Dental sealants are used to protect the tooth from decay. They are thin plastic coatings applied to the grooves in the surface of the tooth to prevent plaque build up in areas not easily cleaned with a standard toothbrush. They are commonly used on the molars of young children and teens as these are the teeth most prone to cavities. It is recommended to seal the molars soon after they have erupted. The first molars appear around age 6 and the second molars appear and age 12.

Sealants are preferable to fillings as they are preventative and help maintain the tooth’s strength while fillings are only used after a cavity has formed and permanently weakened the tooth’s stucture