• What should I do if I have bad breath?

    A:  Bad breath can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition.  Many of us may not realize that we have bad breath, but everyone has it from time to time, especially in the morning.  There are various reasons one may have bad breath, but in healthy people, the major reason is due to microbial deposits on the tongue, especially the back of the tongue. Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduced bad breath by as much as 70 percent.



    MORNING TIMESaliva flow almost stops during sleep and its reduced cleansing action allows bacteria to grow, causing bad breath.

    CERTAIN FOODS – Garlic, onions, etc.  Foods containing odor-causing compounds enter the blood stream; they are transferred to the lungs, where they are exhaled.

    POOR ORAL HYGIENE HABITSFood particles remaining in the mouth promote bacterial growth.

    PERIODONTAL (GUM) DISEASEColonies of bacteria and food debris residing under inflamed gums.


    DRY MOUTH May be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous mouth breathing.

    TOBACCO PRODUCTSDry the mouth, causing bad breath.

    DIETING Certain chemicals called ketones are released in the breath as the body burns fat. Dehydration, hunger, and missed meals – Drinking water and chewing food increases saliva flow and washes bacteria away.

    CERTAIN MEDICAL CONDITIONS AND ILLNESSES – Diabetes, liver and kidney problems, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia are several conditions that may contribute to bad breath.



    PRACTICE GOOD ORAL HYGIENE – Brush at least twice a day with an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush.  Floss daily to remove food debris and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gum line.  Brush or use a tongue scraper to clean the tongue and reach the back areas.  Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months.  If you wear dentures or removable bridges, clean them thoroughly and place them back in your mouth in the morning.

    SEE YOUR DENTIST REGULARLY – Get a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year.  If you have or have had periodontal disease, your dentist will recommend more frequent visits.

    STOP SMOKING/CHEWING TOBACCO – Ask your dentist what they recommend to help break the habit.

    DRINK WATER FREQUENTLY – Water will help keep your mouth moist and wash away bacteria.

    USE MOUTHWASH/RINSES – Some over-the-counter products only provide a temporary solution to mask unpleasant mouth odor.  Ask your dentist about antiseptic rinses that not only alleviate bad breath, but also kill the germs that cause the problem.

    In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If it is determined that your mouth is healthy, but bad breath is persistent, your dentist may refer you to your physician to determine the cause of the odor and an appropriate treatment plan.

  • How often should I brush and floss?

    A: Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.

    Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums.  The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay.  Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar).  If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease.

    Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids.

    TOOTH BRUSHING – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.

    •  Brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums, gently using a small, circular motion,  ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.

    •  Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.

    •  Use the tip of the brush head to clean the inside front teeth.

    •  Brushing your tongue helps to remove bacteria and to freshen your breath.

    Electric toothbrushes are also recommended.  They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently.  Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.  Ask your dentist for more information on electric tooth brushes.

    FLOSSING – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line.  Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

    •  Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.

    •  Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.

    •  Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gum line.  Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.

    •  Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

    RINSING – It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush.  If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.

  • Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?

    A: Over the years there has been some concern as to the safety of amalgam (silver) fillings.  An amalgam is a blend of copper, silver, tin and zinc, bound by elemental mercury.  Dentists have used this blended metal to fill teeth for more than 100 years.  The controversy is due to claims that the exposure to the vapor and minute particles from the mercury can cause a variety of health problems.

    According to the American Dental Association (ADA), up to 76% of dentists use silver containing mercury to fill teeth.  The ADA also states that silver fillings are safe and that studies have failed to find any link between silver containing mercury and any medical disorder.

    The general consensus is that amalgam (silver) fillings are safe.  Along with the ADA’s position, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization, the FDA, and others support the use of silver fillings as safe, durable, and cost effective.  The U.S. Public Health Service says that the only reason not to use silver fillings is when a patient has an allergy to any component of this type of filling.  The ADA has had fewer than 100 reported incidents of an allergy to components of silver fillings, and this is out of countless millions of silver fillings over the decades.

    Although studies indicate that there are no measurable health risks to patients who have silver fillings, we do know that mercury is a toxic material when we are exposed at high, unsafe levels.  For instance, we have been warned to limit the consumption of certain types of fish that carry high levels of mercury in them.  However, with respect to amalgam fillings, the ADA maintains that when the mercury combines with the other components of the filling, it becomes an inactive substance that is safe.

    There are numerous options to silver fillings, including composite (tooth-colored), porcelain, and gold fillings.  We encourage you to discuss these options with your dentist so you can determine which the best option for you is.

