Dental Sealants- The Protector of Teeth

Although you may have been a young child, most likely you haven’t forgotten the day you realized you had your first cavity. Maybe you bit into some bubble gum and felt the painful zing that shot up into your gums, or maybe the pain crept in over time. Either way, it’s probable that you remember the whole experience wasn’t too pleasant, including the point where you had to get the filling. Thankfully, there is a way for that whole experience to be avoided for your children, and even into your adult life and it’s with the application of dental sealants.

What Are They?

Dental sealants are clear in color, and applied to the chewing surface of the teeth to act as a barrier or guard from all of the plaque that accumulates from the natural acids and food we eat. The molars in the backs of our mouths are especially hard to clean, so sealant can really help with preventing plaque buildup, cavities, and tooth decay. The CDC states that dental sealants prevent 80% of cavities in the first two years and 50% of cavities within the first four years.

This is especially great for children, as they’re not always the best at cleaning their own teeth so they’re prone to more cavities. For this reason, it is recommended that children get sealants as soon as possible. Most commonly, dental sealants can be applied as early as age six. Although it’s recommended for children to get them done as soon as they can, adults can get dental sealants too! Even if a cavity is present, sealants can be applied on top of a filling, preventing future damage to the tooth.

Application

The process is quick, pain-free, and easy. First, the teeth are cleaned and dried. Then a special compound is applied to help the sealant stick. The teeth are then rinsed and dried again, and the sealant is finally applied with a special brush. The bite down may feel a little different due to the added layer, but the sealant will form to fit the shape of the mouth at rest over a few days.

BPA Dangers?

Some people say that dental sealants can be dangerous because they contain BPA. However, a study from the American Dental Association shows that the levels are very low, in fact, the levels tested out to be a mere .09 nanograms. The U.S. Environmental Agency states that the daily exposure for a six year old child should be no more than 1 million nanograms. Furthermore, it is said that we receive more exposure to BPA through things like food, drinks, sunscreen, and cosmetics. With all of that said, the higher risk is cavities, tooth decay, and overall oral health. Dental sealant offers way more benefits than it does any major dangers.

Length of Protection

Once applied, dental sealants can last for up to ten years. It is possible for them to fall out, chip, or wear away, but that is highly uncommon. As long as the teeth are cared for as usual, the sealant should hold its strength for several years.

Insurance Coverage

Some dental plans cover the expenses for dental sealants or they pay for a percentage of the cost. Check with your insurance company to see what benefits are offered for dental sealants.

Overall, dental sealants are beneficial for oral health. They prevent cavities and tooth decay, are pain free, non-invasive, and are usually covered or discounted by insurance plans. If you are not sure if you or your child should get them, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to go over all it is you need to know further about dental sealants.

Veneers: Common Questions

It is not uncommon for patients to inquire about the appearance of their teeth. Many people are dissatisfied with the way their teeth look aside from the desire to straighten them out with corrective applications, such as braces or clear aligners. Dental veneers just may be the answer to your questions in regards to other aesthetic desires regarding your teeth. If you have thought about getting veneers and aren’t sure about them, no worries, listed below are answers to some the most commonly asked questions.

1. What exactly are veneers?

Dental veneers are made of either porcelain or resin composite materials that are paper-thin and custom made to fit the shape to the exact size needed for your unique, individual teeth. They act as discreet little shells that bond to your teeth and add a very thin layer to magically transform them into shiny, smooth, and aligned pearly whites!

2. What types of dental issues do veneers fix?

Veneers fix many different kinds of dental problems such as:
Discoloration
Enamel wear
Chips
Gaps
Uneven or misaligned teeth

3. Do they hurt?

The adhesion of veneers is considered a pain-free procedure. The gums around the teeth are typically numbed and in most cases anesthesia is not necessary. Once they are on, it is said that your mouth will feel like it always has and it will be a physically unnoticeable change.

4. What does the whole process look like?

In short, you will visit with your dentist for roughly twenty minutes to consult over your desires and needs. They place a molding on your teeth to make an impression that is sent to a lab. A trial set is made for you to try on so you can see exactly what the real deal will look like (this trial can last for about two weeks, so you can wear them until you get the real ones). Once you confirm your liking, the impression is sent back to the lab to make the final product. About two weeks later, your veneers will be done and you will be ready for the procedure. The time spent in the chair the day of the application depends on how many teeth are done. So it can range from one hour to several. Once it’s done, the dentist will have you check back with them a couple of times to ensure all is well, and then you will be good to go!

