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Sealants are made of medical-grade resin and are similar to composite or white filling material when patients have cavities filled. The big difference between sealant materials is their runny nature. When applied to the tooth with a small brush, it will easily flow into the micro-grooves and crevices of your child’s teeth.
Your child's dentist may recommend dental sealants if your child has thin enamel or a history of cavities.
According to the Ontario Dental Fee Guide 2022, dental sealants cost $36 per tooth and are usually covered by most dental insurance.
Some parents don't feel this is necessary because baby teeth fall out anyway. However, taking good care of those baby teeth helps permanent teeth grow strong and healthy. Children should be seen at the dental clinic annually, starting around two years of age. Some children need to see a dentist more often due to their needs.
Dental sealants help to prevent harmful germs and bacteria from harming the teeth. You can't see the coating on the teeth, but it offers an invisible layer of protection. Acid and food left in the mouth can't penetrate through the sealant. This will significantly reduce the risk of tooth decay and cavities.
Both adults and children can benefit from dental sealants. Your dentist should share their recommendation on the topic. Sealing baby teeth gives permanent teeth a chance to come in healthy. The sealant can be applied again when the baby's teeth are gone. Adults with dental sealants are less likely to have issues with decay, cavities, or need root canals. This preventative option can save a great deal of money on dental care.
Dental sealants are safe for children but not recommended for those under six. There are some exceptions. If your dentist feels your child should have the sealant at a younger generation due to dental concerns, they can discuss this with you. Early intervention can help kids have a great experience at the dentist.
Sealants are recommended for young teeth. While you may help them brush and floss, they often don't do the best job independently. They are learning, but it is hard for them to get between all the teeth as they should. Most kids rush through the brushing process and often skip flossing. Your child may have crooked teeth that will be straightened later on, but it makes it harder to clean between the teeth successfully.
No pain is involved with applying dental sealants, and the procedure doesn't take very long. With this process, your child will have a positive experience in the dental chair. Each tooth is cleaned and dried before a gel is applied to it. The gel is removed, and the sealant is applied to each tooth. Blue light is used to harden the sealant to the teeth.
Sealants can be used over cavities to prevent further damage from affecting that tooth. Your child's dentist may ask you to bring them back in 3 months rather than six months if they have cavities. They can keep a good eye on them and ensure the sealant prevents further decay.
Most children and adults have no side effects from the sealant process or the materials. There is a minimal number of people that do have an allergic reaction to it. The dentist will closely monitor the patient during and after the procedure. They will take action if any indicators of such an allergy are noticed. Such an allergy is not life-threatening.
A small amount of BPA is found in dental sealants, and some parents worry about that. Experts agree there isn't enough BPA in the materials to cause any concerns. Most people are exposed to more BPA from dust particles in their environment than from this procedure.
Sealants last for several years, and then they need to be reapplied. Your dentist will check the sealant at routine dental checkups. When they feel it is time for the process to be repeated for you or your child, they will let you know to be taken care of. Dental sealants offer a simple but effective way to protect the teeth from an early age!