Good oral hygiene is necessary to maintain oral health. Regular cleanings and exams make it easier to prevent problems or catch them before they get too big. In between visits it is important to keep your teeth as clean as possible. You should brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Our hygienists are happy to review proper brushing and flossing techniques, so ask them the next time you are in our office.
Why are sealants important for prevention of oral health problems? Back teeth have deep grooves and pits that are difficult to keep clean. Food collects in these grooves. Every time a person eats, the bacteria in plaque forms acid. Without sealants, these acid attacks can cause the enamel to break down and a person can get a cavity.
Procedure for placing sealants:
First the teeth are thoroughly cleaned and dried. Then a conditioning gel is applied and allowed to remain for 60 seconds. The gel is then rinsed off and the sealant material placed in the grooves. The sealant is then hardened with a harmless, high-intensity light.
Bitewing x-rays: used to find cavities between the teeth, see tartar on the roots, worn out fillings, and receding bone levels from periodontal disease. These x-rays usually involve 2 or 4 separate pictures.
Full Mouth series: 18 separate pictures taken in specific locations to thoroughly evaluate the entire mouth.
Panorex: an x-ray that gives a panoramic view of the mouth in one exposure. It gives valuable information about the position of wisdom teeth, receding bone levels, which is a sign of periodontal disease, abscesses, jaw-joint problems, and sinus problems.