Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth. It is difficult for a toothbrush to get in between the small cracks and grooves on your child's teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Sealants give your teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities.
Dental sealants are plastic resins that bond and harden in the deep grooves on the tooth's surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing your child's teeth becomes easier and more effective.
Sealants are often applied to children's teeth after their permanent teeth have erupted as a preventive measure against tooth decay. However, in many cases it can also be beneficial to seal baby teeth depending on a patient's unique needs so your dentist will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.
Sealants typically last from three to five years, although it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact so if your child's sealants come off, let your dentist know, and schedule an appointment for their teeth to be resealed.