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The sealants typically last 5 to 10 years. Not only can they help prevent cavities from forming, but they can also deter small existing cavities from getting bigger. More than a third of kids ages 13 to 19 have sealants, so if you and your dentist decide sealants would be a good option for your teen, he’ll be in good company. Your dentist can also help you determine whether sealants are covered under your dental plan.
Sealants are most effective for children with a higher risk for decay, however. So if your son has made it to his teens without molar decay, your dentist may not recommend them. If your son does fall into the higher-risk category, helping prevent cavities won’t just benefit his oral health – it may benefit his academic performance as well. A study conducted in California showed that an estimated 504,000 children in the state missed at least one school day per year due to dental pain. These types of absences have been linked to poor academic performance, opt for sealants to help your child make the grade in more ways than one.