Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are basically painted on the tooth. These coatings protect the hard to reach pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of the tooth. This prevents bacteria from forming and ultimately, tooth decay. The procedure takes minimal time and has causes no pain though some patients may not like the taste of it. Sealants are mostly used on children’s new molars and we like to catch them as soon as they erupt so that we can protect them from the start. The first molars appear between the ages of six and eight and the second set show up when the child is around ten to twelve years old.
Sealants are not necessary, but they are very beneficial, especially for children who run a high risk of cavities. This risk is determined by genetics, dental habits, diet and oral history. If your child has had a cavity in the past three years, they are at high risk for more. You can prevent this from happening by having those sealants applied.
The only bad news is from the kids’ points of view. Sealants don’t wear well with sticky, crunchy candy-like substances. If the sealants get worn down due to the diet of the child, the risk for a cavity is increased and sealants may have to be reapplied.