A dental sealant (also called a pit and fissure sealant) is a plastic, professionally-applied material that is put on the chewing surfaces of back teeth to prevent cavities. Sealants provide a physical barrier so that cavity-causing bacteria cannot invade the pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth.
The potential to develop pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates. But some adults at high risk of decay can benefit from sealants as well
Do dental sealants replace fluoride?
No. Fluorides, such as those used in community water, toothpaste, gels, varnish, and mouthrinse also help to prevent decay. Fluoride works best on the smooth surfaces of teeth. The chewing surfaces on the back teeth, however, have tiny grooves where decay often begins. Sealants keep cavity-causing bacteria out of the grooves by covering them with a safe plastic coating. Sealants and fluorides work together to prevent tooth decay.