Just as preventive health screenings — such as a mammogram or even a yearly physical — are important because they can help uncover a health problem before it becomes serious and harder to treat, so, too, can dental sealants help ensure that decay and cavities don’t develop in the first place.
In this post, we’ll delve into how sealants for children work and whether doubts about their safety are valid.
Dr. Jerred Donald is a highly respected and knowledgeable dental expert who provides state-of-the-art treatment with a compassionate touch for the entire family. He and his team offer a wide range of dental services, from routine care and orthodontics to full mouth restoration, at their office in Cisco, Texas. You can feel confident about bringing your child in for a consultation about whether sealants are appropriate for them and when they should be administered.
Simply, a dental sealant is a very thin coating that’s applied to the back chewing surfaces of teeth, mostly premolars and molars. Teeth treated with sealants are well protected from decay, since the treatment makes them virtually impervious to the damage that bacteria and food cause.
Because of their effectiveness, sealants are generally recommended for Dr. Donald’s pediatric patients, since, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 6- to 11-year-old children who don’t receive sealant treatment are three times more likely to develop cavities on their first molars than their treated peers.
Research says that as soon as sealants are applied, they provide protection against an impressive 80% of cavities for a period of two years, and 50% of cavities for as long as four years.
Dental sealant treatment is a relatively quick and simple fix for smoothing the crevices and grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth that come into contact with food and drink, which can easily get trapped within them and fester, creating the perfect environment for decay.
The idea of getting sealant treatment should put both you and your child at ease, since it’s a completely painless and fast procedure we perform right here in our office.
Parents have voiced concerns about sealants because they contain bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical that’s in certain plastics. The amount is quite small, however, and doesn’t present a dangerous risk.
In fact, the American Dental Association has responded by reporting that no evidence exists that this negligible BPA exposure has led to health problems in pediatric patients.
We know that a big part of parenting involves doing the best for your child to protect their health, and rumors swirl about the safety of various health recommendations. Regarding sealants, you can rest assured that they’re not only safe for your child, but Dr. Donald also enthusiastically advocates them because of their powerful preventive properties.
In addition to helping to stop decay and cavities in their tracks, sealants save your child from future complicated and costly dental restoration procedures.
It’s important to remember, though, that sealants are just one tool in keeping your child’s teeth healthy. Good oral hygiene that includes daily brushing and flossing, as well as fluoride treatments when appropriate, are also critical.