The CCDC Blog

 

Sealants

What are they and why...

By Brianne Jones, RDH

Frequently Asked Questions About Sealants

When you visit your child’s dental office for a regular checkup, a common treatment that they may recommend for your children are sealants. There can be many questions associated with sealants, so we hope that we can answer some of the most common questions here.

What are sealants?
A sealant is a thin plastic coating that is applied to the grooves on the chewing surface of teeth. The chewing surface is the most common area of teeth to get decay, and by placing the sealant onto the teeth, it helps protect them from decay. The sealants protect the grooves of the teeth by keeping food particles from sitting there. Although it does not guarantee that your child will not get a cavity, it dramatically reduces the risk of decay.

Which teeth will get the sealant?
Permanent molars benefit the most from sealants because they are the most susceptible to decay on the chewing surface. The first set of molars usually comes in around age six and the second set comes in around age 12. Ideally, the sealants should be applied when the molars first erupt so that there is not time for decay to occur.

Will I be able to see the sealant?
Sealants can only be seen when you are looking at your children’s teeth up close. They are tooth colored material, so they are difficult to see even when you’re looking for them, and they definitely can’t be seen when the child is talking or smiling.

How are sealants applied?
Applying sealants is quick and easy, and will be completed by one of our assistants. No numbing is needed, but we do recommend using laughing gas while the sealants are being applied to help relax your child and lower their gag reflex. No tooth structure is removed when applying the sealant, so there is no drilling. After the tooth is cleaned, a special gel called etch is applied to the chewing surface of the tooth. This prepares the tooth so that the sealant will be able to stick to it in the most effective way. After the gel has been on the tooth for a few seconds, it is washed off with water and then the tooth is dried with air. Then, the sealant is painted into the grooves on the tooth. A blue light is then used to change the sealant from being soft and malleable, into a hard, tooth like material. It only takes a few minutes to do each sealant, however the tooth must be dry. To achieve this, an assistant may place cotton roles under the tongue and cotton on the cheek, or a plastic device that keeps the patient’s tongue, cheek and lips away from the tooth.

How long does a sealant last?
Sealants last between five and ten years. It is possible for a sealant to come off, but we will check them at each of your child’s regular dental checkups. Sealants can be reapplied if they do come off.

Do sealants replace the need to use fluoride to​​prevent cavities?
No, fluoride, like that found in toothpaste and community water supplies, acts in a different way than sealants to protect teeth from cavities. Fluoride acts both systemically to strengthen teeth before they have erupted, and topically where it is incorporated into the surface of the teeth to make them more decay resistant. Sealants prevent decay by keeping food and germs out of the grooves of the teeth. Although fluoride and sealants work together to reduce cavities, one is not a replacement for the other. Sealants are just one part of your child’s entire preventative dental program. Remember that it is important to include twice ­daily brushing, once ­daily flossing, fluoride and smart food choices in order to keep your children cavity free! 

Sources: http://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/publications/factsheets/sealants_faq.htm
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Baby Teeth

Eruption Sequence!

By Brianne Jones, RDH

Teething 101!
 

Signs of teething

Short of actually seeing a tooth poking through, and given that the process is different for every baby, some possible symptoms to watch for:

The need to gnaw

The pressure of an emerging tooth beneath the gums may be relieved by counterpressure, so teething babies often want to chomp on things. The chewing instinct may also be a response to the odd sensation that something's going on in there.

Puffy gums

Before a new tooth erupts, it can cause a red, swollen and bruised-looking area on a baby's gums. Sometimes the gum bulges with the emerging tooth, which you can see faintly beneath the skin (if you can convince your baby to open his mouth for long enough).

Excessive drooling

Increased spittle can herald a new tooth—but it's also a normal developmental stage of infancy, so don't assume that drooling means teething. There's no way to tell whether your baby's saliva is the result of teething or not, though it may be if you also see...

Fussiness, especially at night

Tooth eruption—when the tooth moves through the bone and gum—tends to come in stages, with more activity at night than during the day, so your baby may be more irritable then.

Ear pulling

While it can also be a sign of an ear infection, tugging can be a symptom of teething: The pain from the jaw gets transferred to the ear canal.

