A healthy smile can do wonders for a child’s self-esteem, academic performance, and wellness. Good oral hygiene depends on following a few tried-and-true practices: brushing twice a day, flossing, and scheduling annual dental visits (CCI has you covered there!) But did you know that there’s another dental practice that can help your children prevent some of the most painful and harmful oral issues?
They’re called dental sealants, and they can serve as an excellent first line of defense in keeping your children’s teeth strong and healthy.
What is a dental sealant?
A dental sealant is a thin layer of coating placed on the surface of the molars, which are the teeth found in the back of the mouth. Molars are notoriously tricky to clean with a toothbrush— their grooves leave them susceptible to food and bacteria, which can cause cavities and tooth decay. The dental sealant blocks the grooves of the tooth, keeping any food debris from entering.
Dental sealants are a highly effective preventative measure for anyone, but especially for children. According to the CDC, they can protect against up to 80% of cavities within the first two years of application and up to 50% over the next four. And while sealants wear with time, they can be reapplied every couple of years.
“Dental sealants won’t stop every cavity, but they can really make a difference in a child’s oral health and wellness,” said Dr. Nathaniel Jackson, DDS, CCI’s Gaithersburg Dental Director. “I recommend them to all of my patients, young and old.”
Are there any risks involved?
Dental sealants may sound too good to be true, and you may be wondering if there are any side effects or reasons to pause before arranging them for your children. But the procedure is safe, painless, and fast, typically only requiring 20 minutes to complete.
Dental sealants can expose children to a very low level of BPA, a controversial chemical that some claim can be dangerous to ingest. However, BPA can be found in many of our foods, and the FDA has stated that BPA is safe at the low levels found in our diets. In fact, according to the American Dental Association, dental sealants contain lower levels of BPA than receipts, cosmetics, and even air.
More questions about dental sealants? Check out the CDC’s frequently asked questions.
How to get dental sealants for cheap (or even free!)
Cost isn’t typically a barrier for dental sealants. In Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, your child may even be able to receive dental sealants through their schools completely free of charge. Call your children’s school to see if they offer the procedure and to learn more. Maryland also manages its own dental health program for children and low-income adults and may provide free dental sealants who quality. Learn more about the Maryland Healthy Smiles Dental Program, an extension of Maryland Medicaid.
And you can also count on CCI to be there for your family’s dental health. You can find our clinics across Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, and not only do we offer dental sealants, but we also offer complete examinations, x-rays, fillings, and more. You don’t need to be insured to receive care from us—we offer all of our health services on a sliding scale based on what you can pay. We won’t turn anyone away. Learn more about our dental health services.
Seal your child’s bright smile
Dental sealants are a simple and inexpensive way to help keep your child’s teeth free from issues, giving them the confidence they need to be the best version of themselves. Set your child up for success and lifelong dental health by scheduling a dental sealant procedure. If you’re in Montgomery or Prince George’s counties, give CCI a call at (866) 877-7258 to get started!