are a varnish applied to children’s teeth to prevent decay developing in the deep grooves of the back molars. These grooves can be deep and narrow, making them difficult to clean effectively even with a child’s toothbrush.
To combat this, a pit and fissure sealant is applied to the back teeth to fill the grooves. Like a nail polish, it is applied as a sticky liquid that penetrates into the groove where the toothbrush bristles cannot reach. The sealant then sets hard after a few minutes. This fills the groove, creates a protective barrier against plaque and bacteria and makes it easier to clean.
Just as applying nail polish is painless, so too is the application of a fissure sealant. It takes about five minutes per tooth to apply.
The ideal time to have sealants applied is immediately following the eruption of the first permanent molars, around age six and then subsequently after the second permanent adult premolars come through, between the ages of eleven and thirteen. However, there may be occasions when baby molars require dental sealants if there is an indication of them developing tooth decay.