5. So, once I invest in getting the work done, can the veneers stain?

Depending on the material of choice, porcelain veneers do not stain. If you need to go with the resin composite, they do not stain as easily as natural tooth enamel but can discolor over time. As with anything, proper care can prolong the quality of the investment.

6. Do veneers last forever?

Nothing lasts forever! However, veneers do last a very long time. As long as you are committed to caring for your teeth as usual, get your regular cleanings and checkups, your veneers can last for up to fifteen years!

7. Would I need to add any special adjustments to my normal dental routine?

Nope! It is recommended that you take care of your veneers just as they were your actual teeth. So make sure to keep up on your routine visits.

8. Okay, what will this do to my wallet? Does insurance cover this?

With veneers typically being considered a procedure for cosmetic purposes, insurance does not cover the cost to get them. However, should you need, a lot of practices offer interest-free financing through a third-party partner, so you don’t have to worry about paying in full up front.

9. Can the veneers chip or break? What happens then?

It is rare for the veneers to chip or break, but of course, there are things that can happen as we are offered no guarantees in life. But don’t worry, as it is common for the veneers to be on a five-year warranty plan. So, be sure to ask about warranties.

10. Are there any alternatives to getting veneers?

Yes! Crowns offer an equally beautiful result. Veneers can be considered a less invasive procedure, though, so some may prefer that option. Everyone is unique in their dental needs. Contact us to see what the best option is for you and your individual situation.

The Conclusion

Dental veneers are definitely a great option should you decide you want to make some changes. To have them put on is a pretty standard procedure, does not take long to obtain, does not cause pain, and there are options for your budget. Give us a call find out if veneers are right for you.

Canker Sores

What Is A Canker Sore?

In the dental industry, we like to call them mouth ulcers. They are white, crater-like sores on the inside of the mouth, sometimes accompanied by redness around the white area. They might be found on the inside of the lips, cheeks, on or under the tongue, or even near the throat. They are not to be confused with cold sores, which appear around the outside of the lips.

What Causes A Canker Sore?

Lots of things! Anything from certain acidic foods, spices, injury, or stress to hormone imbalances or immune disorders.

What Should I Do About A Canker Sore?

Most canker sores resolve on their own. They are very common and typically not anything to be concerned about. If a canker sore is unusually large or lasts for more than a couple of weeks, call us up to make an appointment. If a canker sore is accompanied by any other unusual symptoms not related to your mouth (like fever or difficulty swallowing), you should call a doctor right away.

If you have any concerns about a canker sore, don’t hesitate to call us up to schedule an appointment. It’s always best to get it examined if you have any questions or concerns.

A Word to the Wise – All About Wisdom Teeth

“Why do we have wisdom teeth if we always have to pull them out?” you might say. There’s a lot to understand about these fascinating late bloomers in our mouths.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

More commonly referred to as “third molars” by dentists, wisdom teeth are an extra set of teeth in the back of the upper and lower jaw that typically emerge in our late teens or early twenties. They are often removed due to lack of room in the jaw.

Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

It’s likely that we developed wisdom teeth long ago when our diets were a lot tougher on our teeth. Without the regular daily dental care we have today, tooth decay and eventual tooth loss were commonplace. These teeth came in later in life after our ancestors had likely lost some of their teeth.

When Will I Get My Wisdom Teeth?

Maybe never! That’s right, some people never develop wisdom teeth. The jury is still out as to why. Most likely, though, if you’re going to get them, they’ll come in between the ages 17 and 25. It’s not unheard of to get them earlier or later, though.

Why Do I Need to Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Unlike our ancestors, our jaws are much smaller and we typically keep our teeth for much longer. As such, there’s not much room for our wisdom teeth. Because of this lack of room, the third molars come in at bad angles (called impacted teeth) or can press up against other teeth in undesirable or potentially harmful ways. To avoid these conditions, a third molar extraction (wisdom tooth removal) is often recommended. However, there are some individuals who have room enough and no procedure is needed. It’s best to consult with a dentist who can look at your individual case and advise you properly.

Is It Dangerous?

