As a good parent, you teach your children the importance of brushing their teeth twice a day, flossing diligently, and using an alcohol-free mouthwash. Yet, even with all of this amazing oral health care, cavities can form more easily in molars with all of the pits and grooves for food and bacteria to sit in. The grooves in molars are highly susceptible to trapped sugars that even the best tooth brushers will not be able to get to.
This is why dental sealants for kids have become a game-changer in the dentist’s office. But parents want to know, what are sealants made of and are teeth sealants for children safe?
What are Pediatric Dental Sealants?
Dental sealant is a thin white or clear resin liquid coating that is brushed onto the tops and sides of your child’s back teeth to stop the early stages of decay from becoming a full-blown cavity. Sealants are made of the same type of materials that are used for white fillings. The sealant is applied to the back teeth using a small brush and then is bonded to the teeth by using a blue LED light. All of this is done without the use of anesthesia because it is not a painful procedure. What the patient is left with after the sealant has been administered is a hard coating of protection on their teeth.
Because it can be difficult to brush thoroughly enough to clean the crevices in molars, dental sealants form a protective shield so that plaque and food won’t settle into the tooth’s grooves.
The American Dental Association (ADA) says that “sealants are effective in preventing and arresting pit-and-fissure occlusal caries lesions of primary and permanent molars in children and adolescents compared to the non-use of sealants or use of fluoride varnishes; and sealants can minimize the progression of non-cavitated occlusal caries lesions (also referred to as initial lesions) of the tooth that received the sealant.”
Sealants for kids are most effective in preventing cavities when they are applied soon after permanent molars come in, around six years old. The ADA recommends dental sealants for kids can be used in early stages of a cavity to help stop decay.
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Are Dental Sealants Safe for Kids?
Sealants for kids teeth are considered an effective, non-invasive way to protect your child from cavities because they are bonded to the tooth and nothing gets inside the tooth, as a filling would. The best time to place sealants on baby teeth is shortly after they erupt into the mouth. Dental sealants are easy and painless to apply. The Super Dentists will check the dental sealants at each visit and let you know if a reapplication is needed. In the past, there was concern that sealants contain BPA, a plastic that is known to be harmful, but most modern sealants are BPA-free.
Dental sealants for kids are usually recommended because baby teeth are much softer than permanent teeth. A seal on teeth to prevent cavities in children and teenagers is especially beneficial if they are at risk for decay due to a poor diet or brushing habits. Even adults can benefit from the extra protection from dental sealants.
How Long Do Sealants Last For Children?
The CDC says that once applied, sealants for kids teeth protect against 80% of cavities for two years and continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to four years.
Many sealants have shown to work up to 10 years after placement. When a sealant falls off, it is usually because the tooth is not clean or dry as the sealant is applied, or because patients were not taking proper care of them. However, missing sealants are easy to replace. The Super Dentists will be sure to check on your child’s sealants at cleaning visits to make sure they are still in place.
Sealants for kids last two times longer if they have good oral hygiene and avoid certain foods.
Are There Certain Foods That My Child Should Avoid After Getting Sealants?
Your child does not need to wait to eat after getting sealants. Hungry kids are not happy kids! But there are foods that are good to avoid after getting sealants. Avoid the following foods:
- Jawbreakers and hard candy
- Caramel and toffee
Research shows that sealants reduce the risk of decay in molars by nearly 80 percent. Teeth sealants for children are safe and will help prevent cavities. Ask The Super Dentists if dental sealants are recommended for you and your kids. Remember, even if you and your children have dental sealants, it is still necessary to brush and floss twice a day. Schedule an appointment today by calling 1-855-GO SUPER