Will your child benefit from dental sealants?
What if we told you that there is a way to cut your children’s risk of tooth decay by 80 percent?
Luckily, it’s true! Dental sealants added to young teeth are shown to help decrease molar decay by 80 percent.
While it’s true that thoroughly brushing and flossing is the best thing your children can do for their teeth, it doesn’t catch everything. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says that “school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants.”
The good news is that adding sealants is both fast and painless — for you and your children.
What Are Dental Sealants?
The American Dental Association says that dental sealants are like “raincoats for your teeth.”
They’re right, but we like to think of sealants as strong force fields designed to keep cavity-causing acid and bacteria from invading your children’s chompers. The whole process is quick and painless: First, the dentist cleans and dries your child’s tooth and then adds an acidic gel to help the sealant stick. Then, he “paints” on the liquid gel and sets it with a blue light.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says that “school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants.
Why Do Kids Need Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants give kids an extra weapon against tooth decay, especially on the chewing surfaces of the back molars, because fluoride and toothpaste can only do so much.
Children are more likely to have teeth with small pits and grooves that bacteria and the acids from foods and drinks like to stick to. Over time, this bacteria causes decay and leads to cavities — and more trips to the dentist.
This doesn’t mean kids can stop taking care of their teeth, though. Dental sealants, brushing and fluoride are all tools kids need in their arsenals to maintain healthy, cavity-free teeth.
When to Get Dental Sealants
You should make an appointment for your children when their first permanent molars start coming in, anywhere between five and seven years old. They should get another application when their “12 year” molars break through somewhere between the ages of 11 and 14.
The protection can also be added to other teeth prone to decay — and it can even be applied to teeth that already show signs of decay. The sealant acts as a barrier to keep it from spreading.
While children are the best candidates for sealants, baby teeth can also benefit, too, especially if they’re showing signs of decay. Teens and young adults with teeth prone to decay can also opt for dental sealants to help ward off more problems.
Are Dental Sealants Safe?
Dental sealants have been around since the 1960s, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and are safe for the vast majority of people. The only problem that might come up is a minor allergic reaction.
It’s important to note that the liquid gel applied to teeth does contain trace amounts of the chemical BPA, according to the ADA. However, it’s not anywhere close to enough to pose any risk to your children’s health. Your children get more exposure to BPA from your makeup or even store receipts than from dental sealants.
Insurance Usually Covers Dental Sealants
Many — but not all — dental insurance companies cover dental sealants, but check with your insurer to be sure.
Paying cash for the treatments is also an option and can possibly save you from costly and time-consuming dental visits later to have your children’s cavities filled.
And think about adding sealants to your teeth, too: They work best when they’re added to kids’ teeth, but adult teeth can also benefit from a bit of extra protection.
Contact us at TruFamily Dental to make an appointment today.
Posted In: Pediatric Dental Care