Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry

Are Dental Sealants Really Necessary?

Dental Sealants For Kids: Are They Really Necessary?

Reviewed by Dr. Henry Martinez, DMD

As parents, we always want the best for our children, and when it comes to their dental health, the same thinking applies. Although many aspects of dental hygiene are common knowledge, like regular brushing and flossing, less is known about the value of dental sealants for children.

This blog post will explain why dental sealants are important, how they protect your child’s teeth and gums, and why Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry is the ultimate choice for your kids’ dental health needs.

Children’s Dental Health: A Look at the Numbers

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay (cavities) is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood in the United States.
  • More than half of children aged 6 to 8 have had a cavity in at least one of their baby teeth.
  • More than half of teens aged 12 to 19 have had a cavity in at least one of their adult teeth.

These statistics show how important it is to address dental health concerns in children and why early intervention is key to preventing problems down the line. 

The Benefits of Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are a preventive measure that can greatly benefit your child’s dental health. They are plastic coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, where tooth decay often starts. The American Dental Association highlights the following benefits:

  • Reduce cavities: Dental sealants prevent up to 80% of cavities in the back teeth where 9 out of 10 cavities occur.
  • Save money: Sealants may prevent the need for more expensive fillings or other dental treatments later in life, making them a cost-effective dental investment.
  • Safe and effective: There are no known side effects from sealants, and the procedure is very quick and easy.

To learn more about dental sealants, read Dental Sealants under the Dental Services tab on our home page. 

Practical Tips for Parents to Protect Kids’ Teeth and Gums

Besides dental sealants, parents can take important steps to safeguard their children’s oral health.

  1. Begin with the basics: Teach your child the importance of daily dental hygiene routines, including brushing their teeth twice a day for at least two minutes, and flossing at least once a day. For more information, read The Importance of Baby Teeth: Exploring the Benefits of Maintaining Healthy Baby Teeth
  2. Schedule regular dental appointments: Ensure that your child visits the dentist for routine checkups and cleanings at least twice a year.
  3. Promote a healthy diet: Encourage your child to consume a balanced diet that is low in sugary beverages, candies, and processed foods. For tips, read Healthy Diet, Healthy Teeth. 
  4. Lead by example: Demonstrate your commitment to dental health as a parent. This sets an excellent example for your child to follow. 

For more advice on how to encourage your kids to have healthy oral hygiene habits, read 5 Oral Hygiene Habits for Kids

Why Choose Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry

At Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry, we are devoted to providing the highest quality dental care for your child. We are committed to creating a welcoming, safe, and fun environment, ensuring a positive experience for both you and your child.

Dr. Henry Martinez and his team are dedicated to educating families on the importance of good oral hygiene and providing preventive services like dental sealants. We also offer a wide variety of restorative treatments, including composite fillings, crowns, and tooth extractions.

At Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry, your child’s dental health is our priority. To learn more about our services or to make an appointment, call (602) 935-7427 or complete the online booking form.

We look forward to caring for you and your family!

FAQs About Dental Sealants

Are Dental Sealants Safe?

Yes, dental sealants are a safe and effective way to protect your child’s teeth from cavities.

When Should My Child Get a Dental Sealant?

It is recommended that children receive their first set of sealants when the permanent molars erupt, usually between the ages of 6 and 14.

How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?

Sealants typically last 4 to 6 years with proper care. However, your child should still attend regular checkups so that our team can inspect them and reapply sealant if necessary.

Can Sealants Be Placed Over Cavities?

Sealants can be placed over early decay, or small cavities, to prevent them from worsening. However, if the cavity is too large and deep, it may need to be filled before sealant can be applied.

Do Dental Sealants Hurt?

No, the procedure is not painful and takes just a few minutes. Your child may feel some pressure when the sealant is being applied, but no needles or numbing are required.

Are Sealants Better Than Fillings?

The two treatments have different purposes, so one is not better than the other. Dental sealants are a preventive measure that can help protect against cavities, while fillings are used to treat existing decay.

Is There BPA in Dental Sealants?

Yes, there is a trace amount of BPA (bisphenol A) present in dental sealants. However, the ADA states that the levels are very small and pose no risk to health.