Dental Tips Blog

Jul
31

Are Sealants the Same Thing as Fillings?

Posted in Fillings

Have you ever had a sealant before? If not, it’s easy to see how it can be confused with a dental filling.

These treatments both look white and sit on top of a tooth. Sealants are usually cheaper, but their differences go far beyond cost alone.

Sealants: What They’re For

A sealant is a thin ribbon of resin that fills in deep grooves on the chewing surface of a tooth. Toothbrush bristles can’t always reach into those valleys, so sealing them off makes for an easier to clean surface.

Sealants are designed to prevent decay.

Fillings: The Reparative Treatment Phase

Whether tooth-colored or metal, all fillings do the same job of repairing a tooth once a cavity has already struck. You can’t slap a sealant over a filling because that would just trap the decay inside a tooth where it will keep growing.

Instead, you have to remove the damaged tooth material and replace it with a new structure.

Do You Need A Sealant Or A Filling?

It’s not as simple of a matter as walking into your dentist’s office and requesting a sealant. In fact, even your dentist can’t tell you what you need until he or she gets a good look inside your mouth.

Special tools, lasers, and x-rays all aid in diagnosing decay. If nothing harmful is discovered, your dentist will be happy to place as many preventive sealants as you need. But once a spot of decay breaks through the enamel, it’s too late – that tooth will need a filling.

While you’re at your dentist’s, find out more about other cavity-prevention strategies. Call today to schedule your visit.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care Center At Kennestone
129 Marble Mill Rd NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 424-4565

Feb
6

How to Know if Your Child Needs Dental Sealants

How to Know if Your Child Needs Dental Sealants

You may already know that dental sealants are not the same thing as fillings. A restoration like a filling is something the dentist places after a tooth is damaged by a cavity. Sealants help to block out damage before it starts.

So what determines whether your child is a candidate for sealants?

Seal-Out Decay

Kids tend to have a hard time with proper brushing. They also love to eat sticky sweet snacks that pack into teeth and promote cavities. Sealing it off with a tiny bit of white resin-based material provides a barrier between the tooth and harmful bacteria or acid.

Sealants are instrumental in giving kids the upper hand over cavities. They’re now routinely offered in most dental offices as a preventative treatment. Sealing your child’s molars as early as possible can help them avoid getting cavities and spare them a lot of headache down the road.

How Groovy Are Your Kid’s Teeth?

Sealants are recommended for all kids. But, some kids need them even more than others. If your child has molars with really deep grooves on the chewing surfaces, then they could benefit from getting those sealed off shortly after the tooth erupts.

Age Matters

Generally-speaking, most dentist don’t recommend sealing baby teeth. Even though your child’s first teeth are important, the grooves are usually quite shallow. It’s the permanent teeth that have deep grooves, making them a priority to protect.

To find out whether your child is ready for sealants, schedule an appointment with your kids dentist. You’ll find out which teeth need to be repaired with fillings. . . and which teeth can avoid fillings with the help of dental sealants!

Posted on behalf of:
Atlantic Dental Partners
729 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 390-8484

Jan
30

6 Ways to Strengthen and Preserve Your Tooth Enamel

Our tooth’s outer layer is the hardest substance in the body. Enamel protects the sensitive parts of our teeth from bacteria, acids, temperature, and infection. We owe the whiteness of our smile to the hue of our enamel.

Here are a few ways you can thank your enamel and keep it strong.

  1. Increase Your Fluoride Use

This mineral is famous for transforming existing enamel into something too hard for cavities to develop in.

  1. Use Anti-Sensitivity Toothpaste

Does thin enamel have you cringing at the thought of drinking ice water?

A sensitivity toothpaste contains potassium nitrate – an ingredient that blocks up microscopic openings in your enamel.

  1. Limit Acid Exposure

Acid is enamel’s worst enemy.

Bacteria secrete an acid that eats away at enamel. Sodas, sports drinks, fruits, and sugars are all highly acidic. Cut back on these and cut your enamel some slack.

