Tired of Bad Breath? Get Down to the Root of the Issue

It’s estimated that 1 out of 4 people will have bad breath on a relatively frequent basis. From popping mints to chewing gum and carrying your toothbrush everywhere you go, you can try a lot of things to deter halitosis (bad breath). The issue can be unfortunately harder to combat for some people. Here are a few things that could be to blame for the problem.

Everyday habits can contribute to bad breath.

Bad breath can sometimes have a lo to do with your everyday habits. A few things you may be doing that can heighten your chances of dealing with bad breath include:

  • Smoking or vaping
  • Not drinking enough water; drinking too many sugary drinks
  • Eating a lot of salty foods

Of course, certain pungent foods can contribute to bad breath as well. For example, garlic, onions, and certain herbs can linger on your breath long after you have eaten them. Smoking and vaping, not drinking enough water, and eating a lot of salt can lower the levels of natural moisture and saliva in your mouth, which can lead to excessive bacterial growth and foul odors.

Certain ailments and illnesses can be to blame.

Some people deal with bad breath no matter how much they brush or floss or what they eat or drink. Unfortunately, there are some illnesses that can be related to bad breath. Diabetes, for example, often contributes to bad breath because the condition changes the acidity levels of the saliva, which can cause undesirable odors. Even certain medications can be culprits behind halitosis. Amphetamines, antihistamines, and even antidepressants are all linked to dry mouth, which in turn can change the way your breath smells.

Discuss Bad Breath with Your Sarasota Dentist

Bad breath can have you dodging everyday conversation and being self-conscious during every encounter. While there are things you may be able to do to help deter issues with bad breath, this is definitely an issue to discuss with your dentist. In some situations, bad breath can be a sign of gum disease, decay, or other oral health problems. Reach out to us at our dental office in Sarasota, FL to schedule an appointment.

 

Have Your Gums Started to Bleed? Here’s What You Need to Know About Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a common occurrence involving the accumulation of plaque on the teeth and gum line area. The most prevalent sign of gingivitis is red, swollen gums that may be tender to the touch as well as bleed during brushing and flossing. Many people tend to become alarmed when they first notice that their gums are bleeding, with good reason — left untreated, gingivitis can evolve into full-blown periodontal disease, which can lead to loss of teeth and create serious health issues. Here’s what you need to know about gingivitis:

There Are Two Types of Gingivitis

The most common type of gingivitis is the type mentioned in the previous paragraph that is caused by plaque buildup in the mouth. The other type involves small lesions on the gum line and often caused by allergies or genetics. Your dentist will be able to tell you which type you have in order to formulate an effective course of treatment.

Gingivitis is Often Reversible

When caught in the early stages, gingivitis is almost always reversible with the right type of oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing twice per day, every day is essential if you want to win the war on gingivitis. Using a toothpaste designed for those with emerging gingivitis is also recommended as well using an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing. Some patients have reported success with at-home oral irrigation systems.

If Not Treated, Gingivitis Can Turn Into Periodontal Disease

As mentioned earlier, gingivitis turns into periodontal disease in time if it’s not treated. Periodontal disease can result in the loss of teeth and can also adversely affect cardiovascular health if allowed to reach advanced stages.

Risk Factors For Developing Gingivitis

Poor oral hygiene is the biggest risk factor when it comes to the development of gingivitis. It also tends to affect older adults in greater numbers as well as those who smoke, use alcohol, and don’t get enough vitamin C in their diet. Research suggests that there may be genetic factors as well, and those with diabetes and certain forms of cancer may be more prone to developing gingivitis than others.

Please contact us to schedule an examination if you’ve noticed bleeding gums or other potential signs of gingivitis or other dental disorders.

5 Tips to Prevent Stained Teeth

Stained teeth not only look unsightly; they also make you look older and can inhibit your self-confidence. Almost everyone experiences stained teeth at one time or another. However, some people have more problems with staining of the teeth than others. If you suffer from chronically stained teeth, chances are there’s something in your life that’s specifically leading to this condition. Here are four tips to prevent stained teeth.

1. Review Side Effects of Medication

Consider all the prescription medication that you take. Review the side effects of each one. There are many prescription medications that have stained teeth as a side effect. If you’re taking something that causes this condition and it’s serious enough to impact your self-confidence, ask your doctor if they can help. You may be able to use a different medication that doesn’t carry that particular side effect.

