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Sealants

September 16th, 2021

Brushing and flossing are the best ways to help prevent cavities, but it’s not always easy to clean every nook and cranny of your teeth – especially those back teeth you use to chew (called molars). Molars are rough, uneven and a favorite place for leftover food and cavity-causing bacteria to hide.

Still, there’s another safety net to help keep those teeth clean. It’s called a sealant, and it is a thin, protective coating (made from plastic or other dental materials) that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth. They’re no substitute for brushing and flossing, but they can keep cavities from forming and may even stop early stages of decay from becoming a full-blown cavity.

In fact, sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars. This is especially important when it comes to your child's dental health. In October 2016, the Centers for Disease Control released a report on the importance of sealants for school-aged children, of which only 43% of children ages 6-11 have. According to the CDC, "school-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants."

You may have many questions about sealants, and we have answers for you below. Read on to learn more about sealing out tooth decay.

How Do Sealants Work?

Think of them as raincoats for your teeth. When the cavity-causing bacteria that live in everyone’s mouth meet leftover food particles, they produce acids that can create holes in teeth. These holes are cavities. After sealant has been applied it keeps those bits of food out and stops bacteria and acid from settling on your teeth—just like a raincoat keeps you clean and dry during a storm.

Who Can Get Sealants?

Children and adults can benefit from sealants, but the earlier you get them, the better. Your first molars appear around age 6, and second molars break through around age 12. Sealing these teeth as soon as they come through can keep them cavity-free from the start, which helps save time and money in the long run. Ask your dentist if sealants are a good option for you and your family.

How Are Sealants Applied?

It’s a quick and painless process. Your dentist will clean and dry your tooth before placing an acidic gel on your teeth. This gel roughs up your tooth surface so a strong bond will form between your tooth and the sealant. After a few seconds, your dentist will rinse off the gel and dry your tooth once again before applying the sealant onto the grooves of your tooth. Your dentist will then use a special blue light to harden the sealant.

Can Sealants Be Placed Over Cavities?

Sealants can be used over areas of early decay to prevent further damage to your tooth. Because some sealants are clear, your dentist can keep an eye on the tooth to make sure the sealant is doing its job.

Are There Any Side Effects?

With the exception of an allergy that may exist, there are no known side effects from sealants.

Is There BPA In Sealants?

Yes, there is a tiny amount of BPA in sealants but not enough to cause you or a loved one any harm. In fact, you get more exposure to BPA by simply touching a receipt, using cosmetics or coming in contact with dust.

BPA in sealants

How Long Do Sealants Last?

Sealants will often last for several years before they need to be reapplied. During your regular dental visit, your dentist will check the condition of the sealant and can reapply them as needed.

Are Sealants Covered By Dental Plans?

Some plans do cover sealants, so call your dental benefit company to find out what kind of coverage you have.

www.mouthhealthy.org

Two Thirds of What Goes on in your Mouth is Below the Surface

September 9th, 2021

Just like what’s under the bread in a sandwich, orthodontists use x-rays to check below the surface to look for extra teeth, missing teeth, impacted teeth or teeth coming into the wrong positions.

Speaking of extra teeth, did you know snails have over 14,000? A full set of adult human teeth has only 32.

Why is looking below the surface so important?
Well, some things may be hiding that can only be seen through x-rays. Impacted teeth may prevent adult teeth from erupting properly. Sometimes, an impacted tooth can even harm the roots of neighboring teeth, cause crowding and may cause already erupted teeth to move into unhealthy positions.

If you do have an “invisible” orthodontic problem, an early check-up and x-ray may help you avoid more costly, invasive treatments down the road.
It may be easier for Dr. Johnson to identify and correct a problem when it is forming rather than waiting for it to fully develop.

