Protecting teeth from cavities is an important part oral hygiene, and in many cases, good oral hygiene at home isn’t enough.
While regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing are strongly encouraged by the American Dental Association, there are still places that these methods can’t clear of bacteria.
Bacteria tend to collect in two main places: around the roots of teeth, and in the crevices atop them. The crevices on top of teeth are often completely normal, and they are used to grind food into more manageable sizes. The rough valleys in molars especially are havens for bacteria.
Because of how these valleys form in order to grind food, there are a lot of places where bacteria can gather that a toothbrush cannot go.
Sealants are most commonly used on the molars, which have a very rough surface. They can, however, be used on other teeth that have an abnormal valley or a change in shape somewhere.
The sealant is a harmless composite resin. The resin is very similar to plastic, but is BPA free.
Dental sealants are particularly useful in pediatric dentistry as they notably slow the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth for children.
Given the sheer number of junk foods, including sodas, candy, and chocolate, among others, it can be very easy to develop a cavity in a child’s tooth. Sealants help prevent cavities by filling in the areas of teeth most likely to get a cavity.