Sealants are thin plastic coatings used in the prevention of tooth decay.6 Tooth brushing and flossing are the most effective way to avoid decay, but sealants are very effective in the prevention of decay on pit and fissure (“nooks and crannies”) surfaces of the teeth reducing the risk by 80% on molars.9 The process is technique sensitive, takes about five minutes and it is important that the child cooperates by sitting still. Sealants are particularly important for children who have a high risk for decay.
The sealant placement will vary by the individual, but some standards for application of sealants are:
- Sealants should be applied mainly on permanent molars (1st and 2nd).6
- To prevent further damage to teeth, sealants can be placed over areas of early decay.9
- Sealants can last up to 10 years, but need to checked at regular dental check ups for chipping and wear.6
Ask your dentist if sealants are appropriate for your child.