Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your child’s mouth. It is difficult for a toothbrush to reach between the small cracks and grooves on teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Sealants give your child’s teeth extra protection against decay and help reduce the risk of cavities.
Dental sealants are plastic resins that cover the deep grooves on the tooth’s chewing surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth, and are less likely to harbor food, plaque and bacteria. Therefore, sealed teeth are typically cleaner AND easier to keep clean.
Sealants are typically applied to permanent molars after they have fully erupted or around age 7 or 8. Although It is more common to seal permanent molars, baby or primary molars that exhibit deep grooves may also benefit from sealants. This is especially true for children that already have cavites or are more prone to cavitiess.
Sealants may last several years, but they do not last forever. Children that grind their teeth or eat "hard" foods may require teeth to be re-sealed more frequently. The integrity of the sealant will be re-evaluated at each dental appointment.