Sealants protect teeth against decay and cavities and are commonly used to protect the molars. Molars are more vulnerable to cavities and decay for two reasons. First, molars are used in the chewing process, which means they are constantly exposed to food mixed with saliva, Second, they are the teeth that are most difficult to reach and therefore, most difficult to clean.
Molars begin to come in when a child is between the ages of 5 and 7, with a second set coming in between the ages of 11 and 14. It is best to have a sealant treatment when the molars first come in to ensure they are protected.
A sealant treatment begins when an adhesive is applied to the teeth. The sealant is then spread over the adhesive as a liquid, much the way paint is spread over a wall. The liquid hardens, creating a barrier between your tooth and any plaque, food particles or bacteria that might collect. Sealants last for about 10 years and can be reapplied if necessary.