Sealant use in preventing Dental Caries
Has your dentist talked to you about using sealant in your child’s teeth? Sealants are used, as the name suggests, to seal-off the groves of the teeth and make them “flat”. These sealants make the tooth “flat” and food is less likely to get caught in the groves and cause caries. The effectiveness of sealants in preventing caries is believed to be as high as 51% compared to no sealant1. Normal wear and tear of biting forces can cause sealants to lose effectiveness over time. However, a study showed effectiveness lasted nearly 9 years2. Sealants are not for everyone, for example if your child’s teeth are naturally flat, have fewer grooves or flat due to child grinding the teeth, your dentist may not recommend sealant. Your child’s dentist is the best judge of your child’s need for a sealant.
Are all Sealants equal?
Not all sealants are created equal, some sealants are believed to contain a chemical called BPA. This BPA can leach from sealant into the saliva3 and can cause issues in children. The levels are not believed to be significant, however use of BPA free sealants is becoming more common. Sealants and other measures can help prevent or arrest caries, talk to your dentist today. As the old adage goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
This article was first published in the Damascus News Flash Newsletter.
Dr. Naru Baliga, DMD is Owner of New Smiles Kids Dentistry, Damascus, MD. A state-of-the-art pediatric dental practice in heart of Damascus. Dr. Baliga is an experienced board certified pediatric dentist. Her practice uses latest technology like Laser dentistry for virtually painless dentistry, digital x-rays to reduce exposure, intra-oral cameras for oral health education, sedation & Hospital dentistry for child’s comfort. She is accepting new patients up to age of 18 yrs. The office accepts most PPO plans. You can reach her office at email@example.com or visit www.nskdentistry.com
- Ahovuo-Saloranta A1 et al. Pit and fissure sealants for preventing dental decay in permanent teeth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Jul 31;7
- Wright J.T. et al. Evidence-based clinical practice guideline for the use of pit-and-fissure sealants. A report of the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Journal of American Dental Association. August 2016 Volume 147, Issue 8, Pages 672–682.e12
- Xue J et al. Resin-based dental sealants as a source of human exposure to bisphenol analogues, bisphenol A diglycidyl ether, and its derivatives. Environ Res. 2017 Dec 22;162:35-40.