Archive: July 2016

Sealants: Stop Cavities Before They Start

sealants

 

Few oral health issues can be preempted or totally prevented. There are many factors involved in whether or not you get cavities or develop dental complications, including genetics and daily hygiene. Sealants can help prevent cavities, to preserve your smile for up to a decade!

What Are Sealants?

Sealants are a thin plastic coating painted onto the chewing surface of your teeth to prevent decay, particularly on premolars and molars. They can prevent cavities by bonding to the grooves of teeth where most decay begins – even more effective thanbrushing, flossing, and rinsing alone.

Sealants are most often used on children ages 6 through 14, when they are most vulnerable to cavities. They can also be used on adults who don’t have decay or fillings in their molars, or for babies with deep depressions and grooves in teeth, to preserve them as placeholders for adult teeth. In all cases, your dentist will determine if sealants are age-appropriate and will tailor the treatment to each patient.

Applying Sealants is Quick and Painless

The best thing about sealants is the quick and painless application. In fact, there are four simple steps in the whole process:

  1. Cleaning – each tooth that is being sealed is cleaned to make sure the bond is as strong as possible.
  2. Prep – Once the teeth are clean, they are dried and surrounded by cotton to prevent saliva from getting the tooth wet. An acid solution is also applied to help the sealant bond to your teeth.
  3. Rinse and Dry – After the acid solution, one more rinse and dry is needed before the sealant application.
  4. Applying the Sealant – After the prep work, the sealants are applied. Your dentist or hygienist may also use a special curing light to help the sealants harden more quickly.

Sealants Can Stand the Test of Time

Few dental treatments are permanent and sealants are no different. But they can provide up to 10 years of protection – great for young children, babies and adults.

The best way to prolong the effectiveness of your treatment is regular dentist visits. They can check to see if your sealants are chipping or wearing, and replace them if needed.

Sealants Can Keep Your Smile Beautiful and Functional

Sealants are a simple treatment to prevent tooth decay and protect some of the most functional teeth in your mouth – a worthwhile investment for you and/or your children to keep healthy smiles for life.

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Fact or Fiction? Five Tooth Myths Debunked

fact or fiction

 

Far too many tales are told about teeth, ranging from scary to wacky and everything in between. Find out if they’re fact or fiction!

1. “White teeth are healthy teeth.”

Pearly white does not necessarily mean healthy. Some of the whitening ingredients in toothpastes and mouthwashes can also create an image of perfection, but cavities, gum disease and other dental issues could lurk beneath the surface.

2. “Pregnant women should postpone dental visits.”

Not at all! Regular dental care is strongly encouraged during pregnancy. According to the American Dental Association, pregnant women are more likely to develop periodontal diseases, gum infections that can result in bleeding, sensitivity and loss of tooth support. Mulberry-shaped lumps between the teeth, called “pregnancy tumors,” can also emerge. These are non-cancerous and should go away after pregnancy, but can also be removed.

Pregnant women should inform their dentist of their pregnancy so treatment plans can be adjusted accordingly. Certain procedures and medications may be postponed to avoid any health risks to the baby.

3. “Hot or cold food will crack your teeth.”

It is true that cracks or lines could happen from extreme changes in the temperature of your teeth, but these are usually too shallow to pose a major threat. If you spot a crack, it’s always best to have a dentist take a look. In the rare case that the crack is deep, chewing can widen it and expose sensitive nerves.

4. “Don’t worry about brushing baby teeth – they fall out anyway.”

While baby teeth will eventually fall out, starting with poor dental habits can cause a lifetime of oral health problems. Baby teeth are placeholders for permanent teeth and are important for healthy nutrition. Find out more about the importance of early oral hygiene. Teach children to brush and floss regularly to save them from painful cavities and gum disease, now and later in life.

5. “Bleaching your teeth is bad for you.”

Today’s bleaching treatments use PH-neutral solutions that are absolutely safe for you and your teeth. Treatments may cause tooth sensitivity, but just temporarily.

There’s a chance for an element of truth in any saying you hear, but unless the advice comes from your dentist, don’t let it impact your oral care. Get your dentist’s professional opinion on dental matters or questions that interest you during your next appointment. Or if you’re pressed for time, call us for immediate clarification.

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