2. Quit Smoking

The tar and nicotine in tobacco products stain teeth and tongue as well as your fingers. Smoking is harmful to your health, but the teeth staining is also very harmful. Do what you can to stop smoking. The positive results on your health and your teeth will be well worth the effort.

3. Brush After Drinking Red Wine

Since red wine is made from grapes and red grapes cause a stain, it stands to reason you should avoid red wine because it will stain teeth. Consider switching to white wine. Otherwise, simply make it a habit to brush your teeth after having red wine to drink.

4. Brush Regularly

Surprisingly, simply brushing your teeth on a regular basis will also help to prevent stained teeth. Chances are that you’ve consumed something during the day that may lead to teeth staining. If you just make it a habit to brush frequently, the amount of staining will be lessened.

5. Use a Straw

If you’re super serious about avoiding stained teeth at all costs, use a straw when drinking things like iced tea and cranberry juice. The straw will ensure that the stain-inducing liquid will bypass your teeth, thereby preventing stains from occurring in the first place.

Finally, regular dentist visits are always recommended. Your dentist can thoroughly clean your teeth and remove any visible stains. Book your appointment today.

3 Ways You Naturally Fight Cavity Formation

Your oral health depends a lot on what you eat and how well you keep up with oral hygiene. But did you know that your body also has quite a variety of natural defenses against cavities? Here are some of the ways your mouth works on a daily basis to fight against cavities forming in your teeth.

1. Producing Saliva

You’ve probably heard about saliva’s role in food digestion. It contains enzymes to help start to break down food even before you swallow. But did you know that saliva is also one of the biggest factors in protecting your teeth from cavities and repairing the daily wear and tear they experience?
For example, your saliva is full of minerals, which are carried to your tooth surfaces to help repair any softened enamel that occurs after you eat acidic, sugary, or high-carb foods. The bad bacteria in your mouth produce acids that leach the minerals out of your teeth. This process can lead to decay unless your saliva manages to reverse it by adding minerals back.
So how can you help? The first step is to drink lots of water on a daily basis so your body has plenty of moisture for producing saliva. The next step is to chew gum after meals, which helps your mouth release more saliva and helps swish the saliva all around your mouth.

2. Using Dentinal Fluid

You may have heard that your teeth have tiny dentinal tubules, which become exposed and cause sensitivity when your enamel wears thin. But did you know that these tubules actually have a great cavity-fighting function? They carry needed dentinal fluid containing substances such as nutrients to each tooth’s dentin layer.
However, this function only works properly if your diet is in good shape. That’s because a high-sugar diet can reduce the amount of parotid hormone produced and thus cause the fluid to stop flowing outwards. Then, bacteria and contaminants can invade the tubules, and the fluid with nutrients isn’t carried outward to all parts of the tooth.
So one of the best ways you can help out with this cavity-fighting function is to simply reduce the sugar and empty carbs in your diet. You may also need to work on stress management and make sure you’re getting enough exercise.

3. Fostering Beneficial Microbes

Your mouth is such a great place for bacteria to grow that you’ll never get rid of all the bacteria. Instead, your mouth makes use of beneficial bacteria to help reduce the effects of the bad ones. The more beneficial bacteria are living in your mouth, the fewer acid-producing bacteria will be able to find homes there.

You can help your mouth with this by using a mouthwash that only discourages the bad bacteria rather than carpet-bombing all the microbes in your mouth. For example, you can use an alkaline mouthwash, since bad bacteria love to grow in an acidic environment, and good bacteria tend to prefer a less acidic environment.

And if you want to take it a step further, you can work on getting more probiotic foods (foods that contain beneficial microbes) into your diet. Probiotic foods are foods such as kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut that have live active cultures in them.

If you don’t want to eat more of these types of foods (or can’t for medical reasons), you may consider looking into an oral probiotic supplement formulated to deliver beneficial bacteria to your mouth. Beneficial bacteria can help with a variety of issues, including gum disease and bad breath, and may even kill some of the bad bacteria.

These are just three methodologies that can help naturally fight against cavity formation. Aiding your body in keeping up these three natural processes, while simultaneously keeping up with your great oral hygiene, could lessen your chances of contracting tooth decay.
Whether you’re in need of fillings or looking for more advanced restorative work, call the office of Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA today to schedule an appointment.

10 Things to Know About Your Teeth and Tartar

Dental tartar is a bacterial residue left behind on the teeth that can lead to stains and decay. Tartar can become very hard and bonded to your teeth, making it impossible to remove without the specialized skills and tools of a dentist in the area. Once tartar is formed on your teeth, it is even easier for additional tartar and advanced tartar, called calculus, to also adhere to your teeth.