  1. Say ‘Cheese!’

Cheese is an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, and casein which all contribute to reinforcing enamel integrity.

  1. Get a Customized Mouthguard

Nightly teeth grinding is a nightmare for enamel. If you have a habit of clenching your teeth when you sleep, then you could probably use the protection of a bite guard.

  1. Dental Sealants

A dental sealant is a thin layer of resinous white material painted over the grooves on back teeth. This isn’t a filling, but it does ‘fill in’ the deep valleys of teeth to provide an extra line of defense, giving your enamel a much-needed break!

Once your enamel is lost, it doesn’t come back. Schedule a visit to your local dentist to have your enamel checked for signs of wear.

Posted on behalf of:
Sweetpea Smiles
15850 Southwest Fwy #400
Sugar Land, TX 77478
(281) 566-6100

Nov
30

Dental Sealants – Who Needs Them?

Dental sealants are commonly recommended for kids once their adult molars come in. You might wonder why they’re such a big deal – are there any benefit to getting them?

How Dental Sealants Work

You can compare the surface of a molar to a 3D map of a mountain range. Like a network of hills and valleys, teeth have this pattern so that they fit together in a way that lets you chew food efficiently.

Often times, the “valleys” on teeth are too deep for toothbrush bristles to clean. These are the areas where cavity-causing bacteria and acids can hide out.

A sealant is a thin resin seal that is painted onto the surface of molars. The material fills in the extra depth of the “valleys,” sealing out bacteria and creating a shallower surface that your toothbrush can keep clean.

Why Sealants Are Important for Kids

Kids aren’t always best about remembering to brush. It takes time for them to appreciate the need for good oral hygiene and make it a habit. To keep up with those times they slack off, sealants protect the newly-erupted adult teeth.

You only get one set of adult teeth. We want to guarantee those teeth survive childhood and last long into adulthood! Sealants can help.

And Adult Teeth?

Definitely not a good idea to seal in decay! A sealant is NOT a filling. If a tooth has decay or an existing filling, it probably won’t qualify for a sealant.

if you have a tooth (or teeth) with deep grooves and no signs of decay, it wouldn’t hurt to get sealants to keep it healthy in the future.

Ask your dentist about how dental sealants can benefit you and your family.

Posted on behalf of:
Salt Run Family Dentistry
700 Anastasia Blvd
St. Augustine, FL 32080

Sep
15

Help Your Child Avoid Cavities – 4 Strategies

Learning that your kid needs a filling or two can be one of the worst feelings! You don’t want to put your children through any dental treatment that can be avoided.

How can you prevent cavities form showing up in the first place? By following a few preventive steps, you can keep your kid’s smile sparkling and healthy.

  1. Fluoride, Fluoride, Fluoride!

Fluoride is a natural mineral that is essential to healthy tooth development. It also strengthens tooth enamel against attacks from acid and cavity-causing bacteria. Fluoride is used in toothpaste, mouthwashes, professional treatments, and prescription supplements as necessary.

  1. Introduce Great Oral Hygiene Habits

Begin flossing your child’s teeth as soon as all the baby teeth come in. Encourage independent flossing as soon as your son or daughter can handle floss correctly. Brushing should be done at least twice a day for two minutes. A great oral hygiene routine will definitely lower the cavity risk!

  1. Seal Out Decay Before It Starts

Dental sealants are:

  • Fast
  • Safe
  • Cost-effective
  • Powerful cavity fighters

A sealant is a thin layer of material painted onto the grooves of chewing teeth. This prevents bacteria from hiding in the deep grooves and starting cavities.

  1. Watch the Diet!

Try to limit the amount of sweetened drinks and sticky carbohydrates that your kid eats. These items create an acidic environment in the mouth, which wears down tooth enamel. Carbohydrates are also what feed the bacteria that cause cavities.

