Sealants protect the grooved and pitted surfaces on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. They are made of a tooth-colored resin and are placed on a decay-free tooth to prevent a cavity from forming.
The grooves in permanent molars are narrow and deep. Food and bacteria build up in these crevices, placing your child in danger of tooth decay. Sealant material flows into these grooves sealing them off from the elements, which helps decrease the risk of decay in the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.
Research shows that sealants can last for many years if properly cared for. If your child has good oral hygiene and avoids biting hard objects (ice, pencils, pens), sealants will last longer. Our doctors will check the sealants during routine dental visits and reapply or repair when necessary.
The application of a sealant is quick and comfortable. It takes only one visit. The tooth is first cleaned and dried. The sealant material flows into the grooves of the tooth and is hardened with a blue light. Your child will be able to eat immediately after the appointment.
He needs to brush and floss to keep the plaque from all surfaces. He can still get a cavity between the teeth from not flossing where a sealant doesn’t cover. The same plaque that causes cavities can eat through a sealant if left there for long periods of time. That’s why good brushing and regular dental visits are so important to be sure the sealants do their job.