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Dental Sealants: Protecting Your Teeth for a Lifetime of Healthy Smiles

Dental Sealants: Protecting Your Teeth for a Lifetime of Healthy Smiles

What Are Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied onto the surface of the teeth in order to protect them from bacteria and acids that cause tooth decay. The sealant forms a protective barrier over the enamel (the hard outer layer of your teeth) by filling in small grooves or pits where food particles can get trapped and cause plaque buildup. This simple preventive measure can go a long way in protecting your teeth from cavities.

Importance of Dental Sealants in Maintaining Oral Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), dental sealants have been shown to reduce tooth decay by up to 80% in school-aged children who receive them on their permanent molars. This statistic alone shows just how effective this preventive measure is at maintaining oral health.

Dental sealants provide an extra layer of protection against bacteria and acids that normal brushing and flossing cannot reach. Dental sealants also have long-lasting effects when applied properly with regular check-ups with a dentist ensuring any damage or wear is repaired quickly before it leads further damage or decay.

In addition to its effectiveness, dental sealant is also cost-effective as compared to other dental treatments. It is significantly cheaper than getting a filling or a crown, making it a viable option for most people.

Dental sealants are an essential tool in maintaining oral health. By providing an extra layer of protection against tooth decay and cavities, they can help you keep your teeth healthy and prevent more costly dental procedures down the road.

Types of Dental Sealants

There are two main types of dental sealants: resin-based and glass ionomer-based. Resin-based sealants are more commonly used due to their durability and longevity. Glass ionomer-based sealants are typically used for baby teeth or as a temporary solution until permanent restorations can be placed.

How Dental Sealants Work

The application process for dental sealants involves cleaning and preparing the tooth surface before applying the resin material. Once applied, the material bonds directly to the tooth surface, creating a protective barrier that lasts for several years. Dental sealants work by forming a physical barrier between the grooves and pits on tooth surfaces where bacteria can accumulate, effectively preventing cavities from developing in these areas.

They also help prevent future damage by sealing out bacteria that can cause further decay. By reducing your risk of developing cavities, dental sealants can save you time and money in costly restorative treatments down the line.

Benefits of Dental Sealants

Prevention of tooth decay and cavities

One of the primary benefits of dental sealants is their ability to prevent tooth decay and cavities. Sealants are particularly effective at protecting the molars and premolars, which are the teeth located in the back of your mouth that are most susceptible to decay. By sealing grooves and crevices in these teeth with a resin material, sealants prevent food particles and bacteria from becoming trapped and causing decay.

Protection for vulnerable teeth surfaces

Dental sealants can also provide protection for teeth surfaces that are especially vulnerable to damage. This may include teeth that have thin enamel, as well as those that have undergone restorative dentistry procedures such as root canals or fillings. Sealants create a barrier between these surfaces and the outside environment, shielding them from harmful bacteria, acids, and debris.

Cost-effective preventive measure

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of dental sealants is their cost-effectiveness when compared to other types of preventive dental care. While regular cleanings, x-rays, and fillings can quickly add up in terms of out-of-pocket costs or insurance co-pays, dental sealant application is relatively inexpensive.

In fact, many insurance plans cover some or all expenses related to this procedure for children under a certain age. Additionally, because sealants can last for several years with proper care, they provide long-term value for patients seeking to maintain optimal oral health without breaking the bank.

Who Needs Dental Sealants?

Children and Teenagers

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that children receive dental sealants as soon as their permanent molars come in, usually around age 6. At this age, the teeth are vulnerable to decay and cavities because they have deep grooves and pits that trap food and bacteria. Applying dental sealants to these teeth can prevent up to 80% of cavities.

Teenagers who have not had dental sealants before can still benefit from them. As children’s molars continue to grow until about age 14, teenagers who may not have received the treatment at a younger age should consider getting sealants on previously untreated teeth.

Adults with Deep Grooves or Pits in Their Teeth

Even adults can benefit from dental sealants if they have deep grooves or pits in their teeth. These areas can easily trap food particles and bacteria, leading to tooth decay and cavities. By applying a layer of dental sealant over these areas, adults can significantly reduce their risk of developing tooth decay.