  • How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?

    A:  You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more frequent visits.


    Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums.  At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities.  Additionally, there are many other things that are checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your dental health.


    MEDICAL HISTORY REVIEW – Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and illnesses, gives us insight to your overall health and also your dental health.

    EXAMINATION OF DIAGNOSTIC X-RAYS (radiographs) – Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.  X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.

    ORAL CANCER SCREENING – Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.

    GUM DISEASE EVALUATION – Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.

    EXAMINATION OF TOOTH DECAY – All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.

    EXAMINATION OF EXISTING RESTORATIONS – Check current fillings, crowns, etc.

    REMOVAL OF CALCULUS (tartar) – Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Calculus forms above and below the gum line, and can only be removed with special dental instruments.

    REMOVAL OF PLAQUE – Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums.  This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!

    TEETH POLISHING – Removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.

    ORAL HYGIENE RECOMMENDATIONS – Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed (electric dental toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, fluorides, rinses, etc.).

    REVIEW DIETARY HABITS – Your eating habits play a very important role in your dental health.

    A good dental exam and cleaning involves quite a lot more than just checking for cavities and polishing your teeth.  We are committed to providing you with the best possible care, and to do so will require regular check-ups and cleanings.

  • How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?

    A: Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it.  Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages. Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal disease without noticeable symptoms.  Having regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations are very important and will help detect if periodontal problems exist.

    Periodontal disease begins when plaque, a sticky, colorless, film of bacteria, food debris, and saliva, is left on the teeth and gums. The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that inflame the gums and slowly destroy the bone.  Brushing and flossing regularly and properly will ensure that plaque is not left behind to do its damage.

    Other than poor oral hygiene, there are several other factors that may increase the risk of developing periodontal disease.


    SMOKING OR CHEWING TOBACCO – Tobacco users are more likely than nonusers to form plaque and tartar on their teeth.

    CERTAIN TOOTH OR APPLIANCE CONDITIONS – Bridges that no longer fit properly, crowded teeth, or defective fillings that may trap plaque and bacteria.

    MANY MEDICATIONS – Steroids, cancer therapy drugs, blood pressure meds, oral contraceptives.  Some medications have side effects that reduce saliva, making the mouth dry and plaque easier to adhere to the teeth and gums.

    PREGNANCY, ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES, AND PUBERTY – Can cause changes in hormone levels, causing gum tissue to become more sensitive to bacteria toxins.

    SYSTEMIC DISEASES – Diabetes, blood cell disorders, HIV / AIDS, etc.

    GENETICS MAY PLAY ROLE – Some patients may be predisposed to a more aggressive type of periodontitis.  Patients with a family history of tooth loss should pay particular attention to their gums.



    RED AND PUFFY GUMS – Gums should never be red or swollen.

    BLEEDING GUMS – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.

    PERSISTENT BAD BREATH – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.

    NEW SPACING BETWEEN TEETH – Caused by bone loss.

    LOOSE TEETH – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).

    PUS AROUND THE TEETH AND GUMS – Sign that there is an infection present.

    RECEDING GUMS – Loss of gum around a tooth.

    TENDERNESS OR DISCOMFORT – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.

    Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

  • Why is it important to use dental floss?

    A:  Brushing our teeth removes food particles, plaque, and bacteria from all tooth surfaces, except in between the teeth.  Unfortunately, our toothbrush can’t reach these areas that are highly susceptible to decay and periodontal (gum) disease.


    Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line.  Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

    Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that cause cavities and irritate and inflame the gums.  Also, when plaque is not removed above and below the gum line, it hardens and turns into calculus (tartar).  This will further irritate and inflame the gums and also slowly destroy the bone.  This is the beginning of periodontal disease.



    •  Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.

    •  Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.

    •  Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gum line.  Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.

    Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

  • How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?

    A:  If you’re feeling somewhat self-conscious about your teeth, or just want to improve your smile, cosmetic dental treatments may be the answer to a more beautiful, confident smile.

    Cosmetic dentistry has become very popular in the last several years, not only due to the many advances in cosmetic dental procedures and materials available today, but also because patients are becoming more and more focused on improving their overall health.  This includes dental prevention and having a healthier, whiter, more radiant smile.

    There are many cosmetic dental procedures available to improve your teeth and enhance your smile.  Depending on your particular needs, cosmetic dental treatments can change your smile dramatically, from restoring a single tooth to having a full mouth make-over.  Ask your dentist how you can improve the health and beauty of your smile with cosmetic dentistry.