Learn these ten things you should know about tartar.

1. Tartar Lurks Near the Gumline

Tooth tartar is also called dental calculus, and it typically forms in the nooks and crannies of your teeth, particularly around the gumline. Wherever your toothbrush or floss can’t reach is where tartar likes to grow.

2. Tartar Makes It Tricky to Brush and Floss

Tartar turns hard and sticky, making it more difficult to get a toothbrush where it needs to be. It also can make it very challenging, even painful, to floss between teeth and around the gums. This begins a vicious cycle; the discomfort and difficulty contribute to the formation of more tartar and eventual tooth decay.

3. Bad Breath Is an Early Sign of Problems

Have you noticed that you’ve had bad breath lately? Foul breath is an early sign of tartar and the need to increase flossing between teeth. If you fail to act, the tartar around the gumline will become harder and darker. This plaque is the beginning of gum disease and tooth decay. Prompt intervention from your dentist and vigilant dental hygiene may help control and reverse the condition, but it won’t restore any teeth that have decayed or been lost.

4. Tartar Is Stubborn

The process of removing tartar from teeth is often called descaling. Tartar is rough and raised on the smooth surface of your teeth; it must be removed with special instruments by your dental provider.

5. Tartar Can Get Worse

Things can get worse quickly with tartar. The bacteria growing in your gums and teeth can become infected, which is considered periodontitis. You may need antibiotics to recover from the infection, but it can cause permanent bone and tissue damage in your mouth.

6. Smoking Contributes to Tartar

Smoking contributes to the formation of tartar, so don’t smoke. Reports indicate that those who smoke or use tobacco products are more likely to have tartar buildup on their teeth.

7. Tartar Can Harm Your Heart

For years, studies have reported a link between plaque caused by bacterial tartar and heart disease. When plaque is not removed from the teeth, it can break free and be released into the bloodstream, where it could cause clogs or other complications.

8. Tartar Presents Serious Health Risks

Tartar impacts overall health and wellness; individuals suffering from tooth decay and disease caused by tartar may struggle with confidence or self-esteem. Many may experience depression. Furthermore, the physical inflammation and bacterial growth caused by poor dental hygiene can contribute to dementia.

9. Flossing Is Your First Defense

The most effective way that you can prevent the buildup of tartar and plaque between your teeth and around your gumline is to floss. Floss after every meal, and rinse with a tartar-preventing mouthwash each day.

10. You Need to See Your Provider Every 6 Months

Visiting your dental provider every six months is the best way to stay on top of tartar. Your dentist will descale your teeth to prevent the calculus from causing decay, discomfort, and tooth loss.

There are various other factors involved in whether you are susceptible to dental tartar or not, including age, diet, and genetics.

Is tartar compromising your dental health? Restore your smile with Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA. Choose to restore your teeth and regain your confidence.

Finding The Right Flossing Option For You

Some dentists tend to treat flossing as a one-size-fits-all option. While flossing may do a great job of keeping your teeth clean, some people have adverse reactions to flossing or need to use a brand free of substances that create problems for them. And many people have trouble remembering to floss or finding the motivation to do so every day. You may need an approach specific to you and your mouth.

Here are some steps to take to find the right flossing option for you.

Try Sensitive Floss

Some dental floss styles are simply are harsher on your gums and teeth than others. Trying a gentle dental floss that’s designed not to make your gums bleed is the first line of attack when you’re wondering why flossing doesn’t work for you.

If you have the manual dexterity needed for flossing but find that your gums don’t react well, a sensitive floss may be what you need.

Consider Allergies

Many dental flosses are made of nylon, but some are made of silk or bamboo or even other plant fibers. And coatings may contain bee products, flavor additives, or other substances that may cause allergic reactions in some. If you suspect this is happening to you, talk to your dentist or doctor about the possibility of an allergic reaction.

You can also try switching to an uncoated floss or using interdental brushes for a couple of months to see if that helps.

Start With Water Flossing

If you’ve never built up a regular flossing habit because it always turns into a bloodbath from which your gums don’t recover before the next day, perhaps your gums are irritated. Keeping them clean will help them become less sensitive. However, this advice may seem like catch-22 because flossing itself can help you keep your teeth clean.

One solution is using a water flosser to help clean along the gumline. Water flossers have been shown to reduce gum sensitivity and bleeding, which means that after you’ve used the water flosser for a while, your gums may not mind the flossing as much. So try working up to actual floss after you’ve gotten into the habit of water flossing every day.

