Why I should NOT place dental sealants on my child’s teeth?
Having gone over what sealants are and how they benefit your child’s oral health, lets now turn our attention towards the risks of sealants:
Dental sealants don’t last very long
Since placing sealants does not involve any grinding of actual tooth structure they are not secured very tightly into your teeth. Sealants are basically painted onto tooth groves as opposed to fillings that are firmly secured in place. As a result, sealants almost always become loose and fall out sooner or later.
Average dental sealants have a life-span of 1 to 5 years. Keep in mind that a well placed sealant could last even loner. However, it’s not too uncommon to see sealants fall off within months or even almost immediately after they are placed. In fact it is very rare to adults with dental sealants in place as they almost always have washed off by this time.
Not every tooth benefits the same from a sealant
Not all of your child’ s teeth will benefit equally from dental sealants. Back molar teeth with deep groves benefit the most from sealant placement. But if your back tooth have shallow groves or flat surfaces, then they won’t trap as much food and plaque. So a sealant probably won’t help them that much.
A perfect example of this is kids who grind their teeth very heavily. These children develop flat teeth surfaces and don’t require dental sealants any longer. Your dentist should first examine your child’s teeth to see if their groves are deep enough to warrant sealants and determine if they are good candidates for them or not.
Placing sealants can actually be harmful for high risk children
Sealants may not work as well for high risk children. Children with numerous cavities who fail to improve their diet and oral hygiene are considered high risk. There may be too many risks of sealants in these cases. High risk children typically require more aggressive and definitive dental treatments than sealants, like fillings or pre-made metal crowns.
Dental fillings are generally preferred over sealants in these circumstances. Sealants won’t be as effective and teeth will continue to trap food and bacteria and develop decay and cavity. In fact the sealants will break and start to contribute to trapping food and plaque and can end up being harmful to children with poor diet or oral hygiene habits.