The road to a perfect smile starts at a young age, and while your child is growing up it’s important to pay attention to their oral hygiene. Good dental habits, such as maintaining a balanced diet and properly brushing teeth, are vital for helping your child’s teeth develop. However, even children with great oral hygiene can often develop cavities, tooth decay, and other dental issues.
To help children protect their teeth, many dentists recommend applying dental sealants, which in some studies have been proven to reduce the risk of tooth decay by 80%! However, like any treatment or procedure, it’s important to know what your dentist is doing. What are dental sealants made of? Are there any side effects you should be worried about? How are dental sealants removed when they’re no longer needed?
Here is everything you should know about dental sealant treatments from our dental experts here at Suffolk Pediatric Dentistry.
What are Dental Sealants made of?
Dental sealants are made out of a plastic resin that is applied to the chewing surface of your teeth, with a trace but safe amount of bisphenol A (BPA). This resin is specifically designed with mouths in mind, and is rather similar to the resin used for adult patients during teeth cleanings. Not only are dental sealants affordable, but they are one of the best preventive pediatric dental services available for young dental patients.
Dental sealants are typically recommended by dentists once your child’s first molars appear around the age of six, though we recommend taking your child to a dentist even earlier in life. While they aren’t usually applied to baby teeth, your dentist may recommend it if your child is at high risk of cavities. In fact, some adults get dental sealants for the same reason, further proving how safe they are for the average dental patient.
Are there any side effects to dental sealants?
Some parents are concerned about potential side effects due to the plastic resin and BPA used to apply the dental sealant. However, the American Dental Association has found that the BPA exposure is so minimal, there is no risk of unhealthy BPA exposure. The average dental patient should experience no side effects when wearing dental sealants.
However, some patients with extreme allergies to plastic may react adversely to dental sealants. This reaction is very rare though, and generally patients discover their plastic allergy reaction before sealants are applied. If your child has this allergy, please disclose this with your dentist before undergoing dental sealant treatment.
What happens to dental sealants over time?
Dental sealants are designed to naturally break apart over the course of 9 to 11 years, and in some cases lasting longer with great oral hygiene. However, the opposite is also true, and improper oral hygiene can lead to dental sealants falling out sooner. There is no danger to a dental sealant chipping off, but you do lose the protection provided by a dental sealant as it breaks apart and falls off your child’s teeth.
Be sure to encourage your child to maintain proper dental hygiene habits. We also highly recommend visiting your pediatric dentist at least once every six months. That way you can detect any oral issues that may be developing early, and also get your teeth cleaned enough to help your child maintain their dental sealants.
Long Island Pediatric Dental Care at Suffolk Pediatric Dentistry
Do you live in central Long Island? Looking for a great pediatric dentist to help your child grow into a perfect smile? Then check out one of our five locations for great pediatric dental and orthodontic services. No matter how old your child is, our team of pediatric specialists are ready to help your child have the best dental experience possible when they visit. We also have staff members fluent in Spanish, making us a great option for foreign language patients as well.
Contact us today with any questions you may have about dental sealants, or to schedule an appointment for a pediatric or even adult dental examination. We look forward to brightening your smile when you visit Suffolk Pediatric Dentistry!