The American Dental Association recommends that dentists seal the chewing surfaces of 6-year molars, but less than 40% of dentists follow the guidelines, a Temple University study found. Resin-based sealants can reduce cavities, but if they are not applied properly, they can fail and promote decay, one expert says. Pediatric dentists are more likely than general dentists or hygienists to apply sealants to children's teeth.

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