Why should my child get sealants?
Many parents are concerned about their children getting cavities. They follow the recommendations for regular visits to the dentist and encourage their children to brush properly and floss their teeth. While thorough brushing and flossing will help to remove food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of teeth, toothbrushes may not be able to reach into the deep grooves and depressions. You may be wondering…why should my child get sealants? Tooth Fairy Smiles has the answer to that and many other questions concerning sealants.
Why consider sealants?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), it is recommended that when your child’s 6 Year Molars erupt they are sealed. Sealants serve as a barrier to prevent cavities. The are typically applied to the chewing surface of the back teeth (molars and premolars) where decay most often occurs. Sealants will protect these vulnerable teeth by sealing out plaque and food.
What are sealants?
Sealants are plastic resin bonds that are painted onto the teeth According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) studies have shown that sealants will reduce the occurrence of cavities within a year by up to 86 percent. Since sealants are made of plastic, there has been concern regarding the possibility of BPA in dental sealants. The ADA states that the benefits of cavity prevention outweigh the possibility of low-level exposure to BPA. Even so, if you are concerned, speak to your child’s dentist before the application, or ask about a BPA-free certified brand.
How are sealants applied?
Sealants are easily applied and take only minutes to seal each tooth. First the dentist will thoroughly clean the teeth. The chewing surfaces will be roughened up a bit with a solution to ensure a proper seal. The dentist will then paint the sealant on the tooth with bonds directly to the tooth. Sometimes a special curing light will help the sealant harden. The treatment is painless and will take anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes depending on how many teeth need to be sealed.
How long do sealants last?
As long as the sealant remains intact it can protect teeth for several years before a reapplication is necessary. During regular checkups, the dentist will check and monitor the condition of the sealants.
The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are definite candidates. There are other key ingredients in preventing tooth decay and maintaining a healthy mouth:
- Brush at least twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Eat a balanced diet with limited snacks.
- Visit the dentist regularly.
If you have any questions or concerns about whether or not your child should get sealants, contact us at Tooth Fairy Smiles. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can answer all your questions. Call us today to schedule a consultation.