A sealant is a clear or shaded plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth (premolars and molars), where four out of five cavities in children are found. This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque and acid, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth.
Sealants are an excellent way to protect chewing surfaces of teeth from decay. They are a much better financial investment than treating decay after it has started. The main disadvantage is that sealants are not permanent. They generally last about five years with normal wear, but can wear off earlier in certain instances. They act similar to tires on a car, they wear off with use.
Sealants are re-evaluated at every check up. Also, sealants do not prevent decay between teeth or the onset of gum disease, so regular home care and dental visits are important.