If we’ve told you that your little one needs dental sealants on her molars, you may be wondering how necessary and safe they are. We’ve answered some of your most pressing questions about sealants, how safe they are, and whether or not your child needs them.
What Are Dental Sealants?
A sealant is a thin coating we put over the chewing surface of a tooth, usually a back tooth, to protect against decay. Food particles and other debris can easily get stuck in crevices and other natural formations of the tooth’s surface. When those foreign particles stick around, they become breeding grounds for bacteria, which can lead to decay and cavities. If left untreated, your child could need fillings or even a baby root canal.
Are Sealants Safe?
This question has caused a lot of debate recently. The biggest cause for concern is the materials used in dental sealants. BPA, or bisphenol A, is a common material used in plastics. A few years ago, studies found BPA to be unsafe in large quantities. This caused a huge controversy, and in fact, many plastic products use “BPA-free” as a big selling point. Many dentists make dental sealants out of a compound that contains small amounts of BPA. The American Dental Association asserts that “based on current evidence, there is no health concern relative to BPA exposure from any dental material.” At Overland Park Family Dental, we believe that the benefits of dental sealants – protecting against decay and oftentimes preventing the need for fillings and baby root canals – far outweigh the minimal risks.
Does Everyone Need Dental Sealants?
Actually, no! We may take a look at your little one’s teeth and find that the chewing surfaces are smooth and the natural crevices aren’t very deep. If that’s the case, Dr. Gallagher may not recommend dental sealants. The risk of food and bacteria getting stuck in teeth is lower when the chewing surfaces are smooth, so sealants may not be necessary.
At your child’s next dental appointment, Dr. Gallagher will discuss your questions about dental sealants with you. He’ll also talk to you about if and when your child may need them. Call today or schedule online. We can’t wait to help your child start on the path to a lifetime of healthy smiles!