Dental Sealants: All Your Questions Answered

Dental Sealants: All Your Questions Answered

Apr 01, 2020

According to the American Dental Association, dental sealants are safe and ideal for children as they prevent dental cavities and also preserve their teeth.

Children are prone to dental cavities; four out of every five kids have had dental decay. Not only because their teeth are still developing and aren’t as strong, but also because of poor dental hygiene. Let’s face it, no matter how well you teach your children how to brush, they will still leave a few teeth, especially the back ones, untouched. While there are several ways you can prevent dental cavities, dental sealants have proven to be among the best. But, what are sealants, and how do they work? Keep reading to learn more.

1. Does My Child Need Dental Sealants?

It is not a mandatory dental procedure, but it is highly recommended by the Center for Diseases Control as well as the American Dental Association.

Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are painted on the teeth (mostly molars) to protect them from decay. Most molars accumulate food particles and if not cleaned properly, provide a perfect environment for the bacteria to grow and cause decay.

2. How Effective Are the Sealants?

The Center for Diseases Control reports that that sealants can prevent dental cavities by 80 percent in the first year of application. The effectiveness of the sealants reduces to about 55 percent within four years because of wear and tear, but they are still effective in preventing cavities. Furthermore, children who don’t have sealants are twice more likely to develop dental decay.

3. How Are the Dental Sealants Applied?

The sealants are applied in one dental visit and since it is a painless process, anesthesia won’t be needed. The process involves a few steps:

  • The teeth will be cleaned off any plaques and tartar
  • Cotton or an absorbent material will be used to dry the teeth
  • The dentist will then apply an acid solution on the teeth edges to roughen them up to help the sealants bond properly.
  • After the acid is rinsed off, the sealant will be applied in liquid form and hardened with a special light

4. What About the Plastic in the Sealants; Isn’t Harmful?

The most used dental sealants are the resin-based sealants that contain BPA or Bisphenol A. BPA is believed to impair several body functions such as the thyroid and nervous system. However, according to both the CDC and ADA, the BPA content in sealants is too minimal to cause any harm. Did you know breathing air exposes to more BPA (100 more times) than sealants?

But if you are worried about the BPA, you can choose the Glass Isomer Sealants (GIC). They don’t have BPA but are less effective in protecting the teeth as the resin ones. Speak to our dentist about your options if you are considering to get dental sealants in Highland Village, TX.

5. What’s the Longevity of the Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are recommended for children and teenagers because they can last between five and ten years. Moreover, this the time when the teeth and jaw fully develop and protecting them is paramount.

Dental sealants will wear and tear eventually and they may need to be replaced. Keep in mind, when the sealants crack, they will provide a perfect environment for bacteria to fester thereby affecting the very teeth you want to protect.

We advise you to get a regular pediatric dental checkup for the dentist to check the wear and tear of sealants.

6. Can The Children Still Use Sealants into Adulthood?

As aforementioned, dental sealants have a shell life of between five to ten years. Therefore, the sealants will come off by the time the child turns 18 years. Whether or not they can get the sealants, is something the dentist can advise on, although adults can still wear them.

Take Away

Dental sealants can protect your child’s teeth. However, they are not a replacement for proper dental hygiene. You still need to get the fluoride treatment to strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities. A dental checkup every six months is advised as we will offer professional cleaning and exam.

If you are looking for dental sealants in Highland Village, contact us or visit Campbell & Williams Family Dental for discussion on the process and the sealant options available.