At What Age Are Dental Sealants Most Effective?

At What Age Are Dental Sealants Most Effective?

August 1, 2022

A dental sealant is a thin, durable plastic coating on molars’ chewing surfaces. The adhesive is an effective protectant for the molars against cavities because it smoothens the surface of the back teeth, making them easier to clean to prevent tooth decay.

Tooth decay develops when food particles remain trapped in the pits and fissures of the molars to allow mouth bacteria to feast on them and deposit toxins to weaken tooth enamel. Cavities begin forming when the bacteria penetrate the weakened enamel creating permanent damage to the tooth.

Although brushing and flossing seem adequate in removing food particles and plaque from the teeth, the molars are challenging to clean and often vulnerable to cavities needing expensive treatments from our local dentist near you for restorations. Dentists recommend getting dental sealants on the molars as a preventive measure against cavities.

Candidates for Dental Sealants

Children with molars developing at six and 12 are excellent candidates for dental sealants. Adults can also consider getting bonds if they do not have restored teeth and want to prevent tooth decay.

Dentists recommend cavity sealant for children’s teeth because they are negligent with their dental hygiene and constantly have sugary and starchy foods with the potential to remain trapped in the molars. In addition, as children are not diligent with dental hygiene practices or may lack the motor skills to clean their teeth appropriately, they become vulnerable to tooth decay and require dental treatments to restore teeth.

Dental sealants on children’s teeth protect against 80 percent of cavities for two years after an application, and the security continues for another four years against 50 percent of holes. The sealants remain on the child’s teeth for up to 9 years. However, they require regular monitoring by dentists during regular appointments for cleanings because they are prone to chipping and cracking.

Best Time to Get Dental Sealants

The best time to get dental sealants is when children develop molars at ages six and 12. It is when children are most vulnerable to developing permanent damage to their teeth and suffering lifelong consequences.

Getting dental sealants is a comfortable and painless procedure needing merely one appointment with the dentist to seal the tooth and provide a preventive barrier. The therapy is not expensive and costs $ 30-$ 60 per tooth, with dental insurance and discount plans reducing the prices further. Sealing the molars soon after they erupt is best for the child because the sealant begins protecting the teeth soon after emerging.

Children from high-income families develop three times fewer cavities on their teeth than children without sealants from lower-income households. Children with tooth decay report lost school time from pain and challenges in completing everyday tasks and require frequent visits to dentists to restore damaged teeth. Parents also lose time with their children when taking them to pediatric dentists for treatments instead of concentrating on work. Protecting children’s teeth from an early age ensures they develop a beautiful smile without dental complications later. It also helps save money on dental treatments for the parents. Therefore the best time to get dental sealants on the teeth is when the molars emerge.

Are Dental Sealants Safe for Children?

The safety of dental sealants for children has remained undisputed for over 40 years, although concerns are raised by some health advocates about exposure to BPA in them. Fortunately, no evidence is available to prove adverse reactions to dental sealants. On the contrary, research suggests that dental materials helping treat tooth decay contain higher levels of BPA than dental sealants. Therefore, the lack of awareness about this preventive measure keeps people from having it over their children’s teeth.

Parents of children getting dental sealants over their teeth must understand some limitations of dental sealants because they prevent cavities by a certain percentage and do not act as a robust preventive measure. In addition, children can develop cavities even after getting bonds if they do not maintain appropriate dental hygiene practices and continue having sugary and starchy foods.

Therefore parents must supervise children’s dental hygiene practices and ensure they schedule regular appointments with dentists for exams and cleanings, besides monitoring the sealants on their child’s teeth.

Great Lakes Dental Associates provides this affordable and painless treatment for children as a preventive measure against tooth decay. If your child has developed molars, you and your child benefit by scheduling an appointment with this practice to protect their teeth.