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A dental sealant is a thin film coating that is applied to the pits and grooves of the molars. This sealant forms a physical barrier that seals out the bacteria and food that may cause tooth decay. Once properly applied, it is effective in preventing tooth decay. Sealants are an inexpensive but effective way to help maintain dental health. The protection that it provides may last for many years if cared for properly.
Most dentists recommend sealants for children with new permanent teeth and to prevent future dental decays on those teeth. The procedure may take less than an hour for the entire back teeth but only a few minutes for one to two teeth. For smaller children, it may require a few sessions to complete sealing out the entire portion of the back teeth since they are often unable to sit still for a long period of time.
Fluoride therapy helps strengthen the teeth by giving it the minerals that it needs. This is particularly helpful in cases where the tooth has already weakened areas so that fluoride minerals bonds to the enamel and makes it much stronger. It also disrupts the production of acid in the mouth thereby inhibiting the process that results in tooth decay.