Sealants… for Healthy Smiles
Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease. Untreated tooth decay is painful and is often associated with school absentees & poor school performance. The school-based sealant program is a preventative program across St. Lucie County schools that provides dental sealants, fluoride varnish, & oral hygiene instructions ( with parental consent). ). Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating that keeps food and germs out of chewing surfaces of the teeth. Sealants are safe, painless, and effectively reduce tooth decay. At the beginning of the school year a dental consent form is sent home with each child in efforts to receive a signature from parents for participation in this program. Once the child is seen a letter is sent home with a description of services rendered and what follow-up care is needed.
Helping St. Lucie County Children
For the fiscal year 2018-2019 St. Lucie County health department provided more than 2,000 dental sealants across public schools.
What is a Sealant?
A sealant is a thin plastic coating that keeps food and germs out of the chewing surfaces of the teeth and helps protect teeth from getting cavities.
Which Teeth are Sealed?
Back teeth are known as molars and premolars. These teeth need to last a lifetime.
When Should Teeth be Sealed?
A sealant needs to be placed as soon as the permanent tooth appears in the mouth, usually around five or six years old, or as soon as possible.
How are Sealants Applied?
The chewing surfaces of the teeth are cleaned to help the sealant stick to the tooth. The sealant is painted into the grooves of the chewing surface, where it bonds to the tooth. A special light is shined onto the tooth to help the sealant harden.
How Long do Sealants Last?
Sealants will usually last about five years; some longer. Sealants should be checked once a year and replaced if part or all of the sealant is missing.