Question: What are dental sealants?


Answer: Dental sealants are used to prevent tooth decay on the biting surfaces of the back teeth. Used primarily on children, sealants are a plastic resin that is painted into the deep pits and grooves of the permanent molars. Even with good brushing habits, toothbrush bristles cannot reach the depths of these grooves to remove food particles and bacteria. When properly placed, sealants keep food and bacteria from getting into those pits and grooves in the first place, creating a smooth surface that is much easier to keep clean. Ideally sealants should be placed soon after the permanent molars come in at age six, then again for the second set of molars at age twelve. Ask your child’s dentist about sealants at her next check-up.