Proactive parents everywhere wonder what they can do to improve their children’s dental health. While a careful focus on oral hygiene and regular checkups are crucial, they may not always be enough, which is why dental sealants are a great way to protect your little one from dental decay.
Dental sealants consist of a clear plastic coating that is applied to the teeth to protect them from plaque, tartar, and bacteria. The sealant material is completely safe for children of all ages. Although there are several types of sealants available, most modern varieties are designed with slow-release fluoride that works to strengthen your child’s teeth.
Benefits of Dental Sealants
Dental sealants have been shown to be highly effective in the fight against oral decay, reducing the risk of cavities by as much as 80%. Also, sealants have an incredibly long lifespan, lasting as long as ten years. This means that by having sealants, your child could avoid 8 out of every 10 potential cavities well into adulthood.
SMOOTH DENTAL SERVICES
Dental sealants also help to create a smoother dental surface, since the material fills in and evens out the hills and valleys that naturally make up the surfaces of the molars. In addition to minimizing instances of pit-and-fissure cavities, dental sealants also make it easier for your child to brush and floss effectively.
Although parents often expect such an effective preventive treatment to be expensive, dental sealants are incredibly affordable and are usually covered by normal dental insurance, making it easy to protect your children’s teeth without breaking the bank.
AVOID ADDITIONAL DENTAL WORK
One of the most powerful benefits of dental sealants is that they can help your child to avoid future dental work, which also saves you money. Avoiding 80% of fillings throughout the lifespan of your child’s dental sealants could save you and them hundreds of dollars.
Common Misconceptions About Dental Sealants
Although dental sealants themselves don’t contain BPA, some varieties have ingredients that turn into BPA as soon as they come in contact with a child’s natural saliva. Although there has been much controversy surrounding BPA, the American Dental Association has deemed dental sealants completely safe, and highly recommends sealants to protect your child’s teeth. In fact, the ADA explains that children are exposed to more BPA through normal eating and breathing than they are when receiving dental sealants. For example, children are exposed to about .09 ng of BPA or 0.001% of their overall exposure when receiving dental sealants, while food and drink expose kids to about 5800 ng, or about 94% of their total exposure. For this reason, dental sealants are still considered completely safe.
Also, sealants aren’t just for children, although we usually like to apply them as soon as your child’s permanent molars erupt. They can also be extremely helpful for adults, and we recommend making sure your dental sealants are up to date.
What You Should Expect
Clark Family Dental understands that children can sometimes be apprehensive about dental care, which is why we will do everything in our power to make sure that your little one is happy and relaxed before the treatment begins. Fortunately, receiving dental sealants is straightforward and completely painless. Your child will not need to receive any form of anesthetic before sealants are applied.
After the teeth are cleaned and dried, a compound called “etch” is applied to the teeth to improve the adherence between the sealant and your child’s dental surface. Next, the teeth are rinsed and dried, and the sealant material is carefully painted onto the teeth. The sealant bonds to the teeth, providing instant protection from food grime and bacteria. After the sealant cures, your child will be ready to go!