The sealant forms a protective layer that keeps food and bacteria from getting stuck in the tiny grooves in the teeth and causing decay. Resin-based fissure sealants should be applied to the permanent molars of all children as early after eruption as possible.
The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special solution, and dried. The sealant is then applied and allowed to set hard – usually by shining a blue light onto it.
Sealants usually last for many years, but needs to be checked regularly to make sure that the seal is intact. It can wear over time, and sometimes needs to be added to or replaced to be sure that no decay can start underneath it.
IResearch shows that fluoride varnish is highly effective at reducing tooth decay if it is applied twice a year. Fluoride varnish should be applied at least twice yearly in all children.
It provides extra protection against tooth decay when used in addition to brushing, and is usually applied on examination appointments or at oral hygiene reviews.
The risks from varnish application are small, however if your child swallows toothpaste regularly do let us know.