While daily brushing and flossing are important for keeping your child’s teeth clean, it can be challenging to get your child’s teeth cleaned perfectly. Your child’s molars, which are the back teeth that are used to chew food, can be difficult to clean. They can trap food particles and bacteria making them susceptible to developing cavities. According to the CDC 9/10 cavities occur in the permanent molars. These pits and grooves are easily “sealed off”, with sealants.
Dental sealants are white-colored coatings designed to protect children’s teeth from cavities. Sealants are applied on the biting surface of the molars. Once hardened, they become a solid barrier that helps keep bacteria and food out of the molars’ difficult-to-clean crevices.
Dental sealants reduce the likelihood of cavities developing in the back teeth. Sealants are said to reduce the chance of developing cavities in permanent molars by 80% over two years. They can also protect against 50% decay in permanent molars for as much as four years.
Protecting your child’s teeth against decay from the beginning with dental sealants will help you avoid more expensive and invasive dental procedures such as crowns and fillings later on.
The Pediatric Dental Studio can apply sealants during your child’s regular dental appointment. The entire process takes just a few moments per tooth and is painless.
After cleaning the tooth and drying it, we will insert a soft, comfortable mouthpiece into the mouth of your child. The special gel will be applied to the tooth. We will allow the tooth to rest for a few seconds so that the biting surface becomes slightly rougher. The sealant will adhere better to a slightly rougher surface. Next, we will clean the tooth and dry it again. Then we will simply paint the sealant onto its biting surface. The sealant will be hardened by a special light. Finally, the sealant will be sprayed to clean it.
Children’s first permanent molars usually appear around the age of six. The second permanent molars are often found around the age of twelve. The American Dental Association as well as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health recommend sealing permanent molars right away. This will help prevent cavities from occurring.
Sometimes, it is a good idea to also seal any teeth with pits/grooves, especially primary or “baby” teeth that have deep grooves and pits.
Dental sealants for children can last up to a decade, depending on how well your child takes care of their teeth. Your child’s dentist can check the condition and wear of any existing sealants at regular dental appointments. If sealants have become chipped or worn, the dentist can apply them again.
BPA can be found in sealants. Studies have shown that BPA exposure from dental sealants is very low and does not pose a health risk. According to the American Dental Association’s estimates, people are exposed to 100 times more BPA from simply breathing in the air than dental sealants. The American Dental Association and CDC both agree that dental sealing is safe and that there are many benefits to them.
Naturally, we know that parents want to minimize their children’s exposure. When applying sealants, The Pediatric Dental Studio takes several steps to minimize your child’s exposure to BPA. It has been proven that dental patients who have received sealants from The Pediatric Dental Studio are protected from BPA by securing the tooth, applying the sealant material with the special curing light, and then rinsing off the sealant.
You might be concerned about BPA. Glass ionomer sealing agents are an alternative to traditional dental sealants that are BPA-free. Dr. Rose will be able to discuss the pros and cons of glass ionomer sealants with your child and recommend the best type for them.