You wouldn’t skip a well-check at the pediatrician, and you shouldn’t skip an early trip to the orthodontist either. A visit to Dr. Johnson by age 7 will help keep your child’s oral health in check. Just because your general dentist has not referred you does not mean you cannot visit Dr. Johnson for an exam. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile.Our Low-Dose Kid Friendly X-Ray Machine | Fresh Orthodontics

https://www.aoinfo.org/

3 Things All Athletes Should Do for Their Teeth

September 2nd, 2021

A child plays hockey while wearing a mouthguard

Make a Mouthguard Part of Your Uniform

Helmet? Check. Knee pads? Check. Mouthguard? Check! Mouthguards usually cover your upper teeth and protect your teeth, lips, tongue, face and jaw against injuries, so they need to be part of your uniform in any sport you play.

Wearing a mouthguard regularly becomes second nature. It does not matter what type of mouthguard you choose, just make sure it fits properly.

In fact, many sports won’t let you play without one.  USA Hockey requires all youth players to wear a mouthguard. “The referees have to be able to see it, and it has to be colored,” says Dr. Long, a former college hockey player and team dentist for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes.

 

Sideline Sugary Sports Drinks

If you need to quench your thirst, reach for water instead of a sports drink. The bacteria in your mouth will use the sugar from your sports drink to produce an acid that weakens the hard outer shell of your teeth, which may increase your risk for cavities over time.  This bacteria can sit in your mouth guard and attack your enamel the entire time it's in during play.

 

Brush, Floss, Rinse, Repeat

Practice makes perfect when you’re mastering the skills of any sport, so do the same with your daily dental habits.  An unhealthy tooth is more likely to be damaged if a sports injury happens.  A tooth that has had a lot of decay and a lot of fillings is nowhere near as strong as a tooth that has not had decay and has not had a lot of fillings.

Keep your smile strong by brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing once a day. Then, in the home stretch of your daily dental routine, use an ADA-Accepted mouthwash.

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/

Why an Orthodontist is the Right Person for Orthodontic Treatment

August 19th, 2021

When your dog is overdue for a groom, you wouldn’t bring them to your appointment at the salon. To maintain a poodle's luscious locks or a husky's thick winter coat, you visit a groomer, the definite choice in caring for your dog’s specific needs. Well, the same is true for orthodontic treatment!

The uniqueness of each individual's tooth structure means that every case is going to be treated a little differently, whether it's an overbite, protrusion, cross-bite, etc. Orthodontists are specialized in properly aligning teeth and jaws and possess the dental training to give you your best smile, making them an easy choice for orthodontic treatment. To put it simply, it’s best to see an orthodontist for orthodontics!

Here’s why:

1. Orthodontists are specialists.

Orthodontists are specialists who focus on the bite and alignment of your teeth. Dr. Johnson prides herself in being a perfectionist when it comes to delivering the best, most comfortable smile to each and every patient.  Her job as an orthodontist is to not only make sure that your smile looks great, but your bite feels good and functions properly, too.

2. Orthodontists have 3,700 hours of orthodontic training.  YES! 3,700.

In addition to dental school, orthodontists are the only dental specialists who have additional education and training focused exclusively on the movement of teeth, jawbones, facial bones, and soft tissue–3,700 hours of specialized training to be exact. They understand growth and development and are also called dentofacial orthopedists.  Dr. Johnson also takes time outside of the office to continue her dental training by regularly attending seminars, group-study programs, and working together on complex cases to achieve the best treatment possible for her patients.

3. Because of their extensive training, they can provide you with a truly customized treatment plan.

Straightening teeth and aligning the bite are both complex biological processes, not quick fixes. With expertise in those complexities (like changes in jaw bones, facial bone and soft tissue as teeth are moved), Dr. Johnson and her staff are well-equipped to provide a truly custom treatment plan that is best for you. When it comes to your health you don’t want to miss any critical factors. When it’s time to make an appointment for yourself or your family, take comfort in knowing that, by selecting Dr. Pamela Johnson and her staff, you will be seeing the right person for the job.

https://aaoinfo.org

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