sealantPit and fissure sealants are used to seal the deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. These surfaces require sealing because the germs that cause cavities find their way to the bottom of the grooves and decay begins. These bacteria cannot be removed properly by tooth brushing because the grooves are so narrow and deep. When the tooth is sealed, the bacteria cannot enter the groove and decay cannot begin.

Here are some facts about pit and fissure sealants.

  1. You and your child will probably not be able to tell if a sealant falls off. This is usually discovered at a check-up appointment.
  2. If a portion of a sealant falls off, chewing surface decay can begin where that portion of sealant has been lost.
  3. If a portion of a sealant falls off before decay begins, the tooth can be resealed.
  4. Sealants do not cover the cheek-side, tongue-side or between the teeth. Cavities can still start on these surfaces even though the chewing surface is protected. These surfaces require brushing and flossing to protect them.

For more on sealants, read this helpful information from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.