Dental sealants: Are they safe to use?

Tooth decay is more common among children as compared to adults because most children have not yet established their oral hygiene habits. In order to prevent tooth decay among the young, dentists may prescribed dental sealants. Dental sealants serve as protection against dental cavities caused by dental bacteria and plaque. They are made from thin plastic coatings and are professionally painted on the chewing surface or the fissures of the pre molars and molars.

Dentists usually prescribe dental sealants to be applied first at the age of 6 years old when the first set of permanent molar erupts. Then the second application follows when the child reaches 12 years old when the second set of molar appears. Dental sealants can last five to 10 years and if necessary reapplication is possible.

At present, the topic regarding dental sealants health risks is discussed because of the health controversy surrounding Bisphenol A. Evidences reveal that Bisphenol A has harmful effects on one’s health, particularly in the child’s development. Although dental sealants do not contain Bisphenol A, they contain compounds that change into Bisphenol A when these compounds come in contact with one’s saliva. According to Dr. Fleisch and colleagues, Bisphenol A is present in one’s saliva three hours after dental sealant application. The amount of Bisphenol A however is not yet clear if it causes harm to one’s health. To prevent Bisphenol A formation, it is advised to rinse the mouth after dental sealant application. (WebMD)

Dr. Fleisch believes that the preventive effects of dental sealant outweigh the health risks it poses. Parents can ask their children’s dentist further questions regarding the pros and cons of dental sealants to help them decide whether to allow their children to under dental sealant treatment.



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