Sealants are a clear, acrylic-like material that helps shield decay-causing bacteria from the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. It is recommended that sealants be placed on the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) as soon as they appear. As a child's most cavity-prone years continue until the mid-teens, Dr. Emery might also recommend that sealants be placed on the premolars and second molars when they erupt (generally between the ages of ten and twelve). While sealants are by no means a cure-all in preventing all forms of tooth decay, they are helpful to patients – particularly children – in controlling decay on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant material bonds to the chewing surface of the back teeth, forming a protective barrier coving the pits and fissures (depressions and grooves). Depending upon the child's chewing pattern, the sealant effect can last for a number of years. At recall appointments, the tooth will be checked to make sure the sealant material is intact. Our goal is to help preserve your child's smile throughout their lifetime, and sealants help make that possible.