Can Dental Sealants Prevent My Kids’ Teeth From Tooth Decay?

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Dental sealants for kids

Teaching your child to floss and brush their teeth daily with fluoride toothpaste is important in preventing tooth decay and building good oral hygiene habits. However, the professional team at Rose Family Dentistry uses dental sealants, another safeguard method, to fight against cavities. Read on to learn more about dental sealants for kids, how they work, and if they’ll be the right option for your kids.

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are thin, protective coatings placed over the chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent tooth decay. They are the clear or white resin liquid your dentist paints on your kids’ premolars and molars. While dental sealants can help maintain dental health and prevent cavities, they’re not substitutes for daily oral health routines.

Are they really effective?

Yes! However, to learn about their effectiveness, you’ll need to understand how they work.

Take a moment to touch the molars and premolars in the back of your mouth with your tongue. Do you notice the pits and grooves around them? These “depressions” around your teeth can trap food particles and germs, making them a prominent site for tooth decay.

Regular dental care routines like flossing and brushing can help remove accumulated food particles and bacteria that cause cavity formation. However, these grooves are sometimes very narrow, making them more challenging to clean, especially for kids.

When not removed, the acids produced by the bacteria will eventually wear down the tooth enamel. That leads to gingivitis and tooth decay that creates tiny holes (known as cavities) in your child’s teeth.

Dental sealants work by coating the teeth and their depressions to provide an extra layer of protection. They make the teeth’s surfaces smooth to keep food and plaque out and make hard-to-brush areas easier to clean. They can also stop the progression of early stages of tooth decay into a full-blown dental issue.

How are dental sealants applied?

Before applying sealant, the dentist will clean and dry your child’s tooth, then roughen its surface with an acidic gel. This disinfects the tooth and makes it easier for the sealant to adhere to it. After a few seconds, the dentist will rinse the gel off, dry the tooth, and paint the plastic resin coatings on it.

Finally, the dentist uses a special LED blue light to dry and harden the sealant. This process is not invasive, so it is an easy, quick, and painless procedure.

How long do dental sealants last?

Dental sealants are designed to protect the teeth for a minimum of 3 – 5 years and can last up to 10 years. However, they may chip or wear over the years. So your dentist will check their condition and reapply them when required during your regular check-up visits.

What are dental sealants made of?

Dental sealants are plastic resins made for monomers derived from BPA, such as bis-DMA and bis-GMA. There have been some BPA and safety concerns (since they’re manufactured from BPA monomers). However, they do not contain BPA.

Some sealants contain compounds that react with saliva and turn into BPA. However, this amount of exposure is extremely low and cannot harm your child. Moreover, you can reduce the quantity even further by scrubbing and rinsing the sealants after applying them. This removes 88% – 95% of the compounds that can turn into BPA.

Are dental sealants for adults too?

We recommend children between 6 and 14 years of age get dental sealants. However, adults can receive them too and benefit from the protection they offer.

What other benefits do dental sealants for kids offer?

According to the American Dental Association, sealants lower your child’s risk of getting tooth decay by 80%. This early protection can help eliminate the need for invasive and expensive procedures like fillings, crowns, and tooth extraction. In fact, the U.S Centers for Disease Control noted that it could save up to $300 million in dental care costs around the country.

Oral health can directly impact a child’s school performance. Children with cavities tend to have problems sleeping and eating, affecting their performance and school attendance. While it’s a stretch to believe that sealants will improve your child’s performance in school, they have a direct impact on your child’s mental clarity and health. That means dental sealants are a simple way to avoid a major dental issue and set your child up for success.

The best pediatric dentistry and dental sealants in Graham, NC

At Rose Family Dentistry, we want to make sure you and your kids have fun maintaining your dental health for years to come. We offer affordable, high-quality services like cosmetic dentistry, preventative care, and dental sealants in Graham, NC, for children and adults.

Contact us or call our front desk at (336) 227-1187 today to learn more or schedule an exam for you or your child.

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