Looking into your pediatric dentistry options? Parents can choose the type of dentist they want to take their child to, with general dentists, family dentists and pediatric dentists being the main three choices. Since children should be seen by a dentist by the time they reach the age of 12 months, making a decision as…
Ask a Pediatric Dentist: What Are Dental Sealants?
If you have children, then you may have heard about dental sealants from a pediatric dentist. These sealants can help children avoid cavities. The soft plastic will fit against each tooth snugly. There are several things you should know about sealants before choosing them for your child. Read on to learn about these.
What to know about dental sealants
Even though they are made out of plastic, dental sealants do not contain high levels of the chemical BPA. Bisphenol A can be found in many products made of plastic. Individuals are exposed to more BPA by breathing than what is in sealants, according to the American Dental Association. However, a pediatric dentist may be able to provide a dental sealant that has no BPA in it for concerned parents.
Children ages five to 14 are good candidates for dental sealants, according to the ADA. However, teenagers who tend to get cavities can also benefit from having dental sealants. Children can eat and brush the teeth as normal without worrying about the sealants coming off.
Dental sealant application from a pediatric dentist
Applying dental sealants is a simple process for children. First, the pediatric dentist will clean the teeth thoroughly. This will prevent bacteria from being trapped under the plastic coating. Next, the dentist will gently dry each tooth. Cotton or gauze may be placed around each tooth so it will remain dry.
The dentist will roughen the surface of each tooth slightly with acid. This helps the dental sealant bond to each of the teeth better. Then the pediatric dentist can rinse and dry the teeth. The dental sealant is then painted onto each tooth, where it will harden. Finally, the dentist will use a curing light to help the sealant harden faster.
After the sealant is placed, a child may be able to feel the sealant for a little while. However, this feeling does not persist. After the sealant has been in place for a long time, the child will no longer be able to feel the dental sealant. It is difficult to see the sealant too. Most sealants are clear although some of them may be slightly tinted or white.
Baby teeth and dental sealants
Most dental sealants are designed for the permanent teeth. However, sometimes baby teeth also need to be sealed. This may be the case if the teeth have very deep grooves in them, making cleaning difficult. Dental sealants for baby teeth are designed to stay in place until the tooth comes out naturally. Protecting the baby teeth will prevent the teeth from being lost too early and negatively affecting the permanent teeth.
Visit a pediatric dentist today
Most children are good candidates for dental sealants. However, visiting a pediatric dentist can help confirm that you are making the right choice for your child. The pediatric dentist can examine the child’s teeth. This will help any cavities be spotted before the sealants go on.
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