Are There Foods to Avoid When a Child Has Dental Sealants?

Are There Foods to Avoid When a Child Has Dental Sealants? from Grand Parkway Pediatric Dental in Richmond, TXDental sealants are plastic coatings that are painted over the chewing surfaces of teeth further back in the mouth (molars and premolars). They reduce the risk of cavities. However, protecting the sealants and further reducing your child’s risk of tooth decay also requires limiting the consumption of or avoiding certain foods.

What foods should my child avoid with dental sealants?

The most common foods that can cause problems with dental sealants and contribute to tooth decay are hard foods, sticky and chewy candy, tough meats, high-sugar foods, and soft drinks. Limiting your child’s consumption of these foods and drinks can help ensure their dental sealants remain durable and effective.

Hard foods

Hard foods such as ice and hard candies are infamously known for damaging teeth. While dental sealants are strong and relatively durable, they are still vulnerable to damage caused by hard foods and objects. Therefore, parents should advise their kids against biting down on hard candies, ice, pencils, and other foods and objects that could cause damage.

Sticky and chewy candy

Another type of food that can damage dental sealants is sticky or chewy candy, such as gummy candy, caramels, and toffee. These candies can pull on the sealant material and loosen their bond to the chewing surfaces of teeth, which may lead them to not last as long as they should. Also, these sweets contain a lot of sugar, which may increase a child's risk of cavities, particularly in areas without dental sealants.

Tough meats

Tough meats can also damage dental sealants through excessive chewing and pulling on the sealant material. Eating meats that contain bone could also lead to accidentally biting down on a bone, which could chip or crack the dental sealant and require early replacement. As a result, dentists recommend that kids eat softer meats and fish rather than steak, ribs, and other red meats.

Limit sugar consumption

Sugar increases the risk of dental decay in general. While the areas with dental sealants are not likely to develop cavities, other areas of the teeth can still decay. In addition, the acidic attacks that result from sugar and bacteria combining could also damage the sealant prematurely.

Soft drinks and dark beverages

Soft drinks often contain sugar or harmful alternatives to sugar that are detrimental to dental sealants as well as to a child’s general oral health. It is best to limit children’s sugar consumption and dark beverages such as tea and sweetened juices (e.g., cranberry and blueberry). Instead, encourage your child to sip water throughout the day to wash bacteria and food particles away.

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Learn more about dental sealants during a consultation

Our pediatric dental practice offers consultation visits with parents to discuss how to prevent children from getting cavities. We offer dental sealants as well as other forms of preventive and restorative treatment. Reach out to our friendly team today to schedule a visit for your child.

Request an appointment or call Grand Parkway Pediatric Dental at 832-579-0960 for an appointment in our Richmond office.

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