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Are There Dental Sealant Dangers?

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

At some point in your or your child's dental care, chances are, your dental professional will recommend the application of a dental sealant to help guard against cavities. With this recommendation, you may have some questions about the application of this material. It's completely normal to wonder, are dental sealants safe? Let's go over why you or your child would need a dental sealant, any potential side effects, and their significance to your long-term overall oral health.

Dental sealants are coatings usually put on adult teeth, mostly on molars and premolars, to protect them from decay. They're important because we use these teeth for chewing, and this sealant provides an extra layer of protection to smooth out the deep pits and grooves where bacteria and food could get stuck and lead to cavities. Dental sealants are mostly placed on children's permanent back teeth that have erupted. Tooth sealant dangers are minimal, but you may want to consider some pros and cons of when to have them applied.

When Are Dental Sealants Recommended?

Did you know that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children ages six to eleven without sealants are three times more likely to develop cavities in their first molar teeth than children with sealants? That's quite a statistic! Dental professionals recommend sealants for many people. From kids to adults, whose molars, premolars, and even baby teeth show signs of wear or crevices that are hard to clean, your dental professional can advise you on when it's best to have a sealant applied and why.

Generally speaking, sealants are a common addition to long-term oral care. While fluoride is an essential preventive mineral found in our drinking water and used in many dental products, sealants add another layer of protection. They can help you avoid more costly procedures later down the road, like crowns or fillings. The dental sealant application process is painless and easy. Your dental professional can even put on a sealant in one sitting!

Before your dentist or dental hygienist can move forward with sealants for you or your child, you'll want to make sure no significant dental problems exist. Your dental professional will advise you if you should wait on getting sealant because of any remaining dental work you should get done first.

A Potential Side Effect to Consider

You should also know that sealants contain a small amount of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical present in plastics. Many parents avoid BPA products because it has been linked to health problems in children and infants, notes Mayo Clinic. However, the American Dental Association (ADA) reports there is no evidence that exposure to BPA in a dental sealant has any adverse health effects.

The only potential side effect of sealant on your teeth is a possible allergy to it. The good news is, reactions related to dental sealants are infrequent. As always, it's best to talk to your dental professional about any allergies you have. This is an important measure to take whether you need sealants or not.

Sealant Is Not a Substitute for Daily Oral Care

A dental sealant can last a long time, up to 10 years, and the procedure is often covered under dental insurance. While there are pros to getting sealants, it's critical to note that a sealant is a preventive protectant dental material. It is not a final solution or substitute for tooth decay. It will help if you continue brushing your teeth twice a day, cleaning between your teeth with floss or a water flosser (also known as interdental cleaning), and rinsing with a mouthwash containing fluoride.

When a dental professional first gives you this recommendation for you or your child, you may be wondering if there are any potential dental sealants dangers. It's conscientious of you to be diligent about you and your child's dental care and weigh the pros and cons of each procedure. But sealants are extremely common, safe, and helpful applications to get. Besides the small chance of a potential allergy, which you should discuss with your dental professional, sealants apply to anyone who wants to keep their smile bright and their teeth strong!

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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