Sealants are a liquid coating a dentist applies to protect the pits and fissures of back teeth, particularly molars. The uneven terrain of those teeth makes them vulnerable to the development of cavities.
The procedure is perfectly painless—no needles and no drilling. The dentist or dental hygienist will surround the teeth he or she is working on with cotton rolls and dry the tooth. The dentist will then apply a dilute acid liquid or gel that is used to etch slightly into the enamel. Over the etched area the dentist will apply a liquid plastic that will seep into the etched surface, attach to the enamel and harden. Sealants harden by being exposed to light for a few seconds. The resulting seal prevents bacteria from getting into the protected pit or fissure. Talk with your dentist about whether you or your children might be candidates for sealants.
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