Dental Sealants are thin, plastic coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Germs in the mouth use the sugar in food to make acids that can create a cavity in the tooth over time. Sealants prevent these acids from penetrating the tooth. If a small cavity is accidentally covered by a sealant, the decay will not spread because it is sealed off from its food and germ supply. Even though dental sealants have been around since the 1960s, fewer than 25 percent of children in the United States have sealants on their teeth.
Getting sealants put on is simple and painless. Sealants are painted on as a liquid and quickly harden to form a shield over the tooth. Sealants can last up to 10 years, but should be checked regularly by a dental professional.