Your molars and premolars are designed to help you chew your food and make it easier to swallow and digest. They do this by using the ridges on their chewing surfaces called cusps. However, the cusps can easily trap food debris, acid and tartar that can create cavities. To prevent this, our dentists may recommend dental sealants for your child or even for you. These sealants form a barrier between your tooth enamel and the substances that can damage them.

Who should get sealants?

  • Children should get sealants on their permanent molars as soon as the teeth come in — before decay attacks the teeth.
  • The first permanent molars — called “6 year molars” — come in between the ages of 5 and 7.
  • The second permanent molars — “12 year molars” — come in when a child is between 11 and 14 years old.
  • Other teeth with pits and grooves also might need to be sealed.
  • Teenagers and young adults who are prone to decay may also need sealants.

To place a sealant, our dentists will clean and dry your tooth. They will then use a very mild acidic solution to roughen the surface of your tooth and then apply the sealant. Once it has cured, it can protect your tooth for many years. Sealants work best the sooner they are applied, so they are usually used for children as soon as their permanent molars come in, although some adults can be good candidates as well. Keep in mind that the sealants only protect the chewing surfaces of your molars and premolars, so you will still need to keep up on your brushing and flossing. If you are interested in making an appointment for dental sealants in Fairfax, Virginia, with Dr. Elhady, Dr. Scimeca and associates, call Oakton Family Dentistry at 703-281-6201 today.