Most parents know how hard it can be getting kids to brush their teeth, and this shows in the fact that cavities are extremely common in children and teens. What many parents don’t know is that there is a simple, low-cost, highly effective dental treatment that can help them in their fight to protect their kids’–and their own–teeth. In a short office visit, Bunker Hill Dentistry can apply dental sealants to the areas where cavities most often strike. This preventive technique can defend against the many problems related to cavities in children such as pain, impaired speech development, learning, and eating, infection, and more. Adults can take advantage of dental sealants, as well, and receive the same cavity-fighting protection. What Are Dental Sealants? Your back teeth, or molars, naturally develop grooves and pits that help you chew. Unfortunately, these pits can capture food that gets stuck and causes tooth decay and cavities. Dental sealants, also called pit-and-fissure sealants, are thin plastic coatings that fill in and stop those crevices from trapping bacteria, thus helping protect you against cavities. Dental Sealant Benefits Here’s why you should take advantage of dental sealants: They protect against cavities in back teeth, where 90% of cavities happen. The treatment is quick and absolutely painless. They make teeth easier to clean. They protect against up to 80% of cavities and can last as long as 10 years before wearing off. They can save you time, money, and discomfort by avoiding the need for fillings, crowns, or other expensive corrective treatments. A natural, sealant-protected tooth is stronger and healthier than a filled tooth. Who Should Get Dental Sealants? Although children are commonly thought of as the target demographic for dental sealants, people of all ages can benefit from the protection they provide. Of course, the sooner this protection begins, the better, because tooth decay is cumulative and virtually irreversible. Sealants can’t be applied over dental fillings or decayed teeth, which is why it’s so important to apply them early before decay begins. Children should get sealants at about age 5 or 6, when the first permanent molars come in, although sealants can be applied to baby teeth, as well, if your child’s teeth have especially deep grooves. They should get the second molars sealed as well, which happens around the age of 12. Adults who never got sealants or whose sealants have worn off can and should get treatment, too; the procedure is exactly the same no matter your age. How the Procedure Works Getting dental sealants is easy and pain-free and encompasses the following steps: First, the dentist cleans and dries the tooth. Next, he applies a mild solution to lightly etch the tooth to make bonding easier. The tooth is cleaned and dried again. The liquid sealant is dripped onto the tooth where it flows into the pits, filling them. Within moments the sealant is cured and hardened, and is then set in place and ready to defend your tooth against bacteria. Because the sealants are typically clear or white and in the back of your mouth, they will not be visible to anyone. Care for sealant-covered teeth is the same as your other teeth: brush twice a day and floss at least once. Over time and with use, the sealants will wear off, so they never have to be removed. When that happens, the same teeth can be resealed. Is There BPA in Dental Sealants? Because dental sealants are made of plastic, some patients may be concerned that the treatment will expose them to Bisphenol A (BPA), which has been shown to cause a number of adverse effects in the body, especially in kids. However, research from the ADA Science Institute has proven that the amount of BPA released in a dental sealant treatment is extremely low: just .09 nanograms (compared with the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended daily limit of 1 million nanograms for a 6-year-old child). In other words, food and drinks, cosmetics, paper receipts, and other common items are likely to be more significant sources of BPA than dental sealants. Why Bunker Hill Dentistry? Dr. Le and his wife and office manager Ann Le Specialists – Our team–led by our experienced dentist, Dr. Le–is skilled at applying dental sealants and provides an effective, long-lasting treatment. Serene setting – Our office is designed to provide a calm, relaxing environment to help put your mind at ease during treatment. Take a tour. Client satisfaction – We have one mission – total client satisfaction. “Care, Comfort, Convenience” is our guarantee to every client. More about Bunker Hill Dentistry. Reception room at Bunker Hill Dentistry State of the art – We utilize the most advanced technology such as the i-CAT 3D x-ray machine, All-On-4® implants and an anesthesia-delivery wand, for faster and more accurate diagnosis and treatment. Conveniently located – Located in Memorial, just a short drive from Houston’s city center. Find us on the map. Schedule An Appointment Not been to Bunker Hill Dentistry before? Read how to prepare for your first visit in our FAQs.