Although some people are apprehensive about dental sealants, these plastic coatings are not as bad. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends these coatings as a preventive dental measure. Sealants are effective in preventing decay, especially in children.
According to the CDC, dental sealants can prevent 85 percent of cavities within the first year of application and 58 percent after four years. Furthermore, children who do not have dental sealants are twice more likely to develop dental cavities than those who do.
The dental sealants pros far outweigh the cons, and in this post, we list five of the benefits of sealants.
Children are at risk of developing dental cavities than adults because the enamel is still growing and is prone to bacterial attack. Additionally, children have poor brushing techniques and also consume too much sugar. These two affect the enamel and cause plaque to build up, leading to tooth decay.
We recommend dental sealants for children and adolescents. However, that does not mean adults cannot benefit too. Adults at risk of dental cavities, but have healthy teeth, and gums can get dental sealants.
The plastic coatings are applied on the back teeth because they are subject to constant chewing and tend to trap food particles.
Brushing and flossing are excellent preventive dental practices. However, they cannot always remove food particles from the back teeth. Failure to brush correctly increases the risk of bacterial growth and decay. Severe dental decay will cause the loss of teeth, which affects your child’s appearance and overall oral health.
Once the permanent teeth are removed, the process is irreversible. This means that your child will have missing teeth and gaps in between, which causes the dental structure to weaken. According to research, having missing teeth causes the alveolar bone to deteriorate. Furthermore, the nearby teeth will shift to fill in the available spaces causing the teeth to weaken.
Moreover, having missing teeth will cause your child to need cosmetic and orthodontic dental treatments later. Using dental sealants can help prevent all these.
We recommend having dental sealants when the last molar erupts at age 12. This is a crucial part because the jaw bone is still developing, and protecting the teeth will also preserve the bone.
Dental sealant application is pain-free, and anesthesia is not needed. However, for children with dental phobia, the dentist may recommend laughing gas sedation to relax and keep them calm. The procedure is non-invasive and is done in a few steps:
According to the CDC, dental sealants last for ten years with proper care. However, they need regular checkups to assess the wear and tear and prevent any cracks.
A common concern among parents is the Bisphenol A (BPA) levels in sealants (as they are made of plastic). However, the American Dental Association reports that the BPA levels are too minimal to cause any harm. BPA is believed to affect the nervous, thyroid, and immune function.
If you are worried about the plastic sealants, you can opt for the glass ionomer sealants.
Dental sealants are great but are effective if used with other preventive dental measures. It is essential to bring your child for a dental checkup and to clean every six months. Fluoride treatments are also recommended, but for children above six years.
Dental sealants can help prevent decay and preserve your child’s teeth and structure. Visit Family Dentistry of Central Connecticut for a discussion on dental sealants and the benefits.