Preventing Decay with Dental Sealants

Tooth decay is the most common ongoing childhood disease in the U.S. About half the children between the ages of 6 to 11 years old have cavities.1
But decay can be stopped with good oral care. Sealants have been found to cut tooth decay by more than 70 percent.2

Sealants Can Shield Teeth from Decay

Even with frequent brushing, it is sometimes hard to remove plaque and food from the chewing surfaces. Dental sealants are plastic-like materials that are painted onto the tooth’s chewing areas. They are safe and act as protective barriers to help “seal out” food and germs that cause tooth decay.

Tooth decay is most likely to happen soon after teeth come into the mouth. That means children are great candidates for sealants. Permanent back teeth are most at risk. Recommendations call for sealants to be placed on these teeth when they appear.

Sealants are Painless and Easy to Put On
Sealants have been used safely for more than 30 years. Sealants are sturdy. They can last years without replacement. And sealants not only help prevent tooth decay, they keep smiles healthy by avoiding other dental procedures.

Talk to your dentist. You and your dentist can decide if sealants are right for your child.

For more tips on the link between oral health and your overall health, visit bcbsil.com. Log in to Blue Access® for Members. Click on the “My Coverage” tab and then “Dental” to visit the Dental Wellness Center. Check your plan benefits for coverage facts. Also look for an in-network dentist. In-network dentists offer discounts to save you money.

Studies also show links between gum disease and other health problems such as stroke, diabetes, and raised risks during pregnancy.

A Complete Preventive Program
Sealants are one part of a child’s dental care. A full program also includes:

  • Limited snacking and good food choices
  • Toothpaste with fluoride
  • Brushing twice a day
  • Flossing at least once each day
  • Regular professional cleanings

Don’t forget to plan your family’s dental visits today!


1 National Institutes of Health, 1999-2004
2 National Institute of Health, 2014

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