The chewing surfaces of most molars have deep grooves and fissures that easily trap food and bacteria.  As soon as the teeth have erupted in the mouth, a dental sealant can be placed to keep this debris out.  Sealants can be a very effective means of protecting a child’s teeth through childhood and adolescence, a time when oral hygiene is most likely to be neglected.  Typically, sealants are only used on the molars, but they may be used on premolars and even some incisors.  The first permanent molars appear in the mouth around age six and the second permanent molars erupt around age 12 so be sure to ask about sealants if your child is of age.