(HealthDayNews) -- You can help prevent dental decay in your children's mouths by asking your dentist to apply an invisible plastic coating called a dental sealant to their teeth.
According to the American Dental Association, kids with sealants have 50 percent less tooth decay than kids without the protective coating.
Here's how it works: the dentist applies sealants to the chewing surface of back teeth, filling the tiny grooves and pits where bacteria often gather. If bacteria can't penetrate the tooth enamel, they can't multiply and cause decay.
Molars, the teeth that come in around ages 6 and 12, are at greatest risk of decay. So sealants are most effective if they're applied soon after the molars emerge.