The biting surfaces of our molar teeth, be it the baby teeth or the adult ones, have many pits and fissures that tend to trap bacteria and food. These are particularly hard to clean as the teeth are erupting and this is when the tooth is in most danger of developing a cavity. Even if you brush these teeth thoroughly with your best fluoride toothpaste, your molar teeth can still be susceptible to decay. This is because the fissures or ‘valleys’ in the surface of the tooth are so narrow that not even the small bristles of your toothbrush can enter them. As a result, plaque accumulates in these fissures and this can eventually lead to tooth decay.

So, if brushing won’t work, what will? Fissure sealants are one way to prevent decay from developing in the fissures of the teeth. A sealant, as its name suggests, will seal off the vulnerable pits and fissures so the plaque cannot enter these areas to cause decay. This process also makes the surface of the tooth smoother and easier to clean, so your job of keeping the back teeth clean is much easier.

To apply the sealant, your dentist will first clean the surface of your tooth. They will then apply the sealant and let it flow (for a few seconds) into the pits and fissures. After that, the sealant will be ‘set’ using a light curing device. Finally, the set sealant will be polished so that it is very smooth and comfortable in your bite.

Sealant placement is non-invasive and totally pain-free. It does not require any anesthetic, nor removal of tooth structure and can take as little as five minutes per tooth. At The Dental Centre, we advise placement of sealants after the first permanent molars have erupted at around age six to eight, and when the second molars move into the mouth at around twelve to fourteen years of age.