Sealants are a clear or white plastic that is placed in the grooves of the biting surfaces of back teeth to protect them from the destructive effects of plaque.
Why are sealants needed?
Back teeth have deep grooves and pits that are very difficult to keep clean. Plaque, which is a nearly invisible film of bacteria and food, collects in these grooves. To make the plaque easier to see, we may strain the plaque with a harmless red dye.
Every time you eat, the bacteria in plaque forms acid. Without sealants, these acid attacks can cause the enamel to break down, and you get a cavity.
How are sealants placed?
To place sealants, you usually don't even have to be numb. First, we thoroughly clean and dry the teeth, and a conditioning solution is applied. Then, the sealant material is brushed into the grooves. Some types of sealants harden on their own, while others harden when exposed to a special light.