Dental Sealants are a thin, plastic coating painted on the molars which are intended to act like armor for teeth but are they necessary?
The dentist approved by my insurance plan wants to seal my children's teeth because as they say, “they have deep grooves” where apparently cavities could potentially form in the future. I clarify that he is the “dentist approved by my insurance plan” because I do not consider him MY dentist, not the dentist I would choose.
While he's certainly very nice and extremely professional, I also think he is a very good salesman. He has thought of every possible way to examine, clean, photograph, x-ray, coat in fluoride, seal teeth and more. That's his job. He has kids and he says he feels that it is safe to x-ray his kids teeth with bitewings every year. Still, I feel uneasy.
What are dental Sealants?
Dental Sealants are a thin, plastic coating painted on the molars fills in tiny indentations and are intended to act like armor for teeth, preventing cavities during the years kids are most prone to them (elementary age children). One cause for concern is that if a sealant is placed over molar surfaces that aren't completely clean, it might trap decay underneath, which could create a bigger problem.
Although most dentists agree that proper preparation of the tooth is crucial: the tooth must be cleaned, polished, disinfected, and dried before the seal is painted on. This requires the child being completely still during the procedure.
“The most important consideration by far when placing sealants is the ability to keep the tooth dry during the placement process,” says Joseph Howard, a dentist in Wellington, Ohio. “It's very difficult to keep the tooth dry if the child is particularly squirmy, or if the surface of the tooth is hovering just at the gum line rather than out halfway.
So the question parents should ask is, ‘Are you sure you can keep the tooth dry enough to ensure successful placement?'” My kids are constantly moving. My kids do not like to sit still.
Today in his office one of his assistants actually laughed at me for refusing a fluoride treatment. She rolled her eyes and scoffed at me. It was the first time at this particular dentist office. Normally, the assistant we see (a different hygienist) is so friendly and polite. She just acknowledges our choice and moves on with the cleaning and exams.
I have not consumed fluoride or had it applied to my teeth in well over two decades and do you know what every dentist tells me every time I go for a checkup? “I wish all my patients took as good of care of their teeth as you do” and “your teeth look great!”
I've had three cavities in my life and they were in my childhood. Read the story about how the dental fillings had a negative impact on my health. Growing up on a dairy farm in rural Tennessee we were not exactly well off. I can only remember going to the dentist one time, and that was when I had my fillings. It is possible that I have forgotten some of the noneventful visits, but I really don't think my parents took us regularly. That was before mandatory insurance, so I'm sure my parents didn't have the money to take us to the dentist, and frankly I'm glad!
While my dad probably would have seen a lot of those procedures as unnecessary and opted out, who knows what all we would have had done to us back then. I dislike going to the dentist not because I fear getting the work done, but because I dislike the pressure to receive unnecessary procedures.
In the past I've read books by Weston Price and studied articles he has written to learn more about what actually causes tooth decay. More recently, I started studying how to remineralize teeth and I'm intrigued by the idea, so I have incorporated some of the methods into my dental routine at home.
My focus right now is: Are dental sealants actually safe for my kids?
Sealants, which are usually applied to back teeth as barriers against decay-causing bacteria, may leach bisphenol-A (BPA), an endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors have been linked to declining sperm counts and increased cancer rates in humans.(1)
According to Dr. Mercola parents should, “Avoid dental sealants for children, as they contain potent cancer-causing xenoestrogens. Many also contain high levels of fluoride.”(2) ”
- Avoid fluoride. It should not be used in your toothpaste, water, as a supplement, or in your dental office. Fluoride is a metabolic poison and will actually damage your teeth. There is enough fluoride in a tube of toothpaste to kill a small child. That is why there is a warning label on the back of your tube of toothpaste!” (3)
Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, states on Natural News “Under certain conditions, especially high temperatures, BPA is known to leach out of plastics and resins. Scientists believe that exposure to BPA from such sources is the reason that the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) has detected the chemical in the urine of 93 percent of all people tested.” (4)
For me excellent dental hygiene includes:
- Using a very small amount of non-fluoridated toothpaste (the one I use is sold here and I do not make money from this company, I've used their toothpaste since I had my mercury amalgams removed on the recommendation of the dentist I prefer to go to but who isn't covered by my insurance company)
- Dental floss
- Brushing with charcoal once daily
- A good diet, including bone broth, real butter, and plenty of coconut oil
- Eating fermented foods daily
- Avoiding sugar (try replacing it with xylitol which is better for children) (5)
- Plenty of sunshine (vitamin D)
- Supplementing with Vitamins A,D,E and K
- Fermented Cod Liver Oil
- Read the following books:
This book is full of great advice for parents, and includes tons of recipes:
Bottom line: Choosing to put sealants on a child's teeth is a parental judgment call. Each parent has the responsibility to weigh the risk of cavities vs. the potential risks of sealants. My personal choice is that I would rather take extra precautions to prevent cavities in the first place, and attempt to remineralize the teeth, or at worst, even have a small cavity filled with composite (not amalgams!) than to risk having sealants on my children's teeth.
Also of interest:
Have you had any experience with healing tooth decay? What are your tips for taking excellent care of your teeth?