Brushing and flossing are the best ways to help prevent cavities, but it’s not always easy to clean every nook and cranny of your teeth – especially those back teeth (called molars) you use to chew.
Still, there’s another safety net to help keep those teeth clean. It’s called a sealant, and it is a thin, protective coating (made from plastic or other dental materials) that adheres to the chewing surface of your child’s back teeth.
Sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars. This is especially important when it comes to your child’s dental health. Read on to learn more about sealing out tooth decay.
How Do Sealants Work?
When the cavity-causing bacteria that live in everyone’s mouth meet leftover food particles, they produce acids that can create holes in teeth. These holes are cavities. After a sealant has been applied it keeps those bits of food out and stops bacteria and acid from settling on your teeth— keeping your teeth healthy.
Who Can Get Sealants?
Children and adults can benefit from sealants, but the earlier you get them, the better. Your first molars appear around age 6, and second molars break through around age 12. Sealing these teeth as soon as they come through can keep them cavity-free from the start, which helps save time and money in the long run.
How Are Sealants Applied?
It’s a quick and painless process. We will clean and dry teeth before placing a gel on them. This gel roughens up your tooth surface so a strong bond will form between your tooth and the sealant. After a few seconds, we will rinse off the gel and dry your tooth once again before applying the sealant onto the grooves of your tooth.
Are There Any Side Effects?
With the exception of an allergy that may exist, there are no known side effects from sealants.
Is There BPA In Sealants?
Yes, there is a tiny amount of BPA in sealants but not enough to cause you or a loved one any harm. In fact, you get more exposure to BPA by simply touching a receipt, using cosmetics or coming in contact with dust.
Sealants will often last for several years before they need to be reapplied. During your regular dental visit, we will check the condition of the sealant and can reapply them as needed.
Are Sealants Covered By Dental Plans?
Some plans do cover sealants, our front desk can advise if sealants are covered by your dental plan.
Source: American Dental Association, mouthhealthy.org