Sealants are often recommended to young children to help prevent cavities. A sealant is a plastic material used to cover the surface of a tooth to help fill in the grooves. They are considered preventative care because the plastic seal prevents food from getting stuck in deep grooves and causing cavities. The reason they are more often recommended to children is to help protect their teeth right away.
However, sealants are also highly recommended for adults who do not have them on their molars. If you're prone to getting cavities, sealants are a great way to help reduce that risk. The biggest downfall to getting sealants later on in life, is the fact that insurances typically will not cover them if you are over the age of 14, but they are an inexpensive procedure. It is more cost effective to seal your teeth now, than pay for a filling down the road.
Sealants are a pain-free procedure and are applied to the teeth very quickly. Below is an image of how the Doctor or hygienist applies the sealant.
Once the sealant is placed, it can usually last for a few years, some people several years. It is important to remember, however, sealants do not stop teeth from decaying, it helps prevent decay. It is still very important to brush two times a day and floss at least once a day. Next time you're in, ask the Doctor or Hygienist if you have any teeth that they would recommend a sealant on, your teeth are worth it!