Sealants are a great way to protect against tooth decay and cavities on your back teeth. These are the teeth that are most vulnerable to cavities and decay because they are used in the chewing process, and are the most difficult to reach and clean. They also have deep grooves on the surface of the tooth. Kids get their first permanent back teeth at around 5-7 years of age. It is best to have a sealant placed when the teeth first come in to ensure they are protected early.
To place a sealant an adhesive is first applied to the teeth. The sealant is then placed over the adhesive as a liquid, right onto the tooth. The liquid then hardens and creates a barrier between your tooth and any plaque, food particles, and bacteria. It also creates a smooth surface free of grooves that trap plaque. Sealants may last for about 10 years and can be reapplied if necessary.