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Dental sealants are an easy way to help keep teeth healthy. A dental sealant is a plastic material that is put on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant material flows into the pits and grooves on those surfaces and acts like a barrier, protecting enamel by "sealing out" bacteria and bits of food.
Research has shown that dental sealants are safe and effective. The American Dental Association recommends that dental sealants are an important step you should take to lower your risk of tooth decay and cavities.
Sealants usually last several years before they need to be replaced. Over time, sealants can come off which means they may not protect the teeth as well. Chewing on ice or hard foods can also break down sealants.
It takes only a few minutes for your dentist or hygenist to seal each tooth. These are the steps they may use to put sealants on your teeth:
1. Your tooth is cleaned and the chewing surfaces are prepared to help the sealant
materials stick to your tooth.
2. The sealant is painted onto the chewing surface where it bonds to your
teeth and hardens.
3. A special light may be used to help the sealant harden.
Sealants are smooth and you can't feel them on your teeth. They are usually clear or white and can't be seen when you smile or talk.
Sealants are recommended for children and teenagers, since tooth decay can start soon after teeth come in. But, you never outgrow the chance of tooth decay and cavities, so adults can benefit from sealants, too!
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Sealants help prevent tooth decay and cavities. Your teeth are coated with a sticky film of bacteria, called plaque. Bacteria turn the sugar in what you eat and drink into acids that can break down the hard, outer layer of teeth, called enamel. Over time, the acid can weaken the enamel and may cause tooth decay, or a hole to form in your tooth's enamel (cavity).
Tooth decay often begins on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. These surfaces have pits and grooves where plaque, bacteria and bits of food can get trapped. Toothbrush bristles can't reach into the pits and grooves, and it makes it hard to keep them clean.
Dr. Suntrup may recommend dental sealants to keep decay from starting on these chewing surfaces in the pits and grooves.
Sealants are not a substitute for cleaning your teeth every day! They only help prevent decay if you stick to your daily oral hygiene routine.
Over time, your child's baby teeth are replaced by adult teeth. A 6 to 12 year-old child has both baby and adult teeth. Together, they help children eat, speak, and smile.
At about age 5 or 6, children begin to lose their bottom and top front teeth. By age 12, they will usually lose the last of their 20 baby teeth.
Their first adult teeth usually come in between ages 6 and 7. Your child will have a mix of baby and adult teeth for a while. By the time your child is 12 to 14 years old, they usually have all of their adult teeth except their wisdom teeth.
Not all children get the same teeth at the same time. Your child's teeth may erupt earlier or later.
Protect teeth and prevent decay with sealants. A dental sealant is a plastic material that is put on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant material flows into the pits and grooves on those surfaces and acts like a barrier, protecting enamel by "sealing out" bacteria and bits of food.
Sealing a tooth is fast and painless. Sealants can last several years before they need to be reapplied. Talk to Dr. Suntrup about sealants for your children!!
Your child's teeth-birth to age 6
Your child's teeth are important! Baby teeth, also called primary teeth, help your child chew and speak normally. They hold space in the jaws for the adult (permanent) teeth that come in later.
Your baby's teeth start to come in when they are about 6 months old. By age 3, most children have a full set of 20 baby teeth. Baby teeth will later be lost as your child grows. This makes room for adult teeth, which begin to come in around age 6. By the time children are teengaers they usually have all of their adult teeth.
As teeth come in, babies may have sore or tender gums. To help your baby feel better, you can:
-gently rub your baby's gums with clean, wet gauze, your finger, or a small, cool spoon
-give them a clean, chilled (not frozen) teething ring-but don't dip it in anything sweet or in other foods
Do not use benzocaine-containing over the counter teething products. These products can cause serious reactions in children. Details are available on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website: www.fda.gov.
Hate flossing??? These 5 reasons will change your mind!
Not flossing is icky! About 1/3 of plaque on your teeth can only be reached with floss or floss picks.
Flossing fights bad breath. Without flossing, food and plaque trapped between teeth can cause bad breath odors.
Not flossing hurts. Plaque buildup between teeth can lead to tender, inflamed and bleeding gums.