Look Into Flossing Tools

In addition to interdental brushes and water flossers, several other types of flossing tools are on the market to help you clean between your teeth if dexterity is an issue. Floss picks are considered slightly inferior to string floss because they don’t allow the floss to hug the side of your tooth as well, but they’re still better than nothing. Or you could try a floss holder.

Use an Electric Toothbrush

It takes much less effort on your part to clean your teeth with an electric toothbrush because you don’t have to use a back-and-forth brushing motion. This may help to conserve your energy and time so that you can manage to floss more often now that you’re not putting all that energy into brushing.

Another benefit is that some electric toothbrushes are designed to clean along your gumline and in the cracks between your teeth better, so there’s not as much plaque left for your floss to clean out. This innovation could mean less time spent on flossing, or it could mean that you can make do with just a floss pick.

These steps can help you work up to a flossing habit, eliminate products that you could be sensitive to, or find alternatives to assist you with dexterity issues. Remember, daily oral hygiene habits are your first line of defense against cavities and gum disease. And professional dental visits are only periodic, rather than daily, but they’re just as important.

To schedule a professional dental cleaning or other dental services, contact the office of Kenneth Schweizer, DDS, PA, today.

What Is Enamel Erosion?

Plaque and the bacteria that feed on it are the culprits behind cavities. But, the microbes in your mouth aren’t responsible for enamel erosion. If the pearly white outer layer of your teeth is wearing away, take a look at the what’s, how’s, and why’s of this all too common dental dilemma.

What Is Enamel?

Before we answer the question, “What is enamel erosion?” you need to know what enamel is. Enamel is the white part of your teeth that acts as a hard outer coating and is visible when you open your mouth or smile. In a healthy mouth, enamel covers the softer dentin and pulp layers. The enamel protects your teeth during normal daily use.

Erosion happens when enamel wears away. Unlike your skin, which also serves a protective function, enamel doesn’t regenerate, meaning it won’t repair itself or come back.

How Does Erosion Happen?

There are several different causes for enamel erosion, like mechanical processes of the mouth, which can result in this type of dental damage. The mechanical or physical activities that can result in enamel erosion include:

  • Brushing: Even though brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes can lead to a healthy mouth, overdoing it or brushing too forcefully can lead to erosion.
  • Grinding: Stress and anxiety can cause some people to grind their teeth. This motion wears away the outer surface of the teeth involved.
  • Biting: If you bite your nails, chew hard items (such as ice), or use your teeth to open bottle caps, you run the risk of removing the enamel.

Along with physical erosion, enamel can wear away by chemical methods. These methods typically include acidic wear on teeth and can come from sources such as:

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD): Stomach acid that rises up through the esophagus and into the mouth can wear away enamel. This situation is often the result of GERD, a digestive disorder that happens after eating.
  • Vomiting: Vomiting every once in a while, like during a stomach virus, won’t erode the enamel of your teeth. But, constant vomiting can bathe the teeth in enamel eroding stomach acid. People with the eating disorder bulimia are at an increased risk for this process and the resulting erosion.
  • Alcoholism: Like with vomiting, an infrequent alcoholic drink won’t ruin your teeth. But chronic alcoholism can result in enamel erosion. According to one study of 1,064 teeth from the North Alcoholic Regional Centre, almost 50 percent of the teeth (belonging to alcoholics) had enamel erosion.
  • Soft drinks: The high levels of citric and phosphoric acids in soft drinks can lead to enamel erosion. Like some of the other causes, you need to consistently drink sizable quantities of soft drinks to see this undesirable result.
  • Fruit drinks: Along with the decay-causing sugar in juices, fruit-based drinks are often highly acidic. Drinks such as grapefruit, cranberry, or orange juice can cause enamel erosion over time when ingested in large quantities.

Even though physical and acidic causes are major culprits behind enamel erosion, some dental patients experience this issue as a result of medication use (especially with prolonged aspirin use), as a genetic condition, or from dry mouth (low saliva).

Why is Enamel Erosion Important?

Without the protective layer the dentin is left exposed. This exposure may cause discomfort or sensitivity. Along with sensitive teeth, exposed dentin shows through as a yellow color. If you’re looking for a celebrity-white smile, exposed dentin will ruin your pearly white look.

Reducing acidic intake, increasing dairy product intake (especially at the ends of meals), and visiting the dentist regularly can help to reduce the risks of enamel erosion.

