A Parents Guide to Dental Sealants for Kids
Hi, parents! You might have heard the term dental sealant and how it can protect your kids’ teeth. Even then, you might still not be sure what it actually is, how it works, and if it is safe at all. Don’t worry. This guide will help you understand all about it.
Dental sealant is a protective layer of resin painted on the surface of the premolar and molar teeth. It prevents your teeth from decaying due to bacteria growing in your mouth. Because of the natural shape of our premolar and molar teeth, some areas are hard to reach with a toothbrush. So often, food debris gets stuck on them, resulting in the accumulation of cavities-causing bacteria. Plus, if you don't brush and floss regularly and in the right way, the likelihood for cavities to happen is even higher.
Not so shockingly, cavities are most likely to occur in children aged 5 to 17. Based on the 1000-parent-wide survey conducted by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in 2014, approximately 60% of children aged five and up in the US will have had at least one tooth cavity or any form of tooth decay.
Who do we recommend to get dental sealants?
Dental sealants can be beneficial for anyone in any age group. Some children might be more prone to cavities than others. When visiting our office, Dr. Dina will make an assessment of the condition of your kid’s teeth. Our office would recommend dental sealants application to our tiny patients who match one of the following conditions.
Patients who are susceptible to or have a history of tooth decay.
Patients who have prominent pits (the top curves of your molars) and fissures (the side curves of your molars).
Patients whose enamel is defective.
Patients who have plaque issues.
Patients with teeth braces.
What are the benefits?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention), dental sealants gave 80% protection against cavities for two years since application. For the next four years, dental sealants can reduce the risk of tooth decay by 50%. Applying sealants will prevent your kids from having serious dental problems that might require more complex solutions. The process is easy, fast, not invasive, and you can get them during regular dentist visits. Not to mention, the price for dental sealants is way more economical than that of tooth fillers and is often covered by dental insurance.
When is the best time for my kids to get them?
As mentioned earlier, the children's age group is the largest demographic that experiences tooth decay/cavities. We recommend applying dental sealants on children aged five to twelve, right when their permanent premolar and molar teeth fully erupt.
My kid still has baby teeth. Is it worth it to seal them?
Well, if your child has a decayed baby tooth and has been diagnosed as vulnerable to more cavities, we would advise applying the tooth sealants. Whether on a primary or a permanent tooth, a tooth cavity can be very annoying for everyone. It can cause discomfort while eating and thus loss of appetite. In addition, it can make your kids lose focus while doing their daily activities.
Giving baby teeth a protective layer will help reduce the anticipation as a parent that one day your child might wake up in pain. It also prevents the necessity of getting a tooth filler and restoration that could be a more expensive and intrusive procedure, depending on the case.
How does the dental sealant procedure work?
Dental sealant procedures have been around in the dentistry world for 30 years. The process is straightforward, quick, painless, and follows these four simple steps.
Cleaning the tooth/teeth from plaque and food debris, followed by drying.
Applying acidic gel to the teeth surface, rinsing off the gel, and drying the teeth. The gel will help the sealant adhere to the teeth properly.
Brushing the sealant resin carefully onto the prepared teeth surface.
Hardening the sealant for thirty seconds with a special blue light.
After the procedure, dental sealants can last for years and can be reapplied afterward when necessary. You need to bring your kid to our clinic for regular check-ups since the sealant can gradually deteriorate. Although the sealants will protect the teeth from cavity formation, it is important to teach your little ones how to properly brush their teeth. You might want to consider investing in electric toothbrushes. With their motorized circular motion, your kids can have a better chance of cleaning their teeth thoroughly. On top of that, flossing and regular dentist visits are essential to maintain your kid’s overall oral hygiene.
Is it safe for my kids?
Of course, as parents, you might wonder whether dental sealant could be toxic for your children. Be rest assured. Dental sealant application is one of the safest, most effective measures you can take to protect your children’s teeth. At Urbana Pediatric Dentistry, we guarantee that our dental sealant is made of high-quality, toxic-free, and BPA-free material. Without any harmful chemicals, dental sealants have been approved as safe for pediatric and general use by the ADA (American Dental Association) and the FDA (Food & Drug Administration). However, you should consult with your primary healthcare provider if your child has any health conditions which could trigger a rare allergy reaction to resins.
All in all, preventive measures are crucial to maintaining our little ones’ dental health. Feel free to make an appointment and have a consultation with one of our pediatric dental specialists, Dr. Dina Chehab. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry who focuses on giving the best treatment and the most enjoyable dental care experience for all infants, children, and adolescents. With her help and the team, Urbana Pediatric Dentistry is dedicated to providing excellent service to children and educating parents on how to take care of their babies’ pearly whites.
If you have any additional questions about your child's oral hygiene, please feel free to contact us at Urbana Pediatric Dentistry. To learn more about Urbana Pediatric Dentistry visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to Contact Us and follow us on social media on Instagram @urbanapediatricdentistry and Facebook @urbanapediatricdentistry.