Since the early 1970s, childhood dental caries on smooth tooth surfaces (those without pits and fissures) has declined markedly because of widespread exposure to fluorides. By 1986-1987, approximately 90 percent of the decay in children’s teeth occurred in tooth surfaces with pits and fissures, and almost two-thirds were found on the chewing surfaces alone. Dental sealants have been shown to prevent decay on tooth surfaces with pits and fissures. Sealants have been approved for use for many years and are recommended by professional health associations and public health agencies.