When it comes to dental services for your child, you want to do what is right but not expose your child to unnecessary dental work. There are some obvious dental services your child needs, such as cavities or professional cleanings, but for other dental services – such as dental sealants – it isn’t so obvious.
If your dentist has recommended that your child get dental sealants, you may be wondering if it is necessary and how to choose sealants for your child. To help you decide if dental sealants are right for your child, we will explore both the pros and cons of this type of dental service.
What are Dental Sealants?
Think of a dental sealant as a protective shield for your child’s teeth. This clear plastic material is placed on the back teeth which are the molars and premolars. Once it hardens, it can protect the teeth from excessive tooth decay and damage caused by harmful sugars or acids.
The reason for dental sealants is that the molars and premolars have tiny little grooves and nooks. These grooves and nooks can collect bacteria and food particles which eventually will lead to the development of tooth decay and cavities. If a sealant is placed on the teeth, the tooth has some type of protection and it lessens your child’s risk of experiencing dental problems.
The Pros of Getting Dental Sealants
There are many benefits that come with getting dental sealants. Some of the benefits of dental sealants include:
- A painless, easy dental procedure that can help prevent other more severe dental problems
- A simple dental procedure that is completed in minutes
- Extremely effective in lessening younger children’s risk of developing cavities
- Sealants are extremely durable and can help reduce the risk of dental problems for up to 10 years
- The material used is safe and there are no potential side effects associated with the application of sealants
- Helps in the event your child is not brushing and flossing properly or if they have not developed good oral hygiene habits
The Cons of Dental Sealants
With every dental procedure, there are drawbacks that need to be considered. While dental sealants are extremely safe and help reduce your child’s risk of cavities and tooth decay, there are still some potential disadvantages that need to be considered.
Some disadvantages of dental sealants that need to be considered include:
- Only used as a preventative procedure – if your child already has tooth decay or a cavity, the sealant cannot be applied to the tooth
- Not every child is a good candidate for dental sealants – children who cannot sit still in the dentist’s chair or who are anxious about visiting the dentist may not be good candidates. Dental sealants need to be carefully placed on the teeth and if your child moves, the sealant cannot be properly applied to the teeth
How to Determine if Your Child Needs Dental Sealants
If you are trying to decide if your child should get dental sealants, ask yourself the following questions:
- How susceptible is your child to tooth decay? – Things to consider are is there a family history of extensive dental problems and has your child had any cavities or dental problems already
- What is your child’s oral hygiene routine like? – Does your child regularly brush and floss? Are they using proper brushing and flossing techniques?
- Does your child have regular routine examinations with your dentist for check-ups and professional cleanings?
- What is the shape of your child’s teeth? – Back teeth that are extremely shallow and don’t have grooves may not be able to be covered with dental sealants
- Has your child had any previous dental work performed such as fillings?
Still unsure about whether or not your child should get dental sealants? Call Hancock Village Dental to schedule an appointment with our dentist. Our dentist will be willing to discuss all the pros and cons of dental sealants with you and help you make an informed decision on whether or not your child should get them done.