Teeth develop from four or five lobes or parts. These lobes fuse together to form the tooth and where these lobes come together, grooves and pits are formed. These grooves and pits can be deep and difficult to clean. Therefore, they are a perfect place for sugar to sit and bacteria to start cavities.
Fortunately, these grooves can be filled in before they decay with dental sealants! Sealants are made of a white material that when applied to a tooth, flow into the deep pits and grooves. They are hardened by a blue light and can be chewed on right away.
Permanent teeth erupt from ages 5-13 and sealants should be applied soon after the tooth is fully exposed before a cavity has had the chance to form. If a child is not cooperative due to age or the teeth being treated cannot be kept very dry, it is best to not apply the sealant. Since sealants are a preventive treatment, dental insurance companies usually cover most or all of the cost associated with the care.