It is important to note that some adults may already have fillings in these areas, which would make it impossible or impractical to apply dental sealant. Your dentist will be able to advise you on whether or not you are a good candidate for this procedure.

Individuals with a High Risk for Tooth Decay

Individuals who are particularly susceptible to tooth decay due to factors such as poor oral hygiene habits, dry mouth syndrome or other health issues should consider getting dental sealants applied. This preventive measure helps protect vulnerable areas of the teeth from bacteria that could cause further damage. Dental professionals recommend scheduling regular checkups for individuals with high risks of tooth decay throughout their lives since applying new layers of sealant is necessary every few years depending on several factors including the type of sealant used and the individual’s oral hygiene regimen.

The Procedure for Applying Dental Sealants

Preparation before the procedure

Before applying dental sealants, your dentist will examine your teeth to determine if they are healthy and free from decay. They may also clean your teeth thoroughly to remove any plaque or debris that could interfere with the application of the sealant. If you have existing fillings or cavities, your dentist may recommend treating them first to ensure optimal oral health.

Application process and materials used

The application process for dental sealants is straightforward and typically takes only a few minutes per tooth. First, your dentist will dry the surface of the tooth and apply an acid solution that roughens up the enamel. This helps the sealant adhere more effectively to the tooth surface.

Next, the dentist will rinse off the acid solution and dry the tooth once again before applying a thin layer of dental sealant material onto each tooth’s chewing surface. The material used for dental sealants can vary slightly depending on what type of sealant is being applied.

However, most dental sealants are made from either resin or glass ionomer cement material. Resin-based sealants tend to be more durable but require a dry surface during application, while glass ionomer cement-based materials can be applied to slightly damp surfaces but may not last as long.

Aftercare instructions

After having dental sealants applied, it is important to take care of them properly to ensure their longevity and effectiveness at preventing tooth decay. Your dentist will likely give you specific instructions on how best to care for your newly sealed teeth.

Generally speaking, after getting dental sealants applied you should avoid eating anything hard or sticky for at least 24 hours afterwards as this could potentially dislodge them. You should also make sure you brush and floss regularly as normal to maintain good oral hygiene practices overall.

Additionally, you may want to consider avoiding foods high in sugar as these can contribute to the development of tooth decay even if you have dental sealants applied. It is important to continue attending regular check-ups with your dentist so they can monitor the efficacy of your dental sealants and make any necessary adjustments.

Tips for Maintaining Dental Sealant Effectiveness

Regular brushing and flossing

One of the most effective ways to keep dental sealants in good condition is by practicing proper oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly can help remove food particles and bacteria that can affect the sealant’s effectiveness. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging the sealant surface, and choose fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your teeth.

Avoiding hard or sticky foods

While dental sealants are designed to provide a protective barrier against decay-causing bacteria, they are not invincible. Avoid biting down on hard objects like ice, hard candy or pens, as this can chip away the protective layer. Sticky foods such as caramel or taffy can also get stuck in between teeth and make it difficult to clean effectively.

Regular check-ups with a dentist

It’s important to schedule regular appointments with your dentist even if you have dental sealants in place. A dentist will check for any signs of decay or wear and tear of the sealant material during routine cleanings. This helps ensure that any issues are detected early, before they escalate into something more serious that requires extensive treatment.

Taking care of dental sealants involves being diligent about oral hygiene practices such as brushing, flossing while also avoiding certain foods that could damage them. Consistent check-ins with your dentist will help catch any issues early on so that you can maintain healthy teeth over time.

Schedule an Appointment

Dental sealants are an important preventive measure that can help to maintain good oral health. As outlined in this article, dental sealants are a protective coating that is applied to the teeth, usually the molars and premolars, to prevent tooth decay and cavities. They are particularly useful for children and teenagers who may not have developed good oral hygiene habits yet, as well as adults with deep grooves or pits in their teeth or those who have a high risk for tooth decay.

By investing in dental sealants, individuals can save money over time by avoiding expensive dental procedures such as fillings or root canals. Additionally, dental sealants provide long-lasting protection for teeth surfaces that are vulnerable to decay.

