Sealants are thin plastic coatings, commonly applied to the chewing surfaces of the back molars, as these surfaces are at most risk of decay. Sealants create a smooth surface over the fissured areas of the teeth, providing protection from decay by keeping food particles and germs out of the grooves of the teeth. Sealants are usually clear or white in color and are not readily visible. Sealants are most effective if applied soon after the molar has erupted, usually around 6 years of age for the first molars and 12 years for the second molars. Alongside fluoride and a healthy oral hygiene regiment, sealants can help prevent cavities in the adult teeth.
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