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Does my child need dental sealants?

Patricia Braun, MD, MPH, FAAP


​If you are wanting to protect your child's teeth and not worry about your child suffering from painful cavities or missing school to make trips to the dentist to get fillings, then, yes, sealants are needed!

What's a dental sealant?

A dental sealant is a simple protective coating which is painted and sealed onto your child's back teeth. The coating prevents cavities from forming in the deep pits of those back teeth, also known as molars, where children chew most of their food.

Dental sealants stay on the teeth for years and can prevent 80% of cavities in the back molars. In fact, school-age children without sealants have almost 3 times as many cavities in the first molars as kids who do have sealants.

Does it hurt? 

No, applying sealants is simple, pain-free, and can be done in your dentist's office or even in your child's school. Some schools have a school-based dental sealant program which can help children who don't regularly get to the dentist. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention​ recommends school sealant programs as a way to prevent cavities in children who are at the most risk of getting them. It is also a way to save money on dental restorations while keeping kids in school.

More information

Patricia Braun, MD, MPH, FAAP

​Patricia Braun, MD, MPH, FAAP is a Professor of Pediatrics within the University of Colorado Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and a mother of two. For more than 25 years, Dr. Braun has been serving the underserved Colorado community as a practicing pediatrician. Within the American Academy of Pediatrics, she sits on the Section on Oral Health Executive Committee. 

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American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2016)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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