Third molar extraction is a very common oral surgery with a high success rate. As with any surgery, complications are always possible, many of which are very treatable and easily avoided (such as dry sockets). If you have questions about the risks, give us a call or schedule an appointment.

Always remember to stop in and visit us if you have any dental concerns, are experiencing any discomfort or unusual conditions. Happy brushing!

BRUSH UP ON YOUR DAILY ORAL ROUTINE

Let’s face it. Daily oral care is easy to overlook. Life is busy, and we’re usually in a hurry. But daily oral care is one of the most important parts of your overall dental health, and it’s the part you have the most control over.

The good news is, it doesn’t take that long and the order of things isn’t as important as just doing it. Don’t get hung up on the small details. Here is what we recommend:

BRUSHING

    • Do it twice a day for 2 minutes at a time. Set a timer if it helps. Don’t cut this short.
    • Use a soft-bristled brush.
    • Don’t be too aggressive. Brush gently in circular motions.
    • Don’t brush too soon after eating or drinking, especially if you had something sugary. Wait an hour or so, and be sure to drink a glass of water.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste.

FLOSSING

    • Preferably do this before brushing, but don’t get too hung up on that. Just be sure to do it.
    • Once a day is just fine.
  • Be gentle.

MOUTHWASH

  • It’s a supplement, not a replacement. Mouthwash can be a great addition to your daily routine, but it is, by no means, a substitute for brushing and flossing.

Remember, stop in and visit us if you have any dental concerns, are experiencing any discomfort or unusual conditions. Happy brushing!

What Causes a Cavity?

We all know the word “cavity” whether we’ve had one or not. No one likes them, but do we really understand why they happen and how to prevent them?

What is a cavity?
Simply put, a cavity is an area of the tooth that has eroded or broken down and decay is taking place. This creates a hole that can get bigger and bigger over time if left untreated.

Why do cavities appear?
Decaying of the tooth is caused by plaque build-up over time. Plaque is a sticky type of film that forms on top of a tooth. When left for long periods of time, the plaque can cause rotting and result in a cavity. Left untreated, a cavity can create a hole in the tooth and expose nerve endings which can cause pain. This is why cavities often get filled once they are discovered. A cavity can also lead to the need for a root canal or tooth loss if left untreated.

 

How can you prevent a cavity?

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Try to get in every crevice of the mouth by brushing in circular motions
  • Don’t forget to brush your gums lightly
  • Remember to floss once a day
  • Limit the number of sugary drinks and foods you consume
  • Show up to your annual dentist appointments

Top 10 Teeth-Shaped Things!

We love teeth so much that we decided to scour the internet to see if anyone else does too. It took no time at all to see that other fanatics exist! It’s proven by the vast amount of teeth-shaped items one can buy. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 teeth-shaped items here for all the tooth-lovers out there!

  1. Soap

When you’re washing your hands why not feel extra clean knowing that this tooth-shaped soap helped to make your hands as squeaky clean as your pearly whites.

 

  1. Earrings

These beauties pair delightfully with any occasion or season. Wear them out and make everyone around jealous of your immaculate style.

 

  1. Tongs

The perfect way to serve up a leafy green salad! Don’t forget your dental health is partially determined by your nutrition.

 

  1. Glasses

Use these as a definite conversation starter for any situation.

 

  1. Chairs

Welcome people into your home, office, etc. knowing that they will be comfortably sitting on molar-shaped chairs.

 

  1. Candles

Set a mood that says “Don’t forget to brush twice a day.”

 

  1. Plant Pots

Remind those around you that just like plants, your teeth are growing and need proper of TLC too.

 

  1. Push-pins

Post something inspirational on your bulletin board each day to stay on track with whatever goal you’re working towards.

 

  1. USB Flash Drive

Every time you plug in this beauty to your computer you’ll think of all the dental information you can look up on the web!

 

  1. Tissue Box Holder

After crying tears of joy over your great dental health status after your dental check up, you’ll be able to wipe those tears away in style.

Seasonal Allergies and Dental Health

While springtime may feel like it’s come a little late this year, seasonal allergies may have already begun. Often times, they can mock the symptoms of colds and other illnesses, and that’s not fun for anyone. Could allergies be wreaking havoc on your dental health as well?

