Sealants are a protective plastic coating applied to back teeth to prevent decay.
The chewing surfaces of back teeth have small grooves or fissures which often extend right down into the tooth itself. These fissures are very difficult to clean thoroughly and can trap food particles. Fissure sealants can seal off these grooves, preventing any food particles or bacteria from getting in.
- It's best to get advice from your dentist or dental therapist if your child would benefit from fissure sealing the permanent back molar teeth.
- It's best to get the molar teeth sealed as soon as they start to come through.
- The first molars usually come through between 6 and 7 years of age.
- If required the rest of the molars are usually sealed as soon as they appear which can be any time between 11 and 14 years.
The new sealed surface is easy to keep clean and healthy with regular brushing. Fissure sealants do not affect the normal chewing function of teeth. Though sealants can last for many years, your dentist will want to check them regularly to make sure the seal is till intact. They wear overtime, and sometimes it is necessary to add or replace some sealant to be sure no decay can start underneath them.