    TEETH WHITENING: Bleaching lightens teeth that have been stained or discolored by age, food, drink, and smoking.  Teeth darkened as a result of injury or taking certain medications can also be bleached, but the effectiveness depends on the degree of staining present.

    COMPOSITE (TOOTH-COLORED) FILLINGS: Also known as “bonding”, composite fillings are now widely used instead of amalgam (silver) fillings to repair teeth with cavities, and also to replace old defective fillings.  Tooth-colored fillings are also used to repair chipped, broken, or discolored teeth.  This type of filling is also very useful to fill in gaps and to protect sensitive, exposed root surfaces caused by gum recession.

    PORCELAIN VENEERS: Veneers are thin custom-made, tooth-colored shells that are bonded onto the fronts of teeth to create a beautiful individual smile.  They can help restore or camouflage damaged, discolored, poorly shaped, or misaligned teeth.  Unlike crowns, veneers require minimal tooth structure to be removed from the surface of the tooth.

    PORCELAIN CROWNS (CAPS): A crown is a tooth-colored, custom-made covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size.  Crowns protect and strengthen teeth that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.  They are ideal for teeth that have large, fractured or broken fillings and also for those that are badly decayed.

    DENTAL IMPLANTS: Dental implants are artificial roots that are surgically placed into the jaw to replace one or more missing teeth.  Porcelain crowns, bridges, and dentures can be made specifically to fit and attach to implants, giving a patient a strong, stable, and durable solution to removable dental appliances.

  • What are porcelain veneers and how can they improve my smile?

    A: Porcelain veneers are very thin shells of tooth-shaped porcelain that are individually crafted to cover the fronts of teeth.  They are very durable and will not stain, making them a very popular solution for those seeking to restore or enhance the beauty of their smile.



    •  Severely discolored or stained teeth

    •  Unwanted or uneven spaces

    •  Worn or chipped teeth

    •  Slight tooth crowding

    •  Misshapen teeth

    •  Teeth that are too small or large

    Getting veneers usually requires two visits.  Veneers are created from an impression (mold) of your teeth that is then sent to a professional dental laboratory where each veneer is custom-made (for shape and color) for your individual smile.

    With little or no anesthesia, teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the front surface of the teeth to allow for the small thickness of veneers.  The veneers are carefully fitted and bonded onto the tooth surface with special bonding cements and occasionally a specialized light may be used to harden and set the bond.

    Veneers are an excellent dental treatment that can dramatically improve your teeth and give you a natural, beautiful smile.

  • What can I do about stained or discolored teeth?

    A: Since teeth whitening has now become the number one aesthetic concern of many patients, there are many products and methods available to achieve a brighter smile.

    Professional teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel, and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.  Over-the-counter products are also available, but they are much less effective than professional treatments and may not be approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).

    As we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears away, eventually revealing a darker or yellow shade.  The color of our teeth also comes from the inside of the tooth, which may become darker over time.  Smoking, drinking coffee, tea, and wine may also contribute to tooth discoloration, making our teeth yellow and dull.  Sometimes, teeth can become discolored from taking certain medications as a child, such as tetracycline.  Excessive fluoridation (fluorosis) during tooth development can also cause teeth to become discolored.

    It’s important to have your teeth evaluated by your dentist to determine if you’re a good candidate for bleaching.  Occasionally, tetracycline and fluorosis stains are difficult to bleach and your dentist may offer other options, such as veneers or crowns to cover up such stains.  Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is also important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. before bleaching begins.  Once the bleaching is done, your dentist can match the new restorations to the shade of the newly whitened teeth.

    Since teeth whitening is not permanent, a touch-up may be needed every several years to keep your smile looking bright.



    HOME TEETH WHITENING SYSTEMS: At-home products usually come in a gel form that is placed in a custom-fitted mouth guard (tray), created from a mold of your teeth.  The trays are worn either twice a day for approximately 30 minutes, or overnight while you sleep.  It usually takes several weeks to achieve the desired results depending on the degree of staining and the desired level of whitening.

    IN OFFICE TEETH WHITENING: This treatment is done in the dental office and you will see results immediately.  It may require more than one visit, with each visit lasting 30 to 60 minutes.  While your gums are protected, a bleaching solution is applied to the teeth.  A special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent while the teeth are whitened.

    Some patients may experience tooth sensitivity after having their teeth whitened.  This sensation is temporary and subsides shortly after you complete the bleaching process, usually within a few days to one week.

  • What should I do if a tooth is knocked out?

