Caring for your child is something you do every day. You teach them how to dress, how to talk, how to eat and how to maintain oral hygiene. However, no matter how well you teach your child, you cannot stop them from snacking. You might have taught your child to brush after eating, but children eat all through the day – and they are not going to brush their teeth if you are not around to enforce that rule.
What Do You Do?
Dental sealants could be the answer to the problem. You cannot stop your child from snacking, but you can provide your child with every preventive treatment possible to protect his or her teeth. Dental sealants act like a protective film on top of the tooth. The sealant prevents food particles from sticking to the tooth surface and delays or retards cavity formation.
How Do Sealants Work?
Teeth have natural pits and fissures on the surface that are formed during tooth development. When the tooth erupts into the oral cavity, the pits and fissures are quite deep and very prominent. However, as the child ages, these pits and fissures wear down and smooth out. In children, these developmental pits and fissures tend to catch food particles quickly and, in fact, food gets impacted deep into these fissures.
Generally, if the child brushes immediately after eating food, the fissures are cleaned out, but if the child does not brush well, the food remains behind in the defect. Oral bacteria immediately starts to use the food and salivary protein to reproduce. This ultimately results in cavities that can be completely damage the tooth.Dental sealants act as a plastic film that covers the tooth surface and blocks the pits and fissures.
Applying the Sealants
Sealants can be made in 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the number of teeth to be covered. The process starts with a simple dental cleaning and polishing. After the cleaning, the dentist will slightly roughen the tooth surface with a special liquid and then apply the dental sealant. As there are several different types of sealants, the actual hardening process may vary slightly. Some sealants will harden by themselves while others may require a curing light to harden and set in place.
The process is quick and simple and absolutely painless. The sealants are also geared to stay in place under biting and chewing pressure and can easily last for several years. Recent research has shown that both adults and children can benefit from a sealant application and in case the sealant comes off; it can be replaced quickly.
What Is The Ideal Age For Getting Dental Sealants?
The best age for getting dental sealants is after age 4. However, if your child is prone to cavities, it would be a good idea to take your child to the dentist as soon as possible for an evaluation and a professional opinion. To prevent cavities, some dentists may also recommend combining dental sealants with a topical fluoride application.
Are Sealants Safe?
Sealants can be considered as a thin plastic film that hermetically coats the tooth surface and prevent cavity formation. They are technically quite safe but in the last few years, researchers have bought up several concerns. One of the biggest sticking points against sealants has been the BPA content in the dental material. According to researchers, BPA created a serious concern when it was detected in baby milk bottles as it was a direct cousin of the more dangerous bisphenol-A dimethacrylate (BPA-DMA). However, after extensive investigation, the U.S.-based Food and Drug Administration has deemed both materials safe. Irrespective of this, most manufacturers have started making dental sealants that are BPA-free. Most dentists have also started using BPA-free sealants, and,rest assured, your dentist will use the best materials available.