To find out exactly which preventive measures are best for your child’s dental health, schedule a visit with your local dentist. A dental check up is the best way to ensure a low cavity risk for your kids!

Posted on behalf of:
Marvin Village Dentistry
8161 Ardrey Kell Road
Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 579-5513

Aug
18

Does My Child Really Need Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are an increasingly popular preventive dental procedure for kids. But does this mean you should jump on-board and have them placed for your child’s smile?

What Sealants Do

With dental sealants, a thin layer of a resin material is painted into the grooves of the back teeth. This “paint” reduces the depth of the grooves, making it easier to keep them clean. It also prevents cavity-causing bacteria from settling in too deep.

The sealant placement process involves:

  • Polishing the surfaces of the tooth
  • Lightly etching the tooth surface
  • Painting the sealant material on in a thin layer
  • Curing the tooth with a bright light for a few seconds
  • Checking the surface for a tight bond
  • A fluoride treatment is recommended for strengthening the tooth even more

Are Sealants Safe?

Yes! Dental sealants don’t cause irreparable damage to tooth structure. They don’t leak any harmful toxins into the body system, and the placement process is drill-free. There is virtually nothing that you or your child should fear (not even shots!)

Benefits Now and Later

Dental sealants prevent food from getting stuck in the deep grooves of teeth. This makes them ideal for kids that have a hard time remembering to brush. By sealing out cavity-causing bacteria, you can reduce your child’s cavity risk altogether. Sealants can spare your family with the frustration of having longer appointments later on to repair the damage done by cavities.

Find out whether dental sealants are right for your kids by scheduling an examination with your local dentist. Regular check-ups will ensure that your children are given the best foundation possible for a future of healthy smiles!

Posted on behalf of:
Heritage Dental
23945 Franz Rd Suite A
Katy, TX 77493
(832) 709-2429

Apr
6

Why Should My Child Get Dental Sealants?

If your child has their permanent back teeth in, your dentist has probably recommended that they get dental sealants. Since your mouth has germs that can cause cavities, sealants are one of the recommended ways to prevent them on back teeth.

Why Your Child Should Get Sealants

The main reason why sealants are recommended is that they help prevent tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Fluoride toothpaste protects the smooth tooth surfaces. The biting surfaces have deep grooves that can trap germs in your mouth. The toothbrush bristles are too big to reach those grooves on your teeth. A sealant will fill those deep grooves with a tooth-colored coating which seals out cavity-causing germs.

How are sealants placed?

Your dentist or dental hygienist can place sealants on your child’s teeth. The key to placing sealants effectively is to keep the tooth surface dry.

1)      Clean and rinse top of tooth with a special paste.

2)      Dry the tooth and place cotton around it to keep it dry.

3)      A special gel is placed on the tooth to make it slightly rough.

4)      Rinse and dry the tooth. Place new cotton rolls around tooth.

5)      Paint liquid sealant into grooves.

6)      Hold a blue curing light over sealant to make it solidify.

Who should get sealants?

Children should have sealants placed on their “6 year molars” and their “12 year molars” as soon as they are fully erupted. This way, they can be sealed before a cavity has a chance to form. If your child has newly erupted molars, visit your dentist to inquire about getting sealants for them.

Posted on behalf of:
Dream Dentist
1646 W U.S. 50
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 726-2699

Mar
13

Cavity Prevention With Dental Sealant

The surfaces of your child’s teeth, especially the molars, are filled with grooves and crevices that are difficult to keep clean. This provides a place for tiny food particles hide in. Unfortunately, children aren’t always the best tooth brushers anyway, giving the back teeth the perfect place for cavities to develop. As baby teeth give way to adult ones, it becomes even more important to protect your child’s smile from cavities.

Your Dentist Can Help!

With the assistance of your dentist and good oral hygiene habits, childhood cavities can often be avoided – especially when dental sealants are used. Sealants are a resin-based barrier that’s applied to the surface of a tooth. This protective coating fills in the grooves, so that tooth brushing is more effective. Studies show that dental sealants can reduce cavities by 86% after one year and 58% after four years.

