Sealants are proven to reduce cavities by 70% in children and adults. Dental sealants are a clear or white resin material designed to flow into and seal the deep grooves in the chewing surfaces of children’s teeth. These deep grooves and fissures are areas that toothbrush bristles cannot reach to extract food and plaque. We often recommend dental sealants for permanent back teeth (molars and premolars) as soon as they grow in (usually between 6-12 years old), because these teeth are common sites of decay. Sealants acts as a barrier and help to prevent invasion of bacteria into these hard-to-clean areas and essentially protecting enamel from plaque and acids. Because sealants are made of a clear or white resin, they blend in with your teeth and cannot be seen when you smile.
How are Sealants applied?
Sealants are inexpensive, painless and easily applied without anesthesia in just a few minutes. The tooth is cleaned, dried and the sealant resin is applied to the chewing surface. A special curing light is used to help the sealant harden and then allowed to dry.
As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before a reapplication is needed.
Are sealants just for kids?
The likelihood of developing pits and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates. But adults can benefit from sealants as well.