Floss sends plaque packing. Floss removes plaque below the gum line which can help keep teeth healthy and happy for years to come.
Flossing saves cash. Costly treatments for tooth and gum issues can be prevented by flossing.
1. Wind 18in. of floss around middle fingers
2. Slide floss between teeth, below the gumline and hug tooth as you slide up & down
3. Repeat on both sides of each tooth, using a fresh section of floss as you go
Tip: Try floss picks as a convenient on the go solution
We know. Flossing seems like a hassle. So are bleeding gums and bad breath!
Prevention is the best protection!
Professional cleanings ensure the removal of harmful plaque before it can damage your teeth and gums.
X-rays help detect hidden problems so they can be corrected before causing any damage.
Fluoride treatments for children (and adults) strengthen enamel, help resist decay & reduce effects of plaque.
A daily routine of brushing & flossing along with regular professional dental care will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
These things together can help keep your mouth healthy and happy. Schedule your appointment with our office today!
Dentists today do more than just cure the occasional toothache.
Preventative Dentistry - Preventative cleanings & exams ensure that small problems don't become big ones.
Cosmetic Dentistry - Advances in cosmetic procedures allow you to enhance the shape, color, size or alignment of your teeth.
Make your appointment today with Dr. Suntrup!
Thanksgiving is a holiday infamous for rows of food choices, many of which are not especially healthy. Fortunately, you can have a delicious feast that is also good for you with these healthy Thanksgiving tips.
Foods high in sugar are a particularly common cause of tooth decay. Making these foods a treat rather than a staple will help protect your teeth.
To maintain a balanced diet, eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups.
When choosing a snack, go for nutritious foods such as cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt or a piece of fruit or nuts. Cheese is great for teeth because it contains strength-building calcium. Nuts contain calcium and minerals that strengthen and remineralize teeth. The chewing of hard, crunchy nuts as well as raw vegetables produces extra saliva, which fights germs and prevents decay.
As a bonus, these tooth-healthy foods are also good for your heart and waistline. With these healthy Thanksgiving tips, it is possible to enjoy a delicious holiday dinner without gaining weight or jeopardizing your sparkling smile.
Our practice encourages children to enjoy all the fun of the Halloween season. We ask that parents monitor their kids' candy selection and avoid hard or sticky candies (gummies, caramel, taffy). We reiterate the importance of brushing twice (or three times) a day and flossing. We suggest parents place candy in a bowl and offer children one piece when the situation is appropriate or allow children to eat candy in moderation during meals. The increased saliva production during meals can offset acids produced by bacteria. Sugar-free candies and gum are preferable. Dr. Suntrup reminds parents to follow precautions from local law enforcement regarding overall safety and encourage parents to let children have fun!
Do you know what October is, besides the first full month of Autumn?? It's National Dental Hygiene Month!! This month is a perfect time to thank your Dental Hygienist for that brilliant smile!
Dental Hygienists play an important role in preserving good oral health. October is a great month to start the conversation about how we all can do a better job on our own oral care. According to the American Dental Hygienists' Association, that starts with the Daily 4: Brush, Floss, Rinse and Chew.
How to do the Daily 4:
We all know we should brush our teeth every day, but did you know 2 is the magic number when it comes to brushing? Brushing for 2 minutes 2 times a day helps prevent cavities, gingivitis and other oral disease.
Flossing removes food particles a toothbrush can't reach, while rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash helps remove total mouth bacteria and biofilm. It's a 3 part process that we should be doing at least twice every day.
So where does chew fit into the equation? Glad you asked! Chewing sugar-free gum after snacks and meals complements healthy oral care and helps protect teeth while also stimulating saliva glands that help clean your teeth.
In addition to preaching the Daily 4, Dental Hygienists are the ones who Save Our Smiles (#SOS) through cleaning services at the dental office. They perform preventive oral care, check for gingivitis and periodontal disease (gum disease), and show us effective cleaning and oral care techniques. This is why a visit to the Dental Hygienist should be on your to-do list at least twice a year.
Have you made your appointment yet?