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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults


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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults

Once my children were grown and on their own, I decided it was time to care of me. One of the first things I did was make an appointment with the dentist. I quickly discovered that years of not keeping up with my own dental care had taken a heavy toll on my teeth. Whereas I thought my teeth were just fine, the dentist pointed out several problems that were going to require a lot of work. When talking to friends, I found out that many of them were in the same boat. This blog is for people like me who just did not have time to keep up with their own dental care.

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There is quite a bit dental patients can do to ensure that their dental sealants do what they are supposed to do. Dental sealants can protect teeth from the bacteria that cause decay. For some tips on making your sealants last as long as possible, read below.

What is a Dental Sealant?

Sealants are painted onto teeth and are allowed to sink into areas and depressions that brushing and flossing often miss. In most cases, sealants are made of a safe plastic mixture that hardens as it dries. When sealants are in place, your teeth are protected from the bacteria that can damage your enamel and lead to cavities.

How Long Do Sealants Last?

Sealants are not meant to last forever. In the best-case scenario, they could last for many years, however. How long you or your child's sealants last depends on your eating habits and the application process. For example, sealants applied to wet teeth won't adhere properly. That will lead to certain areas of the tooth being exposed to bacteria. Follow these tips to ensure that your sealants last a long time.

  1. Don't make the mistake of thinking that your teeth now have superpowers against decay after getting sealants. You must continue to brush and floss after eating and before bed to keep bacteria off your teeth.
  2. Children are often vulnerable to tooth decay because they may not be brushing properly. If your child gets sealants, be sure you use a dentist trained in applying them to squirming children who may not be able to keep their teeth dry long enough for the sealant to adhere.
  3. While you should not need to do anything special to care for your sealants, you also need to attend to your usual dental care visits. As your dental hygienist cleans your teeth, they can often spot areas of concern with your sealants. Anytime a sealant appears to be peeling or not providing complete coverage, a repair is in order. That means you should not miss your dental cleaning visits even if you have sealants.
  4. In some cases, patients can feel it when a sealant is peeling off. See your dentist as soon as possible and get your teeth protected if you notice any issues with your sealants.

To learn more about dental sealants, their costs, the procedure, and what they can do for you or your children, speak to a family dentist near you as soon as possible.