The most common place to get caries or cavities are the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. They are called pre-molars and molar teeth. You can feel the depressions and grooves on these back teeth if you run your tongue along the chewing surface of the back teeth. These indentations, called pits and fissures, can easily collect food from chewing.
When you brush daily, the brush bristles may not reach the tiny grooves and fissures on the chewing surface and is a easy place for microscopic bacteria to develop. Normal brushing will help remove food particles and bacteria from the smooth surfaces of your teeth and will not be able to clean the pits and fissures properly. Because it is difficult to keep the chewing surfaces of your teeth clean, dentist may recommend dental sealants. Dental sealants are applied for the last 20 years safely and effectively.
Applying dental sealants is done in few minutes and cause minimal discomfort to the patient. First the teeth to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned and conditioned by your dentist. Then the sealant is applied to the chewing surface where it bonds with the enamel. A special curing light is used to harden the sealant. This will protect the chewing surface from decay, as long as the sealant stays intact. Normally the sealants would last few years and dentist will check during each visit, if it need any retreatment.
When it comes to your health, prevention is always better than treatment. Properly applied and maintained sealants are extremely helpful in preventing pit-and-fissure decay. They are highly cost effective as well.