Dental sealants serve to protect the molars and premolars from tooth decay. The chewing surfaces of your molar and premolar teeth are rough and contoured with pits and grooves. While brushing and flossing helps remove food and dental plaque from smooth tooth surfaces, properly cleaning these deep fissures can be very difficult. Dental sealants, made of plastic resin, are applied to these surfaces to create a barrier against cavity causing bacteria. They also contain fluoride which is released slowly to help tooth surfaces stay strong and less prone to bacterial decay.
Dental sealants are usually placed on children and applied as soon as the permanent molars and premolars are erupted. Children are less likely to brush properly and routinely, thus they tend to be more prone to decay. It is important to place sealants as soon as permanent molars and premolars are erupted.
Although dental sealants are usually applied early in life, adults at high risk of developing decay can also benefit from receiving them. Consult with your dentist to determine if tooth sealants are right for you.