The purpose of dental sealants is to aid in the prevention of tooth decay and cavities and minimize your chance of developing more serious dental problems. They work by shielding against bacteria, plaque, food particles and acids from getting into the grooves of the teeth where it is hard to keep clean. Sealants can be either white or clear and are made of a thin, plastic coating. The procedure is quick, easy, and painless. First, we apply a special gel on the tooth surface, leave it on for 10-15 seconds, wash it off and dry off the tooth very well. Second, the sealant is applied to tooth and a bright curing light is used to help harden the sealant. Children and teenagers are great candidates for sealants, but adults can benefit from them as well. Children usually get their first molars around the age of 6 and their second molars around the age of 12. Sealing these teeth before a cavity can form is our recommendation. Although most patients practice adequate oral hygiene habits, the toothbrush bristles are not capable of reaching the bacteria and plaque located in the deep grooves of our teeth. With sealants applied to the teeth, the plaque and bacteria are unable to reach those deep grooves, keeping our teeth cavity free and clean. Sealants last about 5-10 years before they need reapplication. At every dental visit, we will examine the sealants to make sure they are intact. Remember, once decay forms, the tooth is permanently damaged! Following healthy habits of brushing, flossing, and diet will help prevent future dental problems.