Do you have existing erosion? Contact the office of Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA for more information.

The Flu And Your Dental Care

There have been between 9.2 million and 35.6 million cases of the flu since 2010, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates. Along with a high fever, chills, aches, pains, and general fatigue, the flu can result in the near-inability to tackle your normal daily activities. This includes routine dental care.

Before tossing your brush aside the next time that the flu hits you, take a look at the whys and hows of keeping your mouth healthy during an extreme illness.

Remove Microorganisms

The flu is caused by a virus. But that isn’t the only microorganism living in your body when you’re sick. Your mouth is filled with bacteria. Most oral bacteria are harmless and won’t lead to serious problems, but when the bacteria get out of balance, they can cause dental decay.

Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth helps to remove particles of food that the bacteria feed on, reducing the likelihood of developing cavities. Even though the virus in your body makes getting out of bed difficult, skipping out on your regular brushing routine could lead to an overgrowth of bacteria.

While a few days of poor oral care won’t necessarily lead to decay, it can start a vicious cycle that results in damage or dental caries.

Clean the Brush

Using your toothbrush twice a day for two minutes each time helps to keep your mouth clean — whether you’re already sick or not.

Under normal conditions, a quick rinse of your brush can remove leftover food particles and microorganisms that may linger. But if you’re sick, the flu virus may stay stuck to the bristles or back of the brush. Not only can the virus transfer from your mouth to the head of the brush, but you can also transport it from your fingers to the brush’s handle.

According to the CDC, the flu virus can live on hard surfaces for as long as 48 hours. While you won’t re-infect yourself during mid-flu illness, your germ-covered brush can infect other members of your household — especially if you keep all of the family’s toothbrushes in the same cup or holder.

Help everyone else in your household to stay safe and healthy by cleaning your brush off well. If you keep your brush in close quarters with other people’s brushes, find a new place to stash the dental device during your illness.

Rehydrate Yourself

The flu can quickly lead to dehydration. Along with dehydration due to nasal symptoms, some people (especially children) may experience vomiting too. A dry mouth makes it challenging for your body to wash away leftover food particles and microorganisms in the mouth. This increases the likelihood of developing dental decay or disease.

Sip on hydrating liquids, such as water, during the day to keep your body quenched. This can reduce the chances of developing decay-causing dry mouth. Avoid drinking soda or sports drinks. These contain high amounts of sugar, making it easier for oral bacteria to take over and cause dental damage. Even though orange juice is a sick-day staple, it’s also extremely high in sugar. Again, this can also lead to dental caries.

Select Sugar-Free Options

Beverages aren’t the only culprits behind dental decay. The cough drops that are soothing your sore throat are also bathing your teeth and gums in sugar. This creates the ideal environment for bacteria to grow and flourish.

Regular cough drops are basically hard sugar candies. Choose drops that are labeled sugar-free to reduce the risks associated with sugar and dental decay.

Do your teeth need a professional-level cleaning following an illness? Contact the office of Dr. Kenneth Schweizer DDS, PA, for more information.

Care Tips For Bonded Teeth

4 Crucial Care Tips for Bonded Teeth

Modern composite resins are truly a cut above the tooth-colored dental restoration materials available years ago, capable of flexing with your natural teeth and remaining intact for decades. Unfortunately, bonded teeth aren’t immune to damage, which is why you should remember these three crucial care tips for composite resin repairs.

Watch the Whitening

Your dental enamel contains thousands of microscopic pores that can absorb pigment, which is why most people experience some accumulative discoloration over time. Unfortunately, because the composite resins used by your dentist have a different molecular structure, they will not lighten like your natural teeth.

In fact, whitening your teeth when you have composite resin restorations may create a mottled appearance because your teeth may become lighter than the restorations. To avoid problems, always talk with your doctor before you start any kind of whitening routine, and only use toothpastes recommended by your dentist.

If you need dental bonding and teeth whitening, have your teeth whitened prior to having the composite resins added. That way, your dentist can opt for a composite the same color as your whitened teeth, and the repairs will blend in seamlessly.

Dentists can also recommend the proper whitening agent for your level of staining, helping you to avoid side effects like dental sensitivity and opaque tooth edges.

Be Gentle With Teeth

As you go about your day, you might encounter several different items that need to be opened, including bottles and packages. Unfortunately, if you use your teeth to twist open those bottles or rip into those bags, you could fracture your dental bonding.

People can also run into trouble with damaged dental bonding when they chew hard foods or rip off plastic retail tags with their teeth. Playing sports or living with a teeth grinding problem can also ruin composite resin restorations.