Regular brushing and flossing along with regular check-ups with a dentist can help maintain the effectiveness of dental sealants. While there may be some potential risks associated with the application of dental sealants such as allergic reactions or possible damage to existing fillings or decayed teeth, these risks tend to be low.

It is clear that dental sealants play an important role in maintaining good oral health. By taking proactive steps such as investing in dental sealants and practicing good oral hygiene habits, individuals can enjoy strong and healthy teeth for years to come.

Do not wait any longer. Book your appointment now and achieve the smile you have always wanted. Dr. Hergott is accepting new patients from Meriden and the surrounding area.

What’s the Connection between Oral Health and Overall Health?

What’s the Connection between Oral Health and Overall Health?

Most people know that keeping your mouth clean is the best way to have an attractive and healthy smile. However not so many will be aware of the benefits to general health. Having healthy teeth and gums helps protect your overall health.

What Is Oral Health?
Oral health is concerned with the condition of any of the structures in your mouth, including your teeth, gums, tongue and all your oral tissues.

How Is Oral Health Related to Overall Health?
When your teeth and gums are healthy then it’s much easier to eat a varied and nutritionally sound diet. Choosing foods that are good for your teeth, for example those that are low in sugar, will also benefit your general health. Having a nice smile helps boost self-esteem, and good oral health decreases the risk of bad breath. It’s also much easier to speak clearly when you have all your teeth.

Which Oral and General Health Conditions Are Linked?
Oral health has been connected to a number of different general health issues. Clinical studies have found links between gum disease and diabetes. For example, uncontrolled diabetes can increase the amount of glucose in the saliva, increasing the risk of gum disease. Conversely gum disease causes bleeding gums that allow bacteria in the mouth to enter into the bloodstream where it’s thought they can create new sites of inflammation, making it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. In addition diabetics find it more difficult to heal. Gum disease has also been linked to heart disease, and people with unhealthy gums could be at increased risk of developing heart issues.

How Can I Achieve Good Oral Health?
It’s important to visit your family dentist in Meriden as often as recommended. Book professional tooth cleanings at the same time as this will reduce bacteria in the mouth, helping to keep your gums healthy and strong. People with diabetes or other medical conditions that compromise their immune system may need to visit their Meriden general dentist more frequently.

Answers to Your Questions About Dental Crowns and Bridges

Answers to Your Questions About Dental Crowns and Bridges

What is a dental bridge?

  • Dental bridges make a bridge between two anchor teeth and are meant to fill a space left by a missing tooth. Teeth can be missing due to trauma, decay or some type of natural loss. Dental crowns cap the anchor teeth, giving the bridge stability and giving the replacement tooth the strength to function as a natural tooth.

What is a dental crown?

  • Dental crowns are a restorative treatment meant to protect a tooth that has gone bad due to cracking, acute decay, or has received root canal therapy. A crown is crafted to fit in your mouth and to function exactly as your natural tooth would. They work by covering the damaged tooth entirely and can change the shape or alignment of the prior natural tooth.

Isn’t a dental crown the same thing as a dental cap?

  • A dental cap and a dental crown are two different terms for the same thing.

What are dental crowns made of?

  • Dental crowns can be made of 100% ceramic (porcelain), porcelain-fused-to-metal, or gold or other metal alloy, including zirconia. Metal alloy dental crowns are typically stronger and more suited for back teeth.

Do dental crowns look natural?

  • Crowns made from porcelain or ceramic can be very natural looking. Many materials have excellent translucency, and mimic your natural teeth very well.

Is a dental bridge an option for me?

  • Are you missing a tooth? Are your adjacent teeth healthy and stable? If so, dental bridge treatment may be right for you.

Are there options available to me other than dental bridges to replace missing teeth?

  • The best alternative option to replace a missing tooth is a dental implant. Dental implants can restore one or more teeth by being placed directly into the jawbone, fusing securely over time.

If you’re considering moving forward to replace your missing tooth or teeth, discuss options with your cosmetic dentist. Get the answers you need to determine if dental crowns or dental bridges can help you reach your smile goals.