    A: We’re all at risk for having a tooth knocked out.  More than 5 million teeth are knocked out every year.  If we know how to handle this emergency situation, we may be able to actually save the tooth.  Teeth that are knocked out may be possibly saved if we act quickly and calmly.



    1. Locate the tooth and handle it only by the crown or chewing part to the tooth.  Do not hold by the roots.

    2. Do not scrub or use soap or chemicals or clean the tooth.  If it has dirt or other debris on it, rinse it gently with your own saliva or whole milt.  If that is not possible, rinse it very gently with water.

    3. Get to a dentist within 30 minutes.



    •  Try to replace the tooth back in its socket immediately.  Gently bite down on gauze, a wet tea bag or on your own teeth to keep the tooth in place.  Apply a cold compress to the mouth for pain and swelling as needed.

    •  If the tooth cannot be placed back into the socket, place the tooth in a container and cover with a small amount of your saliva or whole milk.  You can also place a tooth under your tongue or between your lower lip and gums.  Keep the tooth moist at all times.  Do not transport the tooth in a tissue or cloth.

    •  Consider buying a “Save-A-Tooth” storage container and keeping it as part of your home first aid kit.

    The sooner the tooth is replaced back into the socket, the greater the chance it has to survive.



    •  Wearing a mouth guard when playing sports

    •  Always wearing your seatbelt

    •  Avoiding fights

    •  Avoid chewing hard items such as ice, popcorn kernels, hard breads, etc.

  • What are my option if I have missing teeth?

    A: With many state-of-the-art dental treatments and prevention options available in dentistry today, there are fewer reasons for having to extract teeth.  When something goes wrong with a tooth, we try to everything possible to restore the tooth to its original function.  Removing a tooth is the last option because we know that removal may lead to server and costly dental and cosmetic problems if the to toot is now replaced.

    Losing a tooth can be very traumatic experience and it’s very unfortunate when It does happen. Injury, accident, fracture, sever dental decay, and gum disease are the major reasons for having to remove a tooth. If teeth are lost due to injury or have to be removed, it’s imperative that they be replaced to avoid cosmetic and dental problems in the future.

    When a tooth is lost the jaw bone that helped to support that tooth begins to atrophy, causing the teeth on either side to shift or tip into the open space of the lost tooth. Also, the tooth above or below the open space will start to move towards the open space because there is no opposing tooth to bite on. These movements may create problems such as decay, gum disease, excessive wear on certain teeth, and TMJ (jaw joint) problems. These problems and movement do not result immediately, but will eventually appear, compromising your chewing abilities, the health of your bite, and the beauty of your smile.



    REMOVABLE BRIDGES – This type of bridge is a good solution for replacing one or more missing teeth, especially in complex dental situations where other replacement options are not possible. They are usually made of tooth-colored, artificial teeth combined with metal claps that look onto adjacent natural teeth.  Removal bridges are the most economical option for replacing missing teeth, but may be the least aesthetically pleasing.  This is because the metal claps on the appliances are often impossible to completely conceal.

    FIXED BRIDGES – This type of bridge is generally made of porcelain or composite material and is anchored permanently to a natural tooth adjacent to the missing tooth site. The benefit of this type of bridge is that it is fixed and is very sturdy.  The disadvantage is that in order to create a fixed appliance, two healthy, natural teeth will need to be crowed or capped to hold the bridge in place.

    DENTURES – This type of tooth replacement is used when most or all of the natural teeth are missing in one dental arch. Dentures are removable artificial teeth that are made to closely resemble the patients’ original teeth.

    IMPLANTS – A great way to replace on or more missing teeth. They may also be great to support ill-fitting dentures. A dental implant is an artificial root that is surgically paced on the implant, giving the appearance and feel of a natural toot. Implants are very stable, durable, and are the most aesthetically pleasing toot replacement option.

  • What does heart disease and other medical conditions have to do with periodontal or gum disease?

    A:  Periodontal or gum disease is the destruction of gum tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place.  Periodontal disease is one of the most common infection; often more prevalent than the common cold.  Periodontal disease is the number one reason people lose teeth.

    Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection and in its earliest stages, it’s called gingivitis.  This forms when an accumulation of plaque is not regularly removed from the gums and teeth.  The bacteria in plaque produce toxins and acids that irritate and infect the gums and eventually destroy the jaw bone that supports the teeth.   If not treated, it can eventually lead to tooth loss.

    Numerous studies have looked into the correlation between gum disease and major medical conditions.  These studies suggest people with periodontal disease are a greater risk of systemic disease and indicate that periodontal disease may cause oral bacteria to enter the bloodstream and travel to major organs and begin new infections.



