Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

Statewide Initiatives

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Dental Sealants

About Dental Sealants

Dental sealants help prevent cavities. Dental sealants are thin, colorless plastic coatings that are placed on teeth to prevent cavity formation. Teeth have tiny grooves and pits where bacteria can hide and damage the tooth's enamel. The purpose of sealants is to protect these grooves and pits from bacteria and help prevent cavities. Dental sealants are most often applied to the chewing surface of teeth. While any tooth may receive a sealant, it is most common for children to have their 6-year old and 12-year old molars (also called first and second molars) sealed.

The application of dental sealants is a quick, pain-free process. It requires that the tooth be cleaned and prepared for the sealant, the sealant be painted on the tooth surface and then allowed to dry. After the sealant is placed the tooth surface should look and feel the same as before.

Sealants are very strong and should last for many years. The dentist will check the sealant at check-ups to make sure it is still intact. The sealant can be replaced with a new one as necessary.

Dental sealants received the ADA Seal of Approval in 1976.  The National Institutes of Health in 1984 sponsored a Consensus Development Conference that concluded, "an extensive body of knowledge has firmly established the scientific basis for the use of sealants.[1]  Research studies conducted by Bravo et al have shown that the effectiveness of school-based sealant programs regardless of the physical delivery site or personnel used for sealant application.[2]

[1] National Institutes of Health (NIH). Consensus Development Conference Statement.  Dental sealants in the prevention of tooth decay. J Dent Edu 1984 Feb; 48 (2Suppl): 126-31.

[2]Brovo M, Llodra JC, Baca, P Osorio E. Effectiveness of visible light fissure sealant (Delon) versus fluoride varnish (Duraphat); 24 month clinical trial. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1996 Feb; 24(1):42-46.

Resources on Dental Sealant

  • Download an information handout from the American Dental Association HERE »
  • Centers for Disease Control's information on school-based sealants HERE »

School-Based Dental Sealant Program in Louisiana

The State of Louisiana Oral Health Program operates the Louisiana Seals Smiles Program to provide dental sealants to children throughout the state. The Louisiana Seals Smiles Program partners with several key providers in the 9 Department of Health and Hospitals to facilitate the program's operation.

The Louisiana Seals Smiles Program is targeted to 2nd and 6th graders. The program provides dental sealant screening and application to 2nd and 6th graders in their schools. Schools that are eligible for the Louisiana Seals Smiles Program must have a student body with at least 50% qualifying for the National School Lunch Program (free or reduced lunch program).

For schools:

Would you like the Louisiana Seals Smiles Program to come to your school? Download the application form, complete, and return to the Dental Sealant Coordinator. LINK TO FORM

For dental health professionals:

We are in need of dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants to help with the sealant screenings and applications. Are you interested in helping with the Louisiana Seals Smiles Program? If, so please complete the provider application form and return to the Dental Sealant Coordinator. LINK TO FORM

For more information on the Louisiana Seals Smiles Program, please call  Mechaune Butler, Dental Sealant Coordinator at 225-342-7804 or email