Dental sealants are a great option for parents looking to help protect their child’s teeth.

Many parents are always looking for ways to help improve their child’s health, and when it comes to their teeth, Dr. Jeff and his team are always willing to discuss the option of dental sealants as part of a child’s preventive treatment.

What is a dental sealant?

A dental sealant is a thin, protective coating that is adhered to the chewing surface of your child’s molars, or back teeth, to help protect those teeth from developing cavities. The sealant is often made from plastic or other dental materials and is not toxic in any way to your child.

Dentists usually recommend dental sealants for children whose molars have broken through, which normally happens around age 6. A child’s second set of molars comes in closer to age 12.

The process of applying the sealant is quick and painless. Dr. Jeff will clean and dry the tooth before placing an acidic gel on the teeth, which roughens up the tooth’s surface slightly to allow a stronger bond with the sealant. After a few seconds, he rinses the gel off, dries the tooth, and then applies the sealant to the chewing surface. A special blue light then cures the sealant—and that’s it!

With proper oral hygiene habits, a dental sealant can last a child years, but Dr. Jeff can always replace sealants in the future if needed.

Long-term benefits

While some parents may be unsure about having their child get dental sealants on their back teeth, the benefits are well worth their application.

The main benefit of a dental sealant is the protection of the teeth. The sealant helps to seal the tooth to prevent tooth decay from forming in any hard-to-reach pits and fissures. A dental sealant can lead to fewer cavities and less pain (and money!) down the road. Sometimes, a deep cavity can lead to a more intense procedure, like a root canal, to fix the problem—but a dental sealant, as well as good oral hygiene practices, can prevent that cavity from forming in the first place.

Are there downsides?

One reason parents are skeptical of dental sealants is because they sometimes contain trace amounts (not as an actual formula ingredient) of bisphenol A, also known as BPA, a chemical that is found in some plastics. Products that contain BPA have been linked to health problems in children. However, the American Dental Association confirmed that BPA is only present for a couple hours after the sealant is applied and poses no health risks or side effects for children. In fact, the amount of BPA a child is exposed to during a dental sealant treatment is far less than coming in contact with dust or using everyday items.

Statistically Proven To Work

Many parents might be leery of having dental sealants placed on their child’s teeth, but many dentists and physicians recommend dental sealants be used on children.

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control published a study on dental sealants where they found that school-age children who did not have dental sealants had three times more cavities in their molars than a child who did have dental sealants on their back teeth. The study also found that dental sealants can prevent up to 80% of cavities in molars, which is the most common place for children to get cavities.

Visit Dr. Jeff and his team.

While brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day are good oral health habits to have, if you’re looking for an extra layer of protection of your child’s teeth, dental sealants can help bolster the protection of their teeth and aid in preventing early tooth decay. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeff and his team to learn more about dental sealants and if they are right for your child’s teeth.