A change in eating habits

Babies who are eating solids may want to nurse or bottle-feed more because a spoon irritates their inflamed gums. Others may do the opposite, eating more than usual because the counterpressure feels good. And babies who are still on the bottle or breast may begin feeding eagerly but pull back because the activity of sucking puts uncomfortable pressure on the gums and ear canals.



Ways to soothe the pain

You may need to try a few methods to see what works best for your child:

A wet, frozen washcloth (leave one end dry so she can get a good grip)

The thick fabric feels good, and the icy cold numbs sore gums. A teething toy that's been chilled in the refrigerator also works, but frozen toys may be too harsh on an infant's sensitive gums.

Massage

If the tooth is still deep in the gum and hasn't formed a painful bruise, counterpressure or friction where it's about to erupt can work wonders. Try rubbing the area with your clean finger (bare or wrapped in a washcloth).

Pain Reliever

Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are good bets for temporary pain relief, as are topical oral anesthetics, as long as you don't exceed the recommended dosage.

Distraction

Teething pain is like headache pain—it causes chronic, low-grade discomfort. You can often soothe your child simply by getting her mind off the pain. Give her more one-on-one time or offer her a new toy. And don't underestimate the healing power of touch: A little extra cuddling on the sofa may be all that's needed to take a child's mind off her mouth.

Reference:  http://www.parenting.com/article/guide-teething-symptoms

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Dental Health Month

FAQ

By Brianne Jones, RDH

Early Dental Care

It's February and we all know what that means...DENTAL HEALTH MONTH!!! Below are some of the frequently discussed topics and what Dr. J's view on them is!
 

A Child's First Dental Visit

Dr. Jones recommends scheduling your child’s first dental visit around his/her first birthday. The most important part of the visit is getting to know and becoming comfortable with a doctor and his staff. A pleasant, comfortable first visit builds trust and helps put the child at ease during future dental visits. Children should be encouraged to discuss any fears or anxiety they feel.

Infant's New Teeth

The primary, or “baby,” teeth play a crucial role in dental development. Without them, a child cannot chew food properly and has difficulty speaking clearly. Primary teeth are vital to development of the jaws and for guiding the permanent (secondary) teeth into place when they replace the primary teeth around age 6.

Teething

Normally the first tooth erupts between ages 6 to 12 months. While your baby is teething, it is important to monitor your child's teeth for signs of baby bottle decay. Examine the teeth, especially on the inside or the tongue side, every two weeks for dull spots (whiter than the tooth surface) or lines. A bottle containing anything other than water that is left in an infant’s mouth while sleeping can cause decay. This happens because sugar in the liquid mixes with bacteria in dental plaque, forming acids that attack the tooth enamel. Each time a child drinks liquids containing sugar, acids attack the teeth for about 20 minutes. During sleep, the saliva flow significantly decreases and liquids pool around the child’s teeth for long periods, covering the teeth in acids. Our office is dedicated to fighting baby bottle tooth decay. Let us know if you notice any signs of decay or anything unusual in your child’s mouth.
 
Good Diet and Healthy Teeth
 
The teeth, bones and soft tissue of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups helps minimize (and avoid) cavities and other dental problems. Most snacks that children eat cause cavities, so children should only receive healthy foods like vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheeses, which promote strong teeth.
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Back to School!


By: Brianne Jones, RDH

Back To School!
 
School may have started this week (yipee), but it's easy to rush out the door not realizing your kiddos have forgotten to brush their teeth, and are munching on a yummy muffin or donut as they head to class! YIKES! CCDC wants to help make your life easier by reminding you of some healthier options, that will keep teeth strong and cavity free! This Tooth Snack Guide shows the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to picking the right snacks for your teeth! We know it's not realistic to always say, "NO" to all the yummy treats, but we hope you will choose Gatorade, cookies and fruit snacks in moderation! Go on...have a fantastic school year and remember, brush twice a day to keep the sugar bugs away!
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5 Fun Facts About Dr. Jones


By Sarah Wellman - February 3, 2015

5 Fun Facts about the Dr. Jones

1.  Loves the Patriots, Red Sox & Celtics Sports Teams

2.  Has 1 brother, who is 12 years older

3.  Went skiing for the 1st time in his life on New Year’s Eve 2012… and fell a lot!

4.  Is VERY scared of snakes!

5.  Went to the same college that Michael Jordan went to- GO TAR HEELS!!