We treat patients from Meriden and the surrounding area

What Your Diet Means to Your Mouth

What Your Diet Means to Your Mouth

What you eat and drink can affect your oral health. A balanced diet will boost your body’s natural immune system, helping to lower your risks for oral problems. There are also certain foods and drinks that you should avoid in order to pave the way for healthy gums and strong teeth. Read on to learn how to ensure that your smile is safe and strong.

Cut down on snacks
Try to limit snacking between meals. The more often you eat, the more bacteria is stimulated and more acid is created. It is especially harmful to snack on sweet or starchy foods, which can harm your teeth and gums more quickly.

Limit sugar
Avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar. It can stick to your teeth and if not removed promptly and thoroughly, can lead to tooth decay.

Watch what you drink
Drink plenty of water, and avoid sodas and fruit juices. Both of these can be sugary and acidic, which can harm your tooth enamel and cause decay.

Maintain a healthy diet
Try to eat a balanced diet consisting of the five major food groups. A well-balanced diet provides the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that your teeth and gums need. Fresh vegetables and fruits, and foods rich in calcium, are good choices for your oral health.

Practice good oral hygiene
Contact our Meriden dental office to learn about good dental hygiene techniques that will help you prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and see your dentist for regular checkups.

Our dental office is located in Meriden

Quit Smoking to Save your Smile

Quit Smoking to Save your Smile

A number of serious health problems like cancer are linked to smoking, but your oral health is also at risk from using tobacco. Your teeth can be severely stained, turning them yellow or brown, and your lips can become darker too. Smokers have a higher risk of tooth decay, and bad breath is nearly inevitable. The negative outcomes of smoking continue to worsen the longer you keep doing it, so it’s highly advisable to kick the habit. However, as most smokers can attest, giving it up is not easy. Here are some tips that may help you quit smoking.

Make a list
Create a list of the reasons you’d like to quit smoking, and look at it often to remind you of your goals and the benefits you’ll achieve. These may include things like improving your overall health, restoring your smile, making loved ones proud of you, and even saving money.

Choose a date
Select a date on the calendar to stop, and stick to it. Having a concrete target can help you focus on the challenge ahead.

Ask for help
The support and encouragement from others can be a huge part of quitting smoking. Tell your family and friends about your goal, and allow them to play a part in accomplishing it.

Occupy your mouth
Sucking on sugarless candy or mints can keep your mouth busy, so you’ll be less inclined to put a cigarette in it. Chewing sugar-free gum is another great remedy for the urge to light up.

Keep busy
Try to find things to occupy your time and mind so that you aren’t constantly thinking about smoking. Take up a new hobby that involves both your mind and your hands so that you are busy with other, more beneficial, activities than puffing on a cigarette.

Our dental office is located in Meriden

Does Asthma Affect Oral Health?

Does Asthma Affect Oral Health?

About 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma, a long-term lung disease that causes swelling and narrowing of the airways. The condition has been linked to oral health, with patients having increased risk for cavities, gum problems, and bad breath.

One of the main culprits negatively impacting an asthma patient’s oral health is the medication required to treat the condition. Some medicines, such as corticosteroids, decrease the flow of saliva. This leads to dry mouth, which in turn can increase cavities and bad breath. Dry mouth is worsened by the fact that many asthma patients breathe through their mouth. Inhaled steroids can also increase the risk of thrush, which is caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth.

Here are some tips for keeping your mouth safe while still controlling your asthma:

  • Make sure your dentist is aware of your condition, as well as all medications that you are taking.
  • Rinse your mouth with water or a fluoride mouthwash after using your inhaler.
  • Consider using a spacer device with your inhaler, which will spray the medication directly into your throat and avoid some of the direct risks to your mouth.
  • Bring your inhaler with you to dentist appointments, both to show it to your dentist and to have your medication available in case you experience an asthma attack at the office.
  • Ask your dentist if more frequent dental visits are recommended in your case.
  • Inquire about adding fluoride supplements to your routine, especially in areas where the water is not fluoridated.
  • Maintain good brushing and flossing habits.

If you need a dentist in Meriden contact us today