Dental sealants are a thin, protective coating on the surfaces of molars and premolars. They form a safeguard to prevent cavities and inhibit cavity-causing bacteria from growing. The chewing surfaces of the back teeth are a prime location for cavities. These teeth have grooves, known as pits and fissures, that help you chew. However, food can easily get stuck in the grooves. Cavity-causing bacteria feed on the sugars in this food, and as they feed, they release acids. These acids eat away at the outer surface of the tooth, leading to tooth decay. Dental sealants are painted onto the teeth’s chewing surfaces. This forms a physical barrier that protects your teeth from the bacteria that cause tooth decay. It also creates a smooth surface that’s easier to clean.

a smiling tooth holding an umbrella while it is raining.

Benefits of Having Dental Sealants


Good oral health starts before the first signs of a cavity. Dental sealants are often recommended for children, but adults can get them too.


Prevent Cavities

tooth icon inside of a shield with a yellow circle.

Halt Tooth Decay

hand icon being shown as a stop sign.

Reduce Dental Costs

piggy bank icon with a yellow circle inside of it.
mother and her child smiling to one another while laying down.

How to Choose the Best Dental Sealant for Your Teeth

If you’re wondering how you can prevent cavities from happening, seeking care before the first signs of a cavity is a great place to start. Dental sealants can help you do just that. Talk with your child’s dentist to determine the best treatment option.

Illustration of a patient's view sitting in the dental chair while the dentist works on their teeth

Different Types of Dental Sealants

As a parent, you may be wondering which option is best for your child. Luckily, there are two main types of sealants: glass ionomer and resin-based sealants. Both work equally well.

Glass Ionomer Sealants

Glass ionomer sealants are made from a mixture of glass powder, polymeric acid, and water. Once bonded, they release fluoride. A good choice for patients with a high-risk of cavities.

Resin-Based Sealants

Resin-based sealants are made from plastic materials. Some are tooth-colored and others are clear, allowing your dentist to monitor the surface of the tooth.


How much do dental sealants cost?

The cost of dental sealants may vary, but the average price can be $50 to $60 per tooth. Depending on age group, most private dental insurance plans cover 100% of the cost. Contact your insurer to find out your dental sealant coverage.


What to Expect When You Get Dental Sealants

Here’s what happens during the sealant application procedure. Your dentist or hygienist will: 


Thoroughly clean and dry the tooth

Roughen the chewing surfaces of the teeth with a mild and safe acid solution

Rinse and dry the tooth

Apply dental sealant onto the surfaces

Use a special blue light to harden the sealants


Is it painful to get a dental sealant?

No drills. No injections. No extractions. Unlike other dental procedures, dental sealant procedures are quick and painless.


How long do sealants last?

Once applied, dental sealants can protect your child’s teeth between two and seven years. And potentially 10 years if it’s taken care of well.

Illustration of a hand holding dollar bills with a green background
individual with beautiful teeth flossing in front of the mirror

Book an Appointment Today


A good rule to follow: start early. Schedule an appointment. 


Dental Sealant Aftercare

Dental sealant aftercare is very simple. Once applied, your child can resume eating or drinking. They may notice a slight change in the way their teeth feel, but this sensation goes away in a few days. Important note: sealants can prevent tooth decay, but they’re not a substitute for proper daily care.

dentist smiling while being on a video call.

Got questions?


You asked about dental sealants, (and even if you didn’t) we answered. Find your answers just a click away.

The first place to start preventing cavities is with good oral hygiene, which includes regular brushing and flossing. When you brush and floss, you are actively getting rid of plaque and acids forming on your teeth, which, if not cared for, can lead to a cavity. It is also good to cut back on consuming sugary and starchy food and drinks. Combined with dental checkups and dental sealants, you are well on your way to preventing cavities.

Make an appointment with a dentist if you suspect you have a cavity. Your dentist will inspect your teeth for evidence of decay and symptoms. After your dentist has determined that you have a cavity, the following step is to ascertain what type of cavity you have. There are three different kinds:

  • Smooth surface cavity – This cavity type is located on a tooth's smooth surface
  • Root cavity – This cavity-type develops on a tooth's surface above the roots
  • Pit and fissure cavity – This cavity type is found on a tooth's chewing surface

Dental sealants work by forming a thin, protective coating on the surfaces of molars and premolars. They are typically applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, which have grooves called pits and fissures. These grooves can trap food, providing a prime location for cavity-causing bacteria to grow.

Dental sealants are often recommended for children, but adults can also benefit from them. They play a role in good oral health by creating a physical barrier on the chewing surfaces of teeth, preventing cavity-causing bacteria from causing tooth decay.


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NewMouth. (n.d.). Tooth Sealants: Benefits, Procedure, and Cost.