Sealants are a great way to protect against tooth decay. Tooth decay can often develop within the pits and grooves on the chewing surface of teeth. Even regular brushing can sometimes miss these tiny crevices. Sealants can be easily applied to these chewing surfaces to prevent the development of decay. A sealant is a thin, tooth- colored coating that is applied and bonded to the chewing surface of the tooth, filling in the tiny pits and crevices where bacteria and debris accumulate and cause decay. Sealants are widely popular and effective. Children are great candidates for preventative measures like sealants, because, in many cases, decay has not set in. It is recommended that sealants be placed shortly after the permanent molars come in. Permanent molars first come in at around 5-7 years of age, with a second set coming in between the ages of 11-14. It is best to have a sealant placed when the molars first come in to ensure they are protected early. Sealants usually need re-application every five to ten years.