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Twice daily brushing and daily flossing are the most effective ways to keep your teeth healthy. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, especially when it comes to the molars at the back of the mouth. Molars have a rough surface and nooks and crannies that can hide food particles and bacteria that can lead to decay.

Sealants provide an extra level of protection for hard-to-clean back teeth. A sealant is a thin coating, usually made of plastic or similar materials, that adheres to and protects the surface of the tooth. Sealants can help prevent or slow the progression of tooth decay.

Sealants can reduce the incidence of decay in molars by as much as 80 percent. This is especially crucial for school-aged children. According to the Centers for Disease Control, children with sealants have three times fewer cavities than those without sealants. The CDC estimates that only 43 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 11 have sealants.

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