When it comes to maintaining your child’s oral hygiene, nothing beats the best practices. Regular and through brushing, a healthy diet, flossing, and mouthwash are all vital in helping your child develop lifelong oral health. However, due to their young age, it can be hard to maintain healthy teeth even when following best practices.
This is why many pediatric dentists recommend dental sealants for young children. Dental sealants are thin coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of your children’s back teeth. According to the CDC, dental sealants can reduce the risk of cavities by up to 80%, and typically last 2 to 4 years.
Are dental sealants safe for children though? How can you know whether sealants are right for you? Here are the key facts you should consider and discuss with your pediatric dentist when considering dental sealants:
How Safe Are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are completely safe for children. Some parents are concerned because dental sealants contain bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical in plastic known to cause health problems. However, the amount of BPA in dental sealants is so low, it is extremely unlikely that it can cause your children harm.
Multiple studies by both the American Dental Association and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have found dental sealants safe for all sages. The only potential harm that dental sealants can cause is if your child has a natural born allergy to the plastic material sealants are made out of. Your dentist will verify if your child has this allergy when applying a dental sealant.
When Should I Consider Dental Sealants For My Child?
Dental sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of your child’s molars. As such, most dentists wait until your children’s teeth have fully emerged before applying a dental sealant. For the average child, this typically happens around the ages of 6 to 8.
Once your child starts to visit the dentist, they’ll likely recommend dental sealants as a preventive practice as soon as possible. Dental sealants are made to last, with some sealants lasting as long as nine years in patients who maintain their teeth well. However, dental sealants will need to be reapplied as your children’s teeth fall out and are replaced by their adult teeth. This typically happens around the age of 12 to 14.
How Are Dental Sealants Applied?
Dental sealants are quick and easy to apply, providing children with a good experience when they visit the dentist. The process is as follows:
- The teeth are quickly cleaned and dried.
- An acidic gel prepares the tooth for the sealant.
- The teeth are rinsed out one last time in preparation for the sealant.
- The liquid sealant is applied directly to the black molars.
- A blue light is used to harden the sealant. This is the favorite part for many children.
And that’s it! It often takes just a few minutes to apply sealants to each tooth, ensuring that most appointments can be completed in just 30 to 60 minutes.
Protect Your Child’s Teeth With Suffolk Pediatric Dentistry:
A lifetime of good oral health and bright, shiny teeth starts with good dental habits when your children are young. Good habits at home, and regular visits to a pediatric dentist when your children are ready can have a huge impact on how their teeth develop. Proper care, along with treatments like dental sealants, will prevent cavities and ensure proper teeth growth.
Are you looking for a pediatric dentist in or around Port Jefferson Station, New York? Then you can contact us to learn more about the great dental care we provide for child patients. We’ve built our dental office to be friendly and fun, while also providing great care you need to maintain your children’s teeth. Since our founding, we’ve treated over a million patients, with our awesome staff especially ready to help extremely young children and those with special needs.
If you’re ready to get a headstart on a lifetime of good dental hygiene for your children, reach out to Suffolk Pediatric Dentistry today!