Sealants are a thin plastic coating that prevent 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 for children, and it’s recommended that they have sealants applied to their back teeth as soon as their adult molars appear.

As effective as sealants are, they don’t take the place of good at-home preventative dental care. Children 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 the teeth. Rinsing after brushing with an anticavity mouthwash helps to further prevent cavities.

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