January 18th, 2017
A dental sealant is a liquid that is applied to the teeth. The sealant hardens and provides a protective coating that is designed to reduce cavities and create a smoother tooth surface. Dental sealants are clear or white; they do not take away from the appearance of teeth. You can think about this treatment as being similar to varnish that protects a wood floor.
Sealants are not the same as fluoride treatments. The application is similar, but sealants are a semi-permanent protective coating. Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, and Dr. Peanut and our staff recommend that sealant applications for children begin soon after molars erupt, first molars around the age of six, and second molars around the age of 12.
Having sealants applied is not uncomfortable at all. First, your child’s teeth will be cleaned and dried. A gel is applied, which helps the sealant adhere to the tooth, and then is rinsed away. Your child’s teeth are dried again and the sealant is applied. A few seconds of exposure to a light source may be used to cure the sealant and make it semi-permanent. Sealants should last for a long time, normally between five and ten years.
The coating on the surface of your child’s teeth reduces the amount of acid contact. Normal acids in foods that are consumed can eat away at the surface of teeth. Bacteria also react to plaque formation and create more acid in the mouth. These small pits or weakened areas are prone to caries or cavity formation. Preventing cavities is a much better choice than drilling and filling damaged teeth.
A sealant also helps to smooth the chewing surfaces of your childn’t teeth. The smoother surface is not as likely to retain small particles of food and bacteria. Your child’s mouth stays cleaner and food is not left behind to form acids. The protective application can also be used on other teeth that have a rough surface, to protect the grooves or pits from decay.
After the sealant is applied, your child still needs to take proper care of his or her teeth. Regular brushing and flossing is required. Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, and Dr. Peanut may recommend fluoride treatments to strengthen and protect your child’s teeth further.
If you have any concerns about sealants, please discuss them with during your child’s next appointment at The Snohomish Dental Care Family. We want your little one’s teeth to stay healthy for life.
January 11th, 2017
As you grow older, your mind may be preoccupied with the health of your bones, heart, or brain. However, our team at The Snohomish Dental Care Family will tell you that keeping your teeth healthy is an equally important part of the aging process. Older adults are at increased risk for a variety of oral health conditions, which makes it essential for you to speak with your dentist to create a prevention plan that’s best for you.
Oral health conditions associated with aging
Just as the rest of your body continues to change as you age, your mouth changes, too. Certain conditions become more likely to develop as you reach older adulthood, including:
- Dry mouth. Although your salivary glands continue to produce saliva as you get older, medications and chronic health problems often cause dry mouth.
- Root decay. Your teeth have lasted you a lifetime, but improper nutrition or cleaning may lead to decay at the roots of your teeth.
- Diminished sense of taste. Your eyesight and hearing aren’t the only senses affected by aging. The ability to taste naturally diminishes over the course of older adulthood.
- Tissue inflammation. Are your gums tender, bleeding, or inflamed? Tissue inflammation may indicate gum disease or may be a consequence of wearing dentures that don’t fit well.
- Oral cancer. Risk for most cancers increases with age, and oral cancer is no exception. Older adults are at increased risk for oral cancer compared to younger individuals.
Ways you can prevent dental problems
Fortunately, many age-related oral health problems are preventable. Begin by improving your diet to include plenty of fruits and vegetables. Choosing water over coffee or soda will keep your teeth whiter and cavity-free. Also remember to practice good brushing habits to prevent cavities and gum disease.
Visiting the dentist at least twice a year is vitally important when you reach older adulthood. Your dentist is familiar with your oral health and may be the first person to notice a sore, discolored patch, inflammation, or other abnormality that indicates oral cancer or gum disease.
If you’re experiencing any problems with dental health, let your dentist know immediately. Together, you can troubleshoot solutions and create a plan that keeps your mouth and gums healthy.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, and Dr. Peanut, please give us a call at our convenient Stanwood, Marysville, Granite Falls, or Everett, WA office!
January 4th, 2017
Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life, as you eagerly wait for the birth of the new addition. Needless to say, pregnancy comes with a lot of responsibilities. Everything you do to your own body can affect your baby’s health, so you eat right and try to avoid anything that could harm your baby.
You may not realize it, but even your oral health affects your baby. You have a lot to worry about during this time in your life, but it’s important not to let your oral health slide. Maintaining good routines before and during pregnancy can improve the health of your baby.
Gum Disease and Pregnancy
Gum disease includes gingivitis and the more severe condition called periodontitis. Pregnancy gingivitis is a condition that results from bacteria in your teeth. Symptoms include gum inflammation and bad breath. If it progresses to periodontitis, your baby is at higher risk for preterm delivery and low-birth weight. You can also develop pregnancy tumors, or pyogenic granulomas, which can interfere with speaking and eating. Throughout pregnancy, continue to visit Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, and Dr. Peanut at your regularly scheduled appointments to look for signs of gum disease.
Pregnancy and the Role of Our Office
Make an appointment with Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, and Dr. Peanut at our Stanwood, Marysville, Granite Falls, or Everett, WA office when you first learn that you’re pregnant, especially if you have unresolved oral health issues. If possible, try not to schedule necessary treatment during the first trimester or second half of the third trimester.
Oral Health Care Habits to Follow
Maintain a normal good oral health care regimen, which includes brushing your teeth at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and soft toothbrush, and flossing daily. If your regular regimen is not up to par, now is a good time to develop good habits. You can use an unflavored toothpaste if you have morning sickness and regular toothpaste makes you feel nauseous. Also, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash if you experience morning sickness to prevent acid damage to your teeth.
December 28th, 2016
People who have diabetes are usually familiar with many of the other health risks they face, including damage to the nerves, eyes, heart, and kidneys. But did you know that if you have diabetes you also have a much greater chance of developing gum disease? It’s true, and like other diseases related to diabetes, the risk potential severity of gum disease is directly related to how well blood sugar is controlled.
In diabetics, there are two primary mechanisms that increase the risk of developing gum disease, also called periodontal disease:
- Bacterial growth: Bacteria love sugar including the glucose found in blood and bodily fluids. Elevated levels of sugar in saliva can provide a very hospitable environment for bacterial growth. The risk may be elevated if your gums bleed.
- Circulatory changes: In diabetes, the blood vessels become thick, making it more difficult for blood to carry oxygen to the gums and to carry away harmful waste products. This decrease in circulation can weaken the mouth’s natural resistance to decay. If you smoke, circulation can become even more compromised, significantly increasing your risk of periodontal disease.
Preventing Gum Disease
If you’re diabetic, the number-one key to preventing gum disease is to make sure you do all you can to keep your blood sugar under control. In fact, studies show diabetics who have excellent control of their blood sugar levels have no more risk for gum disease than those who don’t have diabetes. Here are some other tips to keep your gums healthy:
- Floss your teeth gently, curving the floss so it can gently reach just below your gum line to remove plaque and food particles. Rinse your mouth when you’re done flossing.
- Use a soft-bristle brush to brush teeth twice daily, using small circular motions. Avoid pressing too hard on tooth surfaces.
- Brush your tongue gently to remove germs that can hide there.
- Use an anti-bacterial mouthwash to kill germs that are hard to reach.
- Keep track of how well your blood sugar is controlled and let Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, and Dr. Peanut know at each visit.
- Be aware that having diabetes may mean it takes you longer to heal after undergoing oral surgery.
Most importantly, be sure to visit our Stanwood, Marysville, Granite Falls, or Everett, WA office for regular checkups and tell Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, and Dr. Peanut about your diabetes so you can be sure to get the care you need. Follow these steps, and you can enjoy healthy teeth and gums for years to come.