Permanent molars start to appear in children around age six. When this happens, you may notice that your child’s back teeth have deep grooves. These grooves and furrows tend to accumulate food debris. They may be hard to clean, making molars especially susceptible to tooth decay.
Our pediatric dentist may recommend applying a sealant to your child’s molars to prevent decay and cavities. Dental sealants are thin coatings that can protect a molar’s chewing surfaces.
A sealant procedure includes the following simple steps:
- Cleaning the teeth to remove all germs and food particles
- Prepping the chewing surface with a special gel
- Drying the teeth and applying liquid dental sealant
The sealants will set within a few minutes, after which your child can eat and drink as usual. The clear or white material of the sealants makes them almost invisible. Your child may feel a slight difference in their bite immediately after the procedure, but the bite should adjust within a few days.
Dental sealants can last between five and ten years. If they wear out over time, your dentist will spot it during one of your child’s regular office visits and may recommend a touch-up.