Sealants in Hurst,TX
Dental Sealants in Hurst, TX
Daily brushing and flossing are essential for keeping your child’s teeth free of cavities, but it can be hard to clean your child’s teeth perfectly. The tiny pits and deep grooves on your child’s molars (the back teeth used for chewing) are especially difficult to clean. They can trap food and bacteria, making them vulnerable to cavities. In fact, according to the CDC, 9 out of 10 cavities occur in the permanent molars. Fortunately, these pits and grooves can be “sealed off” using sealants.
What Are Pediatric Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants for kids are white-colored coatings that help protect teeth against cavities. Sealants are painted onto the biting surface of molars and quickly harden into a solid barrier that helps keep food and bacteria out of the molars’ hard-to-clean pits and grooves.
Are Teeth Sealants Really Necessary?
Dental sealants greatly reduce the risk of getting cavities in the back teeth, which is where most cavities occur. According to the CDC, sealants reduce the risk of cavities in the permanent molars by 80% for two years after they are applied, and they continue to protect against 50% of cavities in the permanent molars for up to four years.
Protecting your child’s teeth against cavities right from the start with dental sealants can help avoid the need for more invasive dental procedures, such as fillings and crowns, in the future.
How Are Dental Sealants for Kids Applied?
At Hurst Pediatric Dentistry, we can apply sealants during your child’s regular dental cleaning appointment. The entire process is painless and takes just a few minutes per tooth.
After cleaning and drying the tooth, we will isolate the tooth by inserting a soft, comfortable mouthpiece into your child’s mouth. We will apply a special gel to the tooth and allow it to sit for a few seconds to make the biting surface slightly rough. The slightly rough surface will allow the sealant to adhere better. Next, we will clean and dry the tooth once more and then simply paint the sealant onto the biting surface – no numbing or drilling required. Finally, we will shine a special light onto the sealant to harden it and then spray the tooth to rinse it off.
When Should Dental Sealants Be Applied?
A child’s first permanent molars often come in around age six, and second permanent molars often come in around age twelve. Both the American Dental Association and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health recommend sealing the first and second permanent molars as soon as they come in to help keep them cavity-free right from the start.
In some circumstances, it may be advisable to also seal other teeth with pits and grooves, including primary (or “baby”) teeth that have deep pits and grooves.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Dental sealants for children often last for several years, depending on factors such as the anatomy of your child’s tooth and your child’s oral hygiene practices. Your child’s dentist will check the condition of existing sealants during regular dental checkups. If any sealants are chipped or worn, your child’s dentist can reapply them.
Do Sealants Contain BPA?
Sealants do contain trace amounts of BPA. However, studies have found that the amount of exposure to BPA from dental sealants is extremely small and poses no known health risk. In fact, according to the American Dental Association, simply breathing air exposes people to approximately 100 times more BPA than dental sealants do. The American Dental Association and the CDC agree that dental sealants are safe and that the benefits they provide far outweigh any risk of BPA exposure.
Of course, we understand that parents want to limit their children’s exposure to BPA as much as possible. At Hurst Pediatric Dentistry, we take several steps to minimize your child’s exposure to BPA when applying sealants. Isolating the tooth during a sealant application, hardening the sealant material using the special curing light described above, and rinsing the tooth after the sealant has hardened have all been shown to minimize dental patients’ exposure to BPA.
If you are still concerned about BPA, you may want to consider glass ionomer sealants, which are a BPA-free alternative to traditional dental sealants. At your child’s appointment, Dr. Lin can discuss the advantages and disadvantages of glass ionomer sealants and whether this type of sealant might be right for your child.
How Can I Get Dental Sealants for My Child?
If you are interested in using dental sealants to protect your child’s teeth against cavities, contact us today to schedule your child’s appointment at Hurst Pediatric Dentistry. You can also call our office at (817) 510-6400. Dr. Lin will work with you to assess whether sealants are the right option for your child’s teeth.
Hurst Pediatric Dentistry is located in Hurst, Texas, and provides pediatric dental care to patients across Hurst, Euless, Bedford, North Richland Hills, Colleyville, Keller, Southlake, Fort Worth and the surrounding area.