What are Sealants ?
When teeth are forming in a child's mouth, the chewing surfaces are susceptible to decay. This susceptibility is due, in part, to the inability of the toothbrush to reach down into the tiny pits and grooves of the tooth. Food and bacteria build up in these depressions, placing the teeth in danger of decay. Approximately 80 to 90 percent of cavities in children occur in these pits and grooves.
Sealants are plastic coatings that are “painted” onto the teeth to protect against cavities, especially those found on the chewing surfaces of premolars and permanent molars. A recent national study found that children with sealants had significantly less dental decay than children without sealants.
According to the Massachusetts Dental Society, sealants generally last from three to seven years. However, they need to be checked during regular dental exams to make sure they are not chipped, worn, or damaged. Good oral hygiene and sensible eating help sealants last longer. Sealants "seal out" food and plaque and are one step in the plan to help keep your child cavity-free for a lifetime.