While you may not be as concerned about your dental health when you’re feeling the effects of allergies, there is some reason to be. Sickness in any form can affect the teeth and gums in small and large ways.

Tooth pain that derives from seasonal allergies is often associated with sinus pain. Pollen and dust can trigger responses from the immune system, triggering mucus to fill in hollow spaces (often in the face). Often times, the maxillary sinuses on top of the mouth cause pressure to build up and can push down on the roots of the molars. This can be extremely painful, but if the cause is seasonal allergies, taking an antihistamine can make this go away.

Allergies can cause dry mouth you may experience during allergy season. People with stuffy noses tend to start breathing through their mouth more often, and antihistamines that relieve other symptoms of allergies can cause dry mouth as well. Dry mouth can increase your chances of developing cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. One of salivas main functions is to get the bad bacteria out, but if you have dry mouth, saliva may be unable to do its job correctly.

Post-nasal drip coming from seasonal allergies can lead to a sore throat. A sore throat can cause bad breath and while brushing your teeth is a great thing, it doesn’t necessarily help much in stopping bad breath caused by a sore throat.

While tooth pain, dry mouth, and sore throats that derive from allergies can cause problems in the teeth and gums, there are some ways to combat their negative effects to better your dental health.

Tips to overcome seasonal allergies:

  • Drink more water. Hydrating your body can help flush excess mucus and counteract the effect of a dry mouth.
  • Gargle with salt water. Salt can help to flush out mucus and cut down on the harmful bacteria. Overall, reducing plaque and bad breath.
  • Brush and Floss regularly.
  • Talk to your doctor. It’s best to treat your allergies. Your doctor can help you choose the right over-the-counter drugs, prescription medication, or allergy shots.
  • Talk to your dentist. They can help you figure out if you’re experiencing allergies or something more.

What Makes a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

You might be thinking to yourself… “Why would I want a dental implant?” The answer to that question truly depends on who you are and if your teeth are rotting or missing due to accident or disease. If you have a missing tooth or teeth an implant could be a simple way to replace the gap left behind.

People that are missing a singular tooth or multiple teeth might want to consider talking to their dental team about implants if they try to hide their smile, wear uncomfortable dentures, are experiencing any dissatisfaction with removable dentures, etc. Dental implants may also be a good option if you want to keep other teeth intact.

Good Candidates for Dental implants:

Should:

  • Have good general health
  • Have a jaw that is strong enough to support an implant
  • Have enough bone in the jaw bone (bone grafts/ sinus lift surgery can help if this is a problem)

Should not:

  • Not have a chronic illness like leukemia or diabetes
  • Not use tobacco products

All things considered…

 It is imperative to talk to your dentist about all of the options possible. A dental implant can take longer or have a higher cost than other replacement options. They may also be a better value because they can, in some circumstances, last a lifetime. Your dental team is here to help you make the best decision for you. Each situation is different and you should always feel safe and heard.

If you’ve been thinking about your options to replace a missing tooth or teeth, why not schedule a consultation with our team today!

Call us at 612-338-557, send us an email @info@nicolletstationdental.com or fill out this online form by clicking here!

When to Change Your Toothbrush

How long have you had your toothbrush for?

The American Dental Association recommends that you switch your toothbrush every three to four months. You can notice wear and tear on the bristles around this period of time. When the bristles fray they will be less effective in getting the job done. If you are getting your regular dental check ups, you will generally receive a new toothbrush when you go in for a visit too.

Are you sick?

If you have been feeling unwell for a while, you should change your toothbrush when you start to feel better. Bacteria from your mouth do not just go away when you brush your teeth. Remember that the bristles on your toothbrush cannot protect you from disease or kill the bad bacteria. They also can linger on the bristles of your toothbrush, which can restart the cycle of sickness all over again.

Do you use electric?

 If you’re using an electric brush the same rules still apply. Change your brush head every three to four months for maximum dental hygiene.

How can I make my toothbrush last longer?

 A rinsed off toothbrush is far better off than one that is not. It’s best to rinse it off after every time you brush so that any extra particles are fully removed and that no lingering toothpaste is present. When drying off your toothbrush leave it brush side up to air dry.

Remember, your dental health affects your overall health. Why not keep everything in check by changing your toothbrush regularly? It’s simple and the best option. Change your brush at the first sign of wear and tear.