Sealants protect against tooth decay Written by Pamela Snyder, RDH

A sealant is a is a protective coating that is placed on the chewing surface of your molars to help prevent cavities. Tooth decay often begins on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. These surfaces have pits and grooves which can trap plaque and bits of food. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that coats your teeth. Bacteria turn the sugar in foods you eat and drink into acids which can break down the outer layer of the teeth. This outer layer of the tooth is called enamel. These pits and grooves are very hard to keep clean and sometimes the toothbrush bristles can’t even reach. Sealants are not a substitute for cleaning your teeth every day…twice a day! A sealant is very easy to apply and takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth. Your tooth is clean and prepared with a special “shampoo”. The sealant is then placed on the tooth and then a special light is used to harden the sealant. Sealants are recommended for children and teenagers since tooth decay can start soon after teeth erupt. Sealants on permanent molars reduce the risk of cavities by 80%.

We look forward to discussing sealants at your next appointment!