To stop tooth decay, sealants are thin plastic coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth, typically the back teeth (the premolars and molars). An intense white light “cure” (hardens) the paint-on liquid sealant, which quickly sinks into the tooth grooves. Each tooth's enamel is covered by a bonded shield as a result.
Children and teenagers are obvious candidates for sealants due to the likelihood of decay developing in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars. Adults who have healthy molars without decay or fillings can still benefit from sealants.
Children's premolars and permanent molars should typically receive sealants as soon as they erupt. In this manner, dental sealants can safeguard the teeth from ages 6 to 14, when cavities are most common.
In some circumstances, such as when a child's baby teeth have significant grooves and depressions, dental sealants may also be recommended for baby teeth. Baby teeth are crucial for maintaining the proper spacing between permanent teeth, so it's important to maintain their health to prevent early tooth loss.
Even though thorough brushing and flossing can remove food particles and plaque from teeth's smooth surfaces, they frequently are unable to reach all of the crevices in the back teeth to do so. By “sealing out” plaque and food, sealants shield these exposed areas from tooth decay.