What Are Sealants?
Sealants are used most commonly on the permanent back teeth (premolars and molars), and they are the most effective way to prevent tooth decay in both adults and children. Sealants are thin, protective plastic coatings that get painted on the chewing (occlusal) surfaces of the existing molars and form to those surfaces to fill in the cracks (fissures) and holes thus providing a barrier from food, debris and bacteria. These fissures are often deep and difficult to clean as they can be narrower than the single bristle of a toothbrush. Without protection, the plaque may become lodged in the grooves of the chewing teeth. The acid from the bacteria attacks the enamel causing decay and, eventually, cavities.