When the dentist examines your child’s teeth, he will look for pits and fissures in the back teeth. The dentist will then advise you which teeth, if any, would benefit from an application of sealant.
Fissure sealants are plastic coatings that are painted on to the grooves of the back teeth.
The sealant forms a protective layer that keeps food and bacteria from getting stuck in the tiny grooves in the teeth and causing decay.
The process is usually quick and easy taking only a few minutes per tooth.
The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special solution, and dried.
The sealant is then applied and allowed to set hard – usually by shining a blue light onto it.
How long do fissure sealants last?
Sealants usually last for many years, but need to be checked regularly to make sure that the seal is intact. It can wear over time, and sometimes needs to be added to or replaced to be sure that no decay can start underneath it.
When are sealants applied?
Sealants are normally applied as soon as the first adult teeth appear, usually around the age of 6 or 7. The others are sealed as they appear, which is normally between the ages of 11 and 14.
Your children should still brush their teeth as normal, ensuring that they stay clean and healthy. The sealant should greatly reduce the risk of tooth decay and the need for fillings in your child’s teeth.