Want an easy, effective way to help your kids fight tooth decay? Consider dental sealants. These thin, plastic coatings are painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, covering them to keep out germs and food.

While fluoride in toothpaste and drinking water protects teeth’s smooth surfaces, the back teeth need extra protection because of their rough, uneven texture. Back teeth have grooves and pits where food and germs easily get stuck and toothbrush bristles don’t easily reach. (1)

Who should get sealants?

The potential for tooth decay begins early in life, which is why children and teenagers are the ideal candidates. Kids should get sealants on their permanent molars as soon as the teeth come in. Teenagers as well as adults who are prone to decay are also good candidates for sealants.

While sealants are helpful, the key to preventing tooth decay include:

  • Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss daily
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Visit your dentist regularly

1 - "Seal Out Tooth Decay" - National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research