The purpose of sealants is to literally seal off tooth enamel from potential sources of bacteria and decay. For the majority of the teeth, using good oral hygiene practices such as brushing twice per day and flossing daily are enough to keep tooth decay at bay. But in some areas of the mouth, specifically the back molars and premolars, there are too many little crevices and grooves where bacteria can collect and the floss and toothbrush cannot reach them.
Sealants prevent bacteria and food from entering into these areas, making them a useful tool in the fight against tooth decay. Our dentists often recommend that children in particular get sealants, though of course there are some adults who can also benefit from them as well. This is because children tend to have poor or inconsistent oral hygiene habits, especially between the ages of 6 and 14 years old. Putting sealants on a child’s teeth when their permanent premolars and molars first erupt is the best way to shield these new permanent teeth from becoming susceptible to decay and disease.