Dental Sealants…What are they?
Dental sealants are a thin, plastic coating painted on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Most sealants are placed on molars and premolars to help prevent decay. The sealant bonds into the grooves of the teeth forming a protective shield over the enamel of the tooth. Sealants have been proven to help prevent cavities in children by 70%.
The reason sealants are placed on the molars and premolars is because these teeth naturally have deep grooves where food tends to get caught even when you brush twice a day. The sealant fills in these deep grooves making it easier to keep them clean! Typically, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in; that way the sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity prone years of ages 6 to 14.
Applying sealants is a simple and painless process, (no anesthetic is required!) and it only takes a few minutes to be applied. Sealants can protect teeth from decay for up to ten years but they need to be checked for chipping and wearing at regular check-ups.