Have you ever heard of dental sealants? They are a thin, plastic coating painted on the molars of children. Your dentist might surprise you by suggesting them for your child or children. They fill in tiny indentations and holes on the molars, essentially creating a protective barrier against tooth decay and cavities. No matter how diligent your are about brushing and flossing, it might be prudent for your child to get dental sealants between the ages of 6-14 when they are most susceptible to cavities.
One of the most common chronic diseases during childhood is tooth decay. According to numerous studies, when dental sealants are properly placed on the teeth, they are almost 100% effective in preventing cavities on the molars.
Most parents jump at the chance to help prevent cavities in their children, and with all the attention fillings have been getting about their mercury content, it seems logical. As with anything, there are some things to think about before you jump on the dental sealant bandwagon.
Dental sealants contain small amounts of Bisphenol-A, or BPA, which was widely used in plastics for years. Recently, BPA has been removed from plastic because studies showed that it can be toxic to animals and disrupt their hormonal balance. So, why is it still used in dental sealants? Why would you want this stuff to be on your kid’s teeth—permanently?
After researching the issue, both the FDA and the ADA (American Dental Association) concluded that the amount of BPA in sealants is so low that it’s not a health concern.
Additionally, if the BPA is that bothersome to you, there is a solution: ask for a sealant that is BPA free! The ADA has a list of BPA-free brands on their website and your dentist should have no trouble acquiring one of them.
Another concern that has arisen about dental sealants is this: what if the tooth isn’t immaculately clean before placing the sealant? Dentists agree that properly preparing the tooth first is crucial to success. A dentist experienced in placing sealants will be able to properly clean, polish, disinfect, and dry the tooth. A wiggly kid might make it difficult, but a good dentist can do it (and Dr. Real is a good dentist!).
If you think that dental sealants are the right choice for your child, contact Dr. Real today!