What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are generally placed on the chewing surface of the permanent back teeth — the molars and premolars — to help protect them from decay. The chewing surfaces of the molar and premolar teeth have grooves that make them particularly vulnerable to decay. These grooves can be deep, difficult to clean, and can narrower than even a single bristle of a toothbrush. Plaque can accumulate in these areas leading to bacteria and acid which can cause cavities to develop. Fluoride helps prevent decay and helps protect all the surfaces of the teeth but dental sealants provide extra protection for the grooved and pitted areas by providing a smooth surface covering over the fissured area.
Can dental sealants be placed on the teeth of adults?
Yes, of course! Though sealants are typically placed on the teeth of children upon eruption, dental sealants may be placed in adults as well. Adults can choose to place them at any point to better protect their teeth. Regardless of age, everyone is susceptible to tooth decay and decrease the occurrence of decay in anyone who chooses to receive them. Ultimately, dental sealants are a great form of preventive maintenance. Spending a little money upfront (less than $60) ensures neglected areas won’t result in costly dental procedures down the road. Please be aware, sealants aren’t permanent; they’ll need to be reapplied every 10 years.