The purpose of tooth sealants is simple. They provide extra protection for your teeth if you’re susceptible to cavities or if you’re unlikely to have adequate exposure to fluoride.
While the tooth sealant covers teeth like a blanket and protects them from plaque, the purpose of sealants is not to replace a consistent oral care routine of twice-daily toothbrushing and daily flossing. Brushing and flossing are still the best ways to remove plaque and help prevent tooth decay. Still, it can be difficult to remove all food particles from the depressions and grooves in the teeth—even for people who are diligent about dental care. Tooth sealants help protect these spots.
Tooth sealants are an option for all ages. Many dentists recommend sealants for children and teens because tooth decay in the pits and fissures of the teeth can begin early in life, but a dental sealant may prevent a tooth cavity in an adult’s mouth, too. If you have a reason to be especially concerned about tooth decay or if you have more than one tooth cavity, ask your dentist whether you can benefit from a sealant. Sealants usually last for several years before you need a reapplication, but you should still visit your dentist regularly for a professional cleaning and evaluation to ensure good oral health.