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As a parent, you want your child to experience all the best things in life, including maintaining excellent oral health. However, as they grow older, if their permanent teeth develop and form deep grooves on their molars, your child may require dental sealants, especially if a dentist advises it.

A sealant is a thin layer of coating applied over the molars to provide additional protection to your child’s teeth and reduce the chances of developing tooth decay. Although your child has a good habit of brushing and flossing their teeth and gums regularly, they can’t always clean their back teeth thoroughly.

Over time, food particles and bacteria can build up in the grooves and turn into a painful cavity. Luckily, a dentist can paint a sealant over the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth, specifically their first and second molars, to achieve a healthier set of teeth. Keep reading below to learn more information about sealants before allowing your child to undergo a sealant procedure.

How Sealants Work

The moment your child experiences a painful cavity and requires the help of an emergency dentist, they may suggest covering their remaining molars with a sealant while addressing the impacted tooth. By applying a protective layer, your teeth have lower chances of keeping food, particles, plaque, and germs in them.

A sealant serves as a dental shield that protects the grooves of your child’s molars. Afterward, they will have a better time cleaning their back teeth and preventing small particles and microorganisms from getting stuck in their teeth again.

Once a dentist positions the sealant over the affected teeth, it keeps cavity-causing substances from becoming cavities. As a result, they can continue brushing and flossing regularly without worrying about facing discomfort and pain in their teeth.

How A Sealant Procedure Goes

The application of a sealant is easy and often painless, so it won’t be a problem for your child that they can opt to seek a walk-in dentist’s help to solve their problems. The first step of the procedure involves cleansing the teeth to remove all food and other various particles lodged in the teeth and gums, especially the grooves of the molars.

From there, a dentist will apply a special gel over the chewing surface of your child’s tooth and leave it on for a couple of seconds before washing it off with water. When their tooth is completely dry, the dentist will apply a thin layer of liquid sealant over it and wait for it to harden.

It’s up to the dentist if they prefer letting the dental sealant dry on its own or if they will use a unique tool that beams a light over the sealant to increase its drying time. What’s important is knowing that each sealant application on a tooth only requires a few minutes to accomplish.

What to Know After the Treatment

Depending on what the dentist is using, a dental sealant is transparent, white, or slightly tinted but what ultimately matters is no one will notice a difference in your child’s teeth. After the procedure, your child may feel somewhat strange because the sealant is still settling down.

It could make their bite feel unusual, based on the sealant material used, but keep in mind that it’s normal and your child will only require a few days until they adjust to their sealant. Your child doesn’t have to follow any restrictions and they are free to eat and drink whatever they want and immediately for that matter. 


Considering sealants for your child who has deep grooves in their molars is necessary if you want their teeth to remain healthy and strong. When your child strives to take good care of their sealants, they can last up to ten years. But if the sealants do break, they can always visit the dentist for a touch-up to ensure they remain intact, and your child can continue avoiding cavities and unwanted oral diseases.

Are you looking for a dentist near you in Raleigh, NC, for your child? Dr. Thomas E. Cooke is a family dental practice that offers dental crowns, implants, sealants, dentures, tooth fillings, tooth extractions, gum disease treatment, and root canals. Get in touch with us today to make an appointment!