Unfortunately, cavities are still one of the most common oral health problems for both children and adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 45% of children between the ages of 2-19 have one or more cavities (treated or untreated). Younger children are especially vulnerable to developing cavities for several reasons, from eating sugary snacks and drinks to their still-forming brushing technique.
Dental sealants offer children an added layer of protection that also makes it easier for them to brush their teeth. At Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics, our dentists Dr. Nathalie Phaeton and Dr. Ki Youn Kil, offer pediatric dentistry services at our office in Falls Church, Virginia.
Are dental sealants safe?
Many parents naturally wonder whether dental sealants are actually safe for their children. The American Dental Association (ADA) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have both determined that dental sealants are safe for children and adults. Sealants are made from plastic, which some people try to avoid, but the benefits outweigh the risks, and they’re recommended to help protect children’s teeth from decay.
Our dentists and team are available to discuss your concerns and answer your questions about dental sealants for your children.
When to consider dental sealants
Dental sealants are available once your child’s molars have fully erupted, which usually happens around age six. While sealants are safe, there are a few things to consider. For starters, sealants are not a substitute for regular dental checkups and cleanings and a good oral hygiene routine.
Your children will still have to brush and floss their teeth as normal after getting sealants, but the good news is that sealants actually help younger children to adequately brush their teeth. Sealants create a flat surface on the chewing surface of the back molars, making it easier to brush while keeping food and bacteria out.
Additionally, existing cavities and dental issues will usually have to be treated before the sealants are placed.
Are dental sealants permanent?
Sealants have a pretty long shelf life, but they don’t last forever. According to information from the CDC, they can provide protection of up to 80% of cavities within the first two years. They can become less effective over time, but still offer approximately 50% cavity protection after four years. In most cases, sealants can last for up to nine years.
For more information about dental sealants and other pediatric dental services available at Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics, call us at 703-498-2440 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Phaeton or Dr. Kil. You can also schedule an appointment online.