What is a dental sealant?
A sealant is a coating of composite material applied to the enamel of teeth in areas vulnerable to cavities.
This can prevent cavities from developing and also catch decay that has begun and stop its advance.
The first permanent molars, which come in at around age six, are particularly susceptible to cavities because of the grooves on their surface. These grooves may vary in shape or depth. They can retain food particles and make cleaning quite difficult.
Factors to consider
In addition to performing an overall assessment of a child’s mouth, including its growth and the stage of development of teeth, dentists also evaluate the risk for cavities. This is determined, among other factors, by the quality of tooth enamel, the presence of grooves, the child’s dental hygiene and eating habits and the dental histories of both child and parents.
An effective treatment
Sealants provide long-term protection for teeth and help prevent cavities on treated surfaces during childhood and adolescence, when the risk for decay is at its highest.
Children should start going to the dentist early in life to make sure their oral development is properly monitored and to receive the appropriate dental care at the right time.