A lot of us remember getting sealants as a child, but what are these so called sealants and why are they commonly recommended by dentists?
Sealants are thin, plastic coatings that flow over and seal off the grooves on the tops of your teeth, primarily your back teeth (molars and premolars). They are great at decreasing your risk to develop a cavity since these teeth tend to have the deepest grooves and pits which are naturally more prone to getting tooth decay. No matter how hard you try your toothbrush bristles can’t clean out these grooves and pits completely.
Ideally we recommend children get sealants when their permanent molars come in since they are most prone to cavities between the ages of 6 and 14. The sealants act as a protective coating that will shield your enamel from bacterial (aka: sugar bug) breakdown (ie: a cavity). Children, however, are not the only patients we recommend get sealants. In certain situations sealants are a great option for adults, especially those with really deep grooves or pits in their teeth.
Hopefully, the mystical world of sealants has been uncovered for you and now you know why we recommend them! It’s important to have them checked at each hygiene visit to ensure they are still adhered to your teeth.