How Dental Sealants Can Help Protect Your Kid’s Teeth This Valentine’s Day
Cupid is getting his bow and arrow ready because Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! And as much as Valentine’s Day used to be for lovers, more and more these days’ younger children are getting into the spirit, exchanging cards and treats with friends, family and classmates. And with those sugary treats come the risk of cavities, inflamed gums and weakened enamel! So, here’s what you need to know about how dental sealants can help protect your child’s teeth!
What Are Dental Sealants?
A dental sealant is a relatively inexpensive way to protect your children’s teeth from plaque, decay and cavities.
Your child’s teeth naturally have small pits, grooves and fissures and these can be especially difficult to keep clean in young children. Not only can brushing a young child’s teeth be difficult, but in many cases the bristles of a toothbrush are too wide to get into these hard-to-reach areas so food particles can remain even after diligent brushing. Over time, this can lead to softening of the enamel and eventually cavities.
You don’t need to consider dental sealants for every child. If your child’s teeth are smooth and don’t have any significant pitting, then dental sealants likely won’t help that much. But, studies have shown that kids with dental sealants suffer from less tooth decay and fewer cavities, so they do work!
How Do Dental Sealants Work?
Dental sealants are a pain-free treatment that can be performed at your dentist’s office during a regular appointment time slot.
Dental sealants are applied in three easy steps:
- The teeth are cleaned and rinsed with a mild etching solution to make sure all bacteria is removed and to make the surface of the tooth slightly rough for better adherence. The teeth and surrounding area in the mouth are dried with cotton balls and blown air.
- The sealant is painted on and hardened using a special light. Only the surfaces of the teeth – typically the molars – are treated.
- Each tooth is checked to make sure that any pits or grooves are fully covered and that the sealant won’t interfere with normal chewing.
Dental sealants can be applied by your family dentist, and in some cases your hygienist. They cure immediately so your child will be able to chew, eat and drink normally as soon as they leave the office.
Are Dental Sealants Safe?
There has been some discussion about how safe dental sealants are because of the materials they are made of.
Dental sealants are made from a plastic monomer that is derived from BPA, a controversial chemical that has been linked to health complications when exposed to higher concentrations. The sealants themselves do not contain BPA, but over prolonged periods the chemical reaction that happens between dental sealants and saliva can produce trace amounts of BPA. However, experts agree that these amounts are so extremely small as not to cause concern.
Orion Dental is a family friendly dentist with offices conveniently located in Milton and Scarborough. We offer a full range of dental services, covering everything from regular checkups to pediatric dentistry to orthodontics to dentures. If you’re looking for a dentist for your entire family, give us a call to book an appointment and let’s get started!