dental sealants for kids
Sealants for Kids | Twinsburg
Flossing and brushing daily is one of your child’s best defenses against cavities. But teeth—especially back molars—have nooks and crannies that even the best brushers can miss. Dental sealants can offer help in these hard-to-clean spots. Dr. Rachel and Dr. Laura happily offer dental sealants to their patients at Great Beginnings Pediatric Dentistry!
How Do Dental Sealants Work?
A dental sealant is a thin, liquid resin coating applied to the biting surface of molars (those big, bumpy teeth at the back of the mouth) with a small brush. No drills or anesthetics are required, making it a non-invasive treatment! An LED light helps bond the sealant to the tooth as it dries it. Once placed, the sealant helps prevent cavities by sealing off all the cracks and crevices on the chewing surface of the tooth, so food particles and bacteria cannot settle in them.
How Effective are Dental Sealants?
According to the American Dental Association’s research, they are very effective at preventing tooth decay! Dental sealants prevent 80% of cavities for 2 years, and 50% of cavities for up to 4 years. They are most effective when applied to permanent molars when they first come in which is age 6 for first molars and age 12 for second molars. They can wear down and wear off after time, decreasing their effectiveness. Thus, keeping up with regular dental appointments is important, so your dentist can assess the condition of your child’s sealants and keep them as effective as possible.
Are Dental Sealants Safe for Children?
Absolutely! The application process, too, is quick, painless, and non-invasive. No anesthetics, needles, or drills are needed to apply them. Additionally, preventing decay, protects and maintains tooth integrity. Some worry about the trace amounts of BPA in sealants, but proper isolation and thorough rinsing techniques significantly reduce the trace amounts. Also, according to research by the ADA, your child is likely to have far more BPA exposure from drinking water from plastic bottles or from a canned foods like tuna than from a dental sealant.
Are Dental Sealants Right for My Child?
Sealants for kids can only be placed on healthy, cavity-free teeth. As a result, a pediatric dentist needs to evaluate the health and condition of your child’s molars in order to determine if sealants are appropriate. Likewise, the number of pits and grooves in your child’s teeth will need to be evaluated. Finally, best procedures require teeth be professionally cleaned before sealants can be placed to ensure that acids are not accidentally trapped under the sealant.
Dental sealants can be a helpful tool for children with special needs who struggle with brushing and flossing, too. Again, a dentist needs to assess your child’s current oral health first.
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