What are sealants?
A sealant is a thin, tough, plastic coating painted on the pits and grooves of a tooth to prevent tooth decay. A sealant can also help prevent small decay from growing larger. A tooth naturally has depressions and grooves on the chewing surface which can easily harbor bacteria and food particles. These bacteria and food particles if not removed with good brushing technique can lead to tooth decay. The sealant covers these pits and grooves and prevents food and bacteria from getting trapped.
Who should get sealants?
Typically sealants are first placed when the “6 year molar” erupts. This is the time period when that adult tooth is most vulnerable to decay. Many kids are still working on their brushing technique and may have a diet that increases their risk for cavities, so by sealing these precious teeth we can add an extra layer of protection against decay. However the benefits of sealants may be applied to all teeth.
How long do sealants last?
Sealants are not permanent and may wear or chip off with normal daily functions such as eating. At the dental check ups, sealants will be inspected for repair or replacement.