What are dental sealants, who should get them, and how long do they last?

Sealants are a thin coating painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth to prevent tooth decay. The painted on sealant quickly bonds into grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel. Dental sealants are beneficial for all ages! Ideally, children should have sealants done on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as they come in. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.Typically, sealants can last up to 10 years, but they need to be checked for signs of wear at your dental check-ups. Your dental hygienist can replace sealants as necessary. Keep in mind that it is still possible for decay to get under a sealant that wears out, so it’s important to have regular x-rays taken to help your dentist examine these areas.