Dental sealants are clear coatings applied to the surfaces of a child’s molars to prevent the development of tooth decay.
They work by preventing food and plaque from resting in the grooves and crevices of molars – an area especially susceptible to cavities.
The process of getting sealants is fast and painless. The tooth is cleaned before the dentist paints the sealant onto the enamel. The sealant will immediately harden, acting as a barrier between bacteria and the chewing surface of the teeth. In most cases, sealants will last roughly 3-5 years before needing to be reapplied. However, regular visits to the dentist will be necessary to monitor the condition of the sealants and examine their effectiveness.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, nearly 1 in 3 U.S. children ages 6 to 12 currently have sealants on their teeth.