While brushing and flossing help remove food and plaque from your teeth, your toothbrush can’t always reach deep into the grooves (called pits and fissures). These grooves are where you kids tend to get cavities. So what can you do? Sealants–a thin, plastic protective coating–can protect these areas by keeping food out and stopping bacteria and plaque from attacking your teeth, particularly on the chewing surfaces of your back teeth.
While adults and children can benefit from sealants, it’s better to get them at an earlier age. As soon as children’s permanent molar teeth come in, they should get sealants. Children’s first permanent molars usually come between ages 5 and 7, and their second permanent molars come in between ages 11 and 14. Children at higher risk for tooth decay will benefit the most, so ask your dentist about your child’s risk for dental disease.
Adults at high risk for tooth decay may also benefit from sealants, so talk to your dentist if you would like more information.
Getting teeth sealed is an easy and painless process:
“Sealants.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sealants