If you have a child, then you know that dental cavities are a major health concern and this means you should do everything in your power to prevent them. Cavity prevention goes beyond just simple oral care and may involve the assistance of a dental professional. In particular, the application of sealants may be suggested. Keep reading to learn the answers to a few questions you may have about the sealants.
What Do The Sealants Protect?
Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are applied to the teeth. They are not made to coat them but to fill in the deep grooves and indentations that sit across the biting surfaces. These indentations are the spaces where food and plaque collect, and normal brushing may not remove all of the foreign matter from the spaces. So, the sealants protect the biting surfaces from the materials that can break down the enamel and cause cavities.
Since most of the cavities that form in a child's teeth develop on the tops of the molars, the sealants work to keep cavities at bay. However, they do not prevent the formation of decay that develops between the teeth. For this reason, it is important for your child to diligently attend to their oral care.
Additionally, you should know that sealants do not last forever. As your child bites and chews their food, the plastic coating will slowly wear away. So, your son or daughter may need to have several sealant applications throughout the years. Your child's dentist will use a dental pick to see if the dental grooves are open and collecting debris during regular check-ups.
Are Sealants Hazardous?
Since sealants are made from plastic, you may wonder if they are safe for your child. They are indeed quite safe, even though they contain a small amount of BPA. The good news is that the BPA is minimal when compared to other everyday products that your child is likely to come into contact with, like foods and beverages.
Also, dental sealants will dry almost immediately meaning that the BPA exposure only occurs when the sealant starts to wear down, which can take several years.
The sealants are also quite safe for the teeth. They do not have any effect on the dental enamel, and the teeth, in general, are not damaged in any way by the process. Your child likely will not notice the sealants either.
If you want to know more about dental sealants and how they benefit your child, speak with a pediatric dentistry professional.