Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are painted on teeth, usually molars, to prevent food and germs from settling into tooth grooves, which causes decay. They commonly are applied to children’s teeth. Dental sealants are not visible and typically last five to 10 years. They should be used in addition to, not in replacement of, fluoride treatments and can be evaluated at regular dentist appointments. Application of dental sealants is a quick, painless process that will help protect against decay and cavities.