Sealants are a thin plastic coating that protects bacteria and food from lodging in the cracks and crevices of teeth, particularly the back teeth that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush and floss. This cavity prevention technique is especially effective with children, and it is recommended that they have sealants applied to their back teeth as soon as their adult molars appear.
As effective as sealants are, they do not take the place of good at-home preventative dental care. Both children and adults should brush and floss their teeth at least twice a day, ideally right after meals. The proper way to brush and floss teeth is to floss first and then brush, spending two to three minutes on your teeth. Rinsing after you brush with an anticavity mouthwash helps to further prevent cavities.