Sealing Out Bacteria
In a perfect world we’d never have a single cavity, we could eat all the sugar we want and never suffer the consequences. However, we’re not perfect and training children to be regular brushers and flossers is a great goal that gets mixed results. Studies show that even a large portion of adults fail to brush and floss daily. Can teeth be protected from neglect and irregular brushing?
Defend With Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are a plastic coating that protects tooth enamel from acid erosion and plaque. Children may brush and floss, but they seldom do a complete job. Sealants applied to the back molars and difficult to reach spots provides a protective barrier against decay. Sealants may also be applied to a child’s permanent teeth as they come in, because those teeth are much harder to replace. Adults too can choose sealants to benefit from an extra layer of protection. Keep in mind, however, this warning — applying dental sealants does not mean you can stop brushing, flossing and seeing our Yuba City family dentists for regular exams! Sealants are a tool to help protect teeth, but only do the best job when you stick to your oral care routine at home. Plus, even if the teeth are protected, the gums still need to be regularly cleaned, lest gum disease simply cause the teeth to fall out!
Dynamic Duo: Sealants and Fluoride
Sealants complement fluoride treatments by providing extra boost to fight tooth decay. The Yuba City Dentistry Group provides sealants and fluoride treatments, especially for young ones. Sealants are deemed safe for all ages, so if our Yuba City dentists recommend sealants for you or your child, they can be applied during just fifteen minutes of a regular cleaning appointment. The sealant is brushed on each tooth’s chewing surface and inside its grooves. Then it is bonded to the tooth enamel with a blue curing light. This quickly hardens the sealant to make it durable. After a very short period of time, you may eat, drink, brush and floss as normal.
Pros and Cons of Sealants
Everything has pros and cons, so it’s a good idea to consider the following facts to help you decide if sealants are right for you and your family.
Pros of Sealants
- Reduce cavities;
- Painless to apply;
- Covered by most dental insurance.
Cons of Sealants
- Cannot repair decay and cavities, only help preserve healthy teeth;
- Not a permanent solution, but they last up to ten years;
- Possible exposure to very minuscule amounts of BPA (bisphenol A).
Regarding BPA, it is a hardening component of some plastics that has fallen out of use since 2008, as various studies reported risks after animal testing. WebMD says: “Based on other evidence — largely from animal studies — the FDA expressed ‘some concern’ about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate glands in fetuses, infants, and young children.” (Please note: BPA is not an ingredient of dental sealants, but can be a very minor by-product as the sealants break down.) Nevertheless, the FDA continues to consider it safe, as it appears the human body quickly converts BPA to an inactive form.
The American Dental Association has also said this:
The ADA is a professional association of dentists committed to the public’s oral health. As such, the ADA supports ongoing research on the safety of existing dental materials and in the development of new materials. Based on current research, the Association agrees with the authoritative government agencies that the low-level of BPA exposure that may result from dental sealants and composites poses no known health threat.”
We are happy to answer any questions you might have about dental sealants and if they are a good choice for your family. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or inquire about sealants at your next visit!