Thursday, April 14, 2016

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are an effective tool for preventing tooth decay, especially for children. Sealants are made from a clear, plastic-like material and painted onto the surfaces of the teeth. Most often, sealants are applied where the majority of chewing is performed, on the premolars and molars. While regular brushing and flossing is imperative to good dental health, brushing and flossing alone can’t always protect the teeth from decay. Harmful particles can get trapped in the grooves of back teeth, however, sealants can prevent damage from occurring.

Sealant Application 

Sealants are applied by your dental professional following an exam and cleaning. Once teeth are thoroughly clean, they are dried and an absorbent material like cotton is placed around the teeth to absorb excess moisture. The surfaces of teeth are lightly roughed by an acidic solution, which helps the sealant grip the teeth. After being rinsed and dried, teeth are painted with the sealant. Some dentists use a special light to harden and cure the sealant.

Are Sealants Right for You? 

Sealants are commonly applied to children’s teeth to prevent tooth decay. Young teeth are especially susceptible to tooth. Usually, kids between the ages of 6 and 14 are good candidates for sealants. However, children even younger may benefit in some cases. Even some adults are good candidates for sealants, that is, if they don’t have fillings or any current decay. The protective effects of sealants can last 10 years or even longer.

Modern Dentistry in Indianapolis 

At the Indianapolis office of Dr. Richard Stuart, we not only apply sealants but offer comprehensive preventive and cosmetic dentistry services as well. Our Indianapolis dental office provides compassionate dental care from a highly experienced team of oral health professionals. Whether you need a routine cleaning or a more in-depth dental service, we can help. From restorations to implants, whitening services to laser dentistry — we do it all!

Get on the path to a healthier, more confident smile today. Don’t delay your dental health — good oral health is imperative to overall wellness. Dr. Stuart and his staff are eager to welcome you to the practice; call 317-660-6223 to schedule your appointment.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

What if My Product Isn't ADA-Approved?

The American Dentistry Association seal of approval is awarded to consumer oral hygiene products that meet ADA-defined standards. The seal is intended to help consumers make informed choices about the products they use.

Products that are ADA-approved have undergone extensive testing for safety and efficacy, to ensure that any claims made about them are factually correct. Companies that submit products for assessment have to submit ingredient lists and data from laboratory studies and clinical trials that support the product claims, and show that the product is being made using good manufacturing practices. Each product is assessed by around 100 consultants, from a variety of scientific disciplines relevant to oral health and hygiene. Once a product has been approved, the packaging is required to display the ADA seal.

So is it okay to use products that are not ADA-approved? If a product hasn't been approved, that doesn't automatically mean it's unsafe or ineffective—but using ADA-approved products takes the guesswork out of choosing and using effective products. For example, if an ADA-approved toothpaste claims to be effective at preventing tooth decay, the presence of the seal means you can be sure it's a valid claim. Many Crest, Aim, Listerine and Tom products are ADA approved, just to name a few.

Monday, April 4, 2016

What’s Up with Bad Breath?

Halitosis — also known as bad breath — is an embarrassing problem no one wants to have. Bad breath can occur in people of all ages; some people may have more risk factors for bad breath than others. The first step to alleviating this problem is a thorough dental examination. There are a number of oral health issues that can cause or exacerbate bad breath.

Causes of Bad Breath

There are numerous reasons why bad breath may occur. One of the most obvious is from food. Although smelly foods like onions and garlic can make your breath temporarily smell bad, so can eating too infrequently.  In addition, food particles can get stuck between teeth and decay there — causing a rotten odor.

Another cause of bad breath is dry mouth — a condition caused by certain medications, tobacco use, and aging. Saliva washes away the odor-causing bacteria; when enough saliva isn’t produced the particles can build up and cause the unpleasant smell. Smokers often suffer from bad breath, not only caused by the cigarettes themselves but also the dry mouth that smoking can cause.

In some cases, an underlying medical condition can cause bad breath. Your dentist can determine whether or not a visit to your medical doctor is in order following an examination. Conditions that may affect breath odor include but aren’t limited to sinusitis, respiratory tract infections and kidney or liver problems.

How to Help Prevent Bad Breath at Home

Good oral health habits can help prevent bad breath. In addition to getting regular checkups from a dental professional, it’s important to brush and floss daily. If bad breath is a problem for you, consider adding a tongue scraper to your home care routine. Your dentist can educate you further on caring for your dentition at home; they can recommend which products are best and show you the right techniques for oral health care.

Schedule Your Checkup Today

At the Indianapolis office of Dr. Richard Stuart, every patient is given personalized dental care based on their unique needs. Services offered include not only preventive dentistry such as exams and cleanings, but also cosmetic restorations as well. Schedule your appointment today by calling 317-660-6223. Dr. Stuart and his experienced, friendly staff are waiting to provide you with the superior dental care you deserve!