Brushing and flossing are the first line of defense against cavities, but they’re not always enough. This is especially true for molars, which bear the brunt of chewing and tend to have rough, uneven surfaces that harbor cavity-causing bacteria. Enter dental sealants, which can make a tremendous difference in the health of teeth.
Who Benefits from Dental Sealants?
Dentists often recommend sealing molars as soon as they erupt. First molars typically appear around age 6 and are followed by second molars around age 12. It definitely pays to ask about sealants for the little ones in the family. Though dental sealants are more effective the earlier they’re applied, kids aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the protection they provide.
Sealants can be a great defense for adults with minimal or no existing decay, too. Even the most thorough brushing habits can fall a bit short when it comes to completely removing food debris and bacteria, because molars are full of ridges and pits specifically designed to aid in the grinding of food. These ridges and pits are the perfect place for cavity-causing bacteria to hide, but dental sealants can prevent food buildup and cavities.
Are Dental Sealants Safe?
Despite their ability to keep kids and adults cavity-free, worries about bisphenol A (BPA) exposure can deter parents from pursuing their application. Trace amounts of BPA are present in many dental sealant products, but exposure lasts for only a few hours, and no research indicates any cause for concern. To put trace exposure into perspective, you or your child are exposed to higher levels of BPA in the air, by touching a receipt or by coming into contact with normal household dust. Breathing actually exposes you to roughly 100 times higher levels of BPA than the use of a dental sealant.
Application is quick, painless, and the results will last for several years. This could potentially be saving you a substantial amount of money by eliminating the need for expensive dental work due to decay down the road. They’re also transparent, so the only visible difference between sealed and unsealed teeth is often the lack of decay.
At Pearland Family Dentistry, we’re committed to helping everyone in your household maintain bright, healthy smiles. If you’re interested in the protection of dental sealants, call today to make an appointment. Our expert care providers will answer all your questions and help you decide whether sealants are the best way to prevent decay and cavities between regular cleanings.