Quick and Easy Cavity Protection

Applying dental sealants on your child’s teeth can conveniently be done during a routine visit with your dentist. This painless procedure involves….

  • Preparing The Tooth – Your dentist or hygienist will thoroughly clean the tooth. Them the surface of the tooth is lightly etched, to insure that the sealant can bond properly. Finally, the tooth is rinsed and dried.
  • Placing The Sealant – The dental sealant will be “painted” onto the tooth with a brush. After the coating material has been applied, a special light will be used to cure and bond the sealant for good.
  • You’re Done! –  Once your dental sealant has been placed and allowed to harden, your bite will be checked to insure that it’s still comfortable and correct.

Now you’re ready to enjoy your food, with a little extra protection to prevent future cavities. Request sealants during you or your child’s next checkup.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

Dec
3

Sealants: An Ounce of Prevention, Worth a Pound of Cure

Dental sealants are one of the most effective preventive treatments that a child can have completed. A sealant is a protective coating that is placed in the chewing surfaces of permanent adult molars which have erupted, typically around the ages of 6 and 12, give or take a year. This bonded material prevents acids and bacteria from seeping deep into grooves on the chewing surfaces and causing cavities.

Even if your child has excellent oral hygiene, toothbrush bristles are too wide to enter into most deep fissures and grooves in a tooth. Over time these areas have a much greater risk to develop cavities, very early on. Once a tooth has had a filling, which must be changed out every so many years, and the tooth is weakened as larger restorations are placed in it. Utilizing dental sealants is one of the most effective ways to combat cavities from actually happening. They don’t seal off between teeth though, so it’s still essential to have your child floss each and every day.

The entire procedure takes only a few minutes per tooth, and is completely comfortable to perform. In fact, your child most likely won’t even know that anything else is going on, because sealants don’t require the use of any shots or drilling. Just a simple tooth conditioning, rinsing, brush on application and light curing are all that is needed! Ask your dentist whether or not your child is a candidate for sealants at their next cleaning appointment. Many dental insurance companies cover preventive sealants at 100%, allowing parents to utilize their benefits to full capacity, without paying anything out of pocket. Even then, sealants cost less per tooth to perform than even a co-pay for a filling. What better way to save your money, and your child’s teeth?

Posted of the behalf of Justin Scott

Google

Sep
25

Protecting Your Teeth With Dental Sealants

While brushing and flossing between your regular dental appointments are necessary to keep your teeth shining and healthy, sometimes we need a little be more help. Dental sealants are designed to protect your molars from cavities. Molars tend to have a cavernous texture where bacteria love to hang out and thrive. Dental sealants bond into the grooves (pits and fissures) of molars and protect them from cavities and tooth decay.

Unlike having a cavity filled, having a sealant put in is a painless procedure. A dental sealant is a clear or white liquid plastic material that is put into the grooves of molars. Your Fayetteville dentist or dental hygienist will extract moisture from you mouth with an air “vacuum” and will place cotton rolls around your teeth and inside your cheeks to prevent moisture from touching your molars. Next, a bonding agent similar to glue will be placed on your tooth that will hold the sealant in place. After approximately 60 seconds, the excess glue will be rinsed off and the sealant will be applied. Typically, a bright light will be held onto the tooth to harden the sealant. Sealants will typically last for a couple of years and can be reapplied once they have worn down.

Many dental insurance companies cover the cost of sealants, but if yours does not don’t fret. Most of the time sealants run in the family of $40-50 dollars per tooth. While this can add up, it is certainly less than having cavities filled even with insurance.

Protecting your dental health promotes a healthy lifestyle. Sealants are just one more way to make having a luminous smile easy and achievable.

Posted on behalf of Patrick O’Brien DMD, Carolina Comfort Dental

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