February 25, 2022

Sealants Make Sense

National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) began as a one-day local event in Cleveland, Ohio, on February 3, 1941. The American Dental Association held the first national observance of Children’s Dental Health Day on February 8, 1949. Then in 1955, the single day observance became a week-long event. In 1981, the program was extended to a month-long observance known today as National Children’s Dental Health Month. . The American Dental Association’s 2022 theme is “Sealants Make Sense” which is focused on the benefits of dental sealants.

What is a sealant?

Sealants are “a thin, protective coating (made from plastic or other dental materials) that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth.”


Sealants on permanent molars reduce the risk of caries by 80%. That’s an outstanding statistic. Additionally, “according to the CDC, school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants.” These statistics are especially impressive when you consider that childhood decay is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases for little ones.  And yes, it is considered a disease process. Something that is unhealthy and caused by germs.

So who really needs sealants on their teeth?

Children and adults can both benefit from sealants. Most commonly, sealants are recommended as soon as the 6yr molars have erupted. At this age, children don’t quite have the proper dexterity to make sure these permanent teeth are being kept clean enough to last a lifetime cavity-free.

How much do sealants cost?

Sealants for 6yr molars are covered on most dental insurance plans. However, even if sealants are not covered on your plan, they’re still not expensive when you consider the cost of fixing a cavity or losing a tooth. The further decayed a tooth gets, the more expensive the restoration will be. That’s why the placing of sealants is so important. Prevention is key!

If your child has sealants, what can you do to help protect them?

First, limit the potentially damaging crunchy stuff like ice, hard candies etc. Second, when they drink something sugary or acidic, teach them to get into the habit of rinsing with water. Last but not least, keep up with dental visits so the team can look at the sealants carefully and replace them or touch up as needed.

Sealants really do make sense!

The month-long observance of National Children’s Dental Health Month brings together healthcare providers and educators to promote of the benefits of oral health. If you are a professional, provider, caregiver, educator, or teacher looking for resources to celebrate with us, please visit the following link for fliers, activity sheets, and more.


RESOURCES: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sealants