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Our South Charlotte Dentist Explains Dental Sealants & Their Benefits

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are plastic materials that are placed on the surfaces of the teeth. They are typically placed on the pre-molars and molars because those are the places where tooth decay is most likely to occur. Although flossing and brushing can prevent cavities, it can be extremely difficult to reach the pre-molars and molars. That is why these areas are prone to cavities.

Sealants are designed to protect the enamel from acid and plaque. The tooth will be protected as long as the sealant remains in place. Sealants can potentially last for several years. Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth, but teenagers and adults can benefit from them as well.

Even if there is already a small cavity in the tooth, a dental sealant will still be effective. Sealants prevent plaque and bacteria from entering the tooth. This will prevent the cavity from getting bigger.

Sealants have been around since the 1960s. However, many people are still unaware of the fact that sealants exist. In fact, less than 30 percent of the children today have sealants on their teeth.

Dentists often recommend dental sealants as a part of preventative dentistry service. Applying sealants is just one of the many things that can be done to prevent cavities.

Process Of Applying The Sealant

There are multiple steps that a cosmetic dentist will have to take when applying a sealant. The first thing that the dentist will do is clean the tooth. The tooth will then be dried and then cotton will be placed around the tooth. After that, the dentist will apply a solution that will make the tooth rough. It will be easier for the sealant to stick if the tooth surface is rough.

The tooth will then be rinsed and dried. Another piece of cotton will be placed around the tooth. The liquid sealant will be applied to the tooth and allowed to harden. It will only take a few seconds for the sealant to harden.

If you are interested in any cosmetic or preventative dentistry services, then you should contact our cosmetic dentist.

6 Reasons to See Our Charlotte Dentist Twice a Year

Many people avoid going to their local dentist, and when pressed, they can come up with a number of reasons why they don’t. There really aren’t any good reasons not to see a general dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning, but there are plenty of good reasons to do so. Here are six of them from our Charlotte dentist.

Maintain the Appearance of Your Teeth
One of the best reasons to get dental exams twice a year is to take care of your teeth. While brushing and flossing help, you need professional cleanings to remove the plaque from your teeth that you miss.

Identify Tooth Problems Early
Seeing your general dentist twice a year helps ensure problems with your teeth are caught early. When a dentist is examining your teeth twice a year, it’s much easier to find things such as cavities before they grow bigger and become more of a problem.

Take Care of Your Overall Health
Gum and tooth disease have been linked to other health problems, including heart disease, so it’s important to your overall health to visit our local Charlotte dentist bi-annually. When you have a dentist taking care of your mouth on a regular basis, it helps with your overall health and preventing further health related issues.

Oral Cancer Screening
Every time your dentist looks in your mouth, he or she looks at more than just your teeth. Dentists examine your tongue, the insides of your cheeks and the roof and floor of your mouth looking for any lumps or abnormal looking sores. Since oral cancer is very treatable when found early, it’s important to have these regular checkups with your dentist.

Obtain Professional Advice
Dental exams can help the dentist spot problems with the way you are caring for your teeth and suggest better ways to do it. For example, your dentist might notice that you aren’t flossing enough or that you seem to be brushing too hard and are irritating your gums. 

Insurance & Payment Plans to Help with Costs
One of the top reasons people avoid the dentist is because of the cost. However, if you have dental insurance, cleanings are usually free or require just a small co-pay. And even if you don’t have insurance, regular checkups typically aren’t too expensive and many dentists offer payment plans to help spread out payments across a number of months, depending on the procedure’s needed. Also, just think of the money you’d save by getting your teeth checked a couple times a year, versus not going to the dentist and then needing a large, costly procedure to fix damaged gums or teeth.

As you can see, it’s important to see your dentist twice a year. If you haven’t been in a while, give our Charlotte dentist a call today to request an appointment.

Oral Health Concerns in Children Shared by Our Charlotte Dentist

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

This condition is also known as nursing bottle syndrome, childhood caries or nursing caries. It occurs when the teeth of the baby are in regular contact with sweet drinks or sugars from milk, fruit juices, sugar water or fruit juice diluted with water. When children fall asleep with breast milk in their mouth there is a high risk of tooth decay. This happens because the bacteria in the teeth will feed on the sugars resulting in tooth decay. If this condition remains untreated for a long period of time the child may experience pain and discomfort when eating or chewing. It is important to remember that the baby’s teeth function as space savers to give room to adult teeth. If the teeth are damaged at an early age, the permanent teeth will be misaligned, resulting in crooked permanent teeth or crowded teeth. Proper dental hygiene should begin at an early age.

Tongue Thrusting

Tongue thrusting is basically sealing the mouth by thrusting the tip of the tongue forwards pushing it against the lips. Similar to thumb sucking, tongue thrusting also exerts excess pressure on the front teeth. What this does is that it pushes them out of position. The pressure which acts against the front teeth causes them to protrude therefore creating an overbite. The overbite can interfere with speech development which affects pronunciation. A children’s dentist in a local dentist office can assess the extent of the damage as a result of tongue thrusting. The dentist can work out a treatment plan that will help the child to develop muscles when chewing by adopting a new swallowing pattern.

Lip Sucking

Lip sucking is basically holding the lower lip in between the upper and lower jaw. Sucking often occurs in combination with either tongue thrusting or thumb sucking. Lip sucking also results in an overbite and may cause teeth misalignment. Children struggling with lip sucking need to visit a children’s dentist to get advice on how to stop the habit.

Early Tooth Loss

Premature tooth loss in children can occur due to an injury, poor dental hygiene that leads to tooth decay or lack of sufficient jaw space. If tooth loss happens before the permanent teeth grow, the nearby teeth can shift or tip. A permanent tooth which is trying to make its way may lack enough room. This may cause the new tooth to emerge tilted. Misaligned or crooked teeth can interfere with proper chewing and also result in temporomandibular joint problems. It is important to immediately take the child to a local dentist office. The children’s dentist may give the child a space maintainer. This space maintainer holds the space that is left by the tooth loss and maintains it until the permanent tooth erupts.

Oral dental problems in children can be treated if detected early, so be sure to visit your dental office or come to our local Charlotte NC dentist office for a comprehensive dental evaluation of your child.

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