    •  Contribute to the development of heart disease

    •  Increase the risk of a stroke

    •  Compromise the health of those that have diabetes or respiratory diseases

    •  Increase a woman’s risk of having a  preterm, low-birth weight baby


    Researchers conclude there is still much research to be done to understand the link between periodontal disease and systemic diseases, but enough research has been done to support that infections in the mouth can affect the rest of the body.

  • When should I schedule my child’s first dental appointment?

    A:  The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) suggests that parents should make an initial “well-baby” appointment with a dentist approximately six months after the emergence of the first tooth, or no later than the child’s first birthday.

    Although this may seem surprisingly early, the incidence of infant and toddler tooth decay has been rising in recent years. Tooth decay and early cavities can be exceptionally painful if they are not attended to immediately, and can also set the scene for poor oral health in later childhood.

    Oftentimes, the dentist can provide strategies for eliminating unwanted oral habits (for example, pacifier use and thumb sucking) and can also help parents in establishing a sound daily oral routine of the child.



    • A baby is at risk for tooth decay as soon as the first toot emerges. During the first visit, the pediatric dentist will help parents implement a preventative strategy to protect the teeth from harm, and also demonstrate how infant teeth should be brushed and flossed.

    • Infants who deink breast milk, juice, baby formula, soda, or sweetened water from baby bottles or sippy cups are at high-risk for early childhood cavities. To counteract this threat, the pediatric dentist discourages parents from filling cups with sugary fluids, dipping pacifiers in honey, and transmitting oral bacteria to the child via shared spoons and/or cleaning pacifiers in their own mouths.

    • The dentist can also assess and balance the infant’s fluoride intake. Too much fluoride ingestion between the ages of one and four years old may lead to condition as fluorosis in later childhood. Conversely, too little fluoride may render young tooth enamel susceptible to tooth decay.



    • During the initial visit, the dentist will advise parents to implement a good oral care routine, ask questions about the child’s oral habits, and examine the child’s emerging teeth. The pediatric dentist and the parent sit knee-to-knee for this examination to enable the child to view the parent at all times.  If the infant’s teeth appear stained, the dentist may clean them.  Oftentimes, a topical fluoride treatment will be applied to the teeth after cleaning.



    • The dentist will ask questions about current oral care, diet, the general health of the child, the child’s oral habits, and the child’s current fluoride intake.

    • Once answers to these questions have been established, the pediatric dentist can advise parents on the following issues:

    •  Accident prevention

    •  Adding xylitol and fluoride to the infant’s diet

    •  Choosing an ADA approved, non-fluoridated brand of toothpaste for the infant

    •  Choosing an appropriate toothbrush

    •  Choosing an orthodontically correct pacifier

    •  Correct positioning of the head during tooth brushing

    •  Easing the transition from a sippy cup to an adult-sized drinking glass (12-14 months)

    •  Eliminating fussing during the oral care routine

    •  Establishing  drink-free bedtime routine

    •  Maintaining good dietary habits

    •  Minimizing the risk of tooth decay

    •  Reducing sugar and carbohydrate intake

    •  Teething and developmental milestones

  • When are sealants recommended?

    A:  Although thorough brushing an d flossing remove most food particles and bacteria from easy to reach tooth surfaces, they do not reach the deep grooves on chewing surfaces of teeth.  More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves.  Toothbrush bristles are too large to possibly fit and clean most of these areas.  This is where sealants play an important role.

    A sealant is a thin plastic coating that covers and protects the chewing surfaces of molars, premolars, and any deep grooves or pits n the teeth.  Sealant material forms a protective, smooth barrier covering natural depressions and grooves in the teeth, making it much easier to clean and help keep these areas free of decay.



    CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS – as soon as the six year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear or any time throughout the cavity prone years of 6-16.

    ADULTS – Tooth surfaces without decay that have deep grooves or depressions that are difficult to clean.

    Sealants are easily applied by your dentist or dental hygienist and the process only takes minutes per tooth.  After the chewing surfaces are roughed with an acid solution that helps the sealant adhere to the tooth, the sealant material is “painted onto the tooth surface, where it hardens and bonds to the teeth.  Sometimes a special light will be used to help the sealant material harden

    After sealant treatment, it’s important to avoid chewing on ice cubes, hard candy, popcorn kernels, or any hard or sticky foods.  Your sealants will be checked for wear and chipping at your regular dental check-up.

Questions and Answers