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All Posts Tagged: Bothell Dentist

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Sealants

Today we’re focusing on one the most important ways you can prevent cavities in your children’s teeth. Despite modern technology and the number of dental care products on the market, cavities are the most common chronic disease for children ages 6-19 according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The good news is that cavities are almost completely preventable with the proper care.  While the first step is instilling healthy brushing and flossing habits early on, parents can also give their children an advantage by talking to your dentist about sealants. Let’s walk through everything you need to know about sealants and provide answer to some of the most common questions we receive.

What is a Sealant?

While flossing and brushing can help control plaque, our molar teeth have deep grooves that help us grind our food.  While this is great for enjoying our favorite foods, debris can get stuck in these areas making teeth vulnerable to decay and cavities.   Dental sealants are a coating that is applied to the surface or occlusal of the teeth to provide a barrier to protect teeth from food and future decay.

Do Sealants Really Make a Difference?

Yes, they do! According to recent research published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, sealants on permanent molars are shown to reduce the risk of cavities by 80%. Since kids don’t always brush as thoroughly as we would like them to, sealants are a great first line of defense to protect your children from cavities.

How are Sealants Applied?

Since most sealants are applied to children, the process is designed to be quick and painless.  To achieve the greatest benefit from sealants, they should be applied shortly after permanent teeth arrive. For most children, this occurs around age 6.  The dentist or hygienist begins by polishing each tooth to prepare it for the sealant application. Once it is free of any plaque or debris, they apply a liquid material that fills into the valleys of the tooth.  After a few minutes, the material has set and after final inspection, your child will be able to eat immediately after their appointment.

Glass Ionomer Sealants and their Benefits

There has been recent concern regarding the potential health impacts of Bis-Phenol A (BPA) found in resin sealants.  Research has shown that only trace amounts of BPA are found in resin sealants – including less than in the air we breathe.   The ADA’s infographic below illustrates exactly low the risk is.

Our practice uses glass ionomer sealants that do not contain Bis-Phenol A (BPA) or Bis-GMA.  The sealants are part of the GC America’s family of products that met strict ISO quality standards.  Additionally, GC America’s products have the CE mark in Europe, are registered with Health Canada, and have received FDA Pre-Market Notification clearance for sale in the United States under section 510(k) of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Glass ionomer sealants have several advantages including:

  • The ability to be placed on a partially erupted tooth for earlier protection than a resin sealant
  • Moisture-tolerant which allows for easy placement
  • High release of fluoride – which provides additional protection against decay
  • Quick setting – the glass ionomer sealants only take a few minutes to set making for a shorter appointment to get you and your child on your way

We hope this information answers any questions you had about sealants. If you have additional questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at (425) 354-3138 and we’d be happy to chat more about them!

Dr. Amanda McCauley, DDS

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Ideas and Quick Tips to Get You Started Flossing

Over the course of my career as a dental hygienist, I constantly hear from patients that they don’t enjoy flossing. I tell them I don’t care what you use between your teeth as long as you use something! I realize flossing isn’t everyone’s favorite activity but research has suggested a link between oral and heart health. When your mouth is healthy, so is your heart.

In people with periodontal disease, brushing can release bacteria into the bloodstream. It’s also possible that inflammation in the mouth can lead to inflammation throughout the body including hardened arteries, also known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition that makes it hard for blood to flow to the heart. This condition is a serious concern and puts you at greater risk for heart attacks and strokes. If you’re curious to learn more you can find additional information at http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/heart-disease-oral-health.

Even if you haven’t been an avid flosser, it’s never too late to start! I have always preferred using Listerine Woven floss because it gets out so much food and plaque caught in between my teeth. I enjoy hearing that squeaky noise as I floss my teeth because it means I’m disrupting the colonization of bacteria.

Below are three additional interdental tools that will also help remove food and bacteria:

  • Soft picks – They come in two sizes, original and wider spaces. I like them because they fit so easily in your purse and they are perfect for life on the go!
  • Gum Proxabrush– comes in a variety of sizes (ultra-tight, tight, moderate, severe). These are great for people who have wide spaces between their teeth and get that extra impacted food that floss just won’t reach.
  • Floss holders – Although not my preferred first choice because adaptability around the tooth is limited, but they are a wonderful tool for children and believe or not, men with large hands.

I hope these help give you some other ideas to help keep your gums healthy! If you are wondering which tool might be best for your mouth ask me at your next appointment.

Tiffany Washburn, RDH

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18323 98th Ave NE #2, Bothell, WA