Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves of chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay. Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on these surfaces. The most important reason for getting sealants is to avoid tooth decay. Fluoride in toothpaste and in drinking water protects the smooth surfaces of teeth but back teeth need extra protection. Sealants cover the chewing surfaces of the back teeth and keep germs and food particles out of these grooves.
Children should get sealants on their permanent molars as soon as the teeth come in before decay attacks the teeth. The first permanent molars, called “six-year molars, ” come between the ages of 5 and 7. The second permanent molars, “called twelve-year molars, ” come when a child is between the ages of 11 and 14 years old. Other teeth with pits and grooves also might need to be sealed.
Sealants can save time, money and the discomfort sometimes associated with dental fillings. Protect you child’s teeth and improve their oral health by sealing out plaque and food from their teeth!