To protect your bonded teeth, be gentle with your smile. Only use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and focus on never biting into packages with your teeth. Avoid habits that could damage your smile, such as biting your nails or chewing on pens. If you suspect that you clench or grind your teeth when you sleep, talk with your dentist about protective mouth guards.

Although prevention is always easier than repairs, dental bonding is easy to restore if damage does happen. After carefully evaluating the damage and making sure the issue hasn’t caused deeper problems, your dentist can match composite resins with the natural shade of your teeth, add the proper amount of resin, and then shape and polish it until your teeth look perfect again.

Avoid Alcohol

After dental bonding is put in place, your dentist will cure it with a blue ultra-violet light to cure the compound. While it is true that this process creates incredibly hard and solid dental restorations, the molecular structure of composite resins can be disturbed by alcohol, which is why dentists recommend avoiding mouthwashes or drinks that contain alcohol.

If dental bonding is softened by continued exposure to alcohol, the bonding material may be more likely to sustain microscopic scratches or dents, which could damage the structural integrity of the repair. Additionally, alcohol can contribute to mouth dryness, leading to dental decay and bad breath.

When you purchase mouthwash, make sure it doesn’t contain alcohol. If you enjoy alcoholic beverages from time to time, use a straw and swish your mouth with water afterward to prevent contact between the beverage and your dental repair.

If your smile could use a few updates, stop by the office of Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA. In addition to helping families with a full range of preventive and restorative dentistry services, our experienced team of family dentists can also help with CEREC® same-day crowns and dental implants.

How Dental Sealants Benefit Your Tooth Health

The American Dental Association reports that dental sealants can reduce the risk of tooth decay in molars by almost 80%. So when it comes to dental health, individuals should consider dental sealants in addition to routine exams and cleanings. Usually, dental sealants are an excellent way to prevent cavities in children and teens’ teeth, but adults can also take advantage of this painless procedure.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are applied in liquid form over both molars and pre-molars. Dental sealants are made up of a thin, clear plastic, and once they harden, patients never even know they are there. All you will feel is the clean, smooth surface of your tooth.

Even though you can’t tell that the sealants are there, the special coating provides a barrier that stops food and bacteria from getting stuck in the crevices of teeth and causing cavities. Even with faithful brushing and flossing, it isn’t possible to clean out every nook and cranny, which is why dental sealants are still beneficial to those who follow the best oral hygiene practices.

When Is the Best Time to Get Sealants?

Children should get sealants as soon as their molars erupt, generally around the age of six and again around age 12. It is also a good idea to return to the dentist once your wisdom teeth arrive, as these teeth are especially hard to reach and clean properly.

Adults who’ve never had sealants can request them at any time, so long as the teeth in question do not already have cavities or fillings. Dental sealants typically last around 10 years, so have your dentist keep an eye on your teeth to determine when a new set of sealants is needed.

How Are Sealants Applied?

Since the dental sealant procedure is painless, there is no need for novocaine or any type of anesthetic. The dentist or their hygienist will thoroughly clean the molars to prepare them for the sealants. Next, an acidic gel is applied to the teeth for a few minutes before being rinsed off. This gel will help the sealants bond to your teeth by roughing up the surface of each tooth. After the dentist dries your teeth, he or she will paint on the sealant and use a special blue light to harden the plastic surrounding your teeth. The entire procedure only takes a few minutes, so you won’t even have to hold your mouth open that long.

How Do I Care for the Sealants?

Once the sealants are properly placed, patients can eat and drink as they normally would immediately after leaving the dentist’s office. Of course, there are a few things patients can do to keep their sealants intact. Avoid any sticky sweets, such as gummy candies, caramels, Fruit Roll-Ups, and chewing gum. Patients will also benefit by staying away from hard-to-chew items, like ice chips, jawbreakers, peanut brittle, and other hard candies. Your dentist should also check your sealants for any chipping at your regular check-ups and replace them as needed.

Will My Insurance Cover Sealants?

Most insurances cover the cost of sealants for children. Adults, on the other hand, may have to pay out of pocket depending on the type of dental plan they carry. You’ll need to check with your provider before making an appointment with the dentist. If the procedure is not covered, you can expect to pay anywhere from $35 to $60 per tooth. If you’d like more information on dental sealants, contact us at the dental office of Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA. Our team is fluent in multiple languages and our office is designed to promote a relaxing atmosphere for your ultimate comfort.