High Country Family Dentistry: Ryan Tuinstra D.D.S.


Bad breath is unpleasant or offensive odors coming from your mouth. It can be caused by food particles, poor oral hygiene, dry mouth, or bacteria from gum disease. If you’ve tried everything to get rid of bad breath, but it’s still there, talk to your dentist. They can help diagnose the cause and provide you with advice on the best treatment for your situation.

What May Cause Bad Breath?

Bad breath can occur because of food particles or bacteria in your mouth. Certain foods like garlic and onions or tobacco products can cause bad breath. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, food particles can remain in your mouth and decay. This can cause a foul odor. When diagnosing the cause of bad breath, your dentist will look for signs of dental problems, medical conditions, or oral health issues. The most common causes of bad breath include the following:

  • Bacteria. Plaque contains bacteria that clings to the teeth. When these bacteria aren’t removed, they release foul odors.
  • Foods and drinks. Foods and beverages, such as garlic, onions, fish, and coffee, can cause bad breath after they are digested.
  • Dry mouth. A dry mouth is a common side effect of some medications. When your mouth is dry, it can’t produce enough saliva to wash away bacteria.
  • Smoking. Smoking dries your mouth out and causes you to exhale through your mouth.
  • Gum disease. Gum disease can cause a foul odor.
  • Poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, food particles and bacteria can build up in your mouth and cause bad breath.
  • Dehydration. When you aren’t drinking enough water, your body can’t digest food properly. Food particles may stay in your stomach and intestines and rot, causing a foul odor.
  • Medical conditions. Some medical conditions can cause bad breath. For example, if your stomach is inflamed, it can cause your breath to smell.

What Can I Do To Prevent Bad Breath?

There are simple steps you can take to prevent bad breath. For example, you can take a proactive approach by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly. Brushing your teeth removes food particles and bacteria that cause bad breath. You should also see your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. These appointments give your dentist a chance to clean and polish your teeth, which may also help prevent bad breath. However, there are some other things you can do to improve your breath.

  • Drink water. Water can help rinse away food particles.
  • Avoid eating very spicy foods.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.

How Is Halitosis Diagnosed?

Halitosis, or bad breath, is often diagnosed by a dental professional during an exam. If you have persistent bad breath, schedule an appointment with our office. Your dentist will inquire about your health history, including recent illnesses and medications, and will examine your teeth, gums, and mouth to determine the causes of your bad breath. 

Plaque buildup can lead to cavities and gum disease, which is why it’s crucial to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss your teeth once a day. Brushing and flossing the teeth removes plaque that builds up and leads to cavities, gingivitis, and bad breath. 


Brushing is the act of cleaning your teeth with a toothbrush using toothpaste. Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal; however, brushing (and flossing) at least twice a day is recommended.

How To Brush Your Teeth?

To properly brush, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Brush your teeth in circular motions, making sure to brush along your gum line and the surface of each tooth. Brush the outside, inside, and chewing surfaces of the teeth. Brush your tongue, too, as your tongue can hold a lot of bacteria.

It’s common for people to brush too hard or not brush long enough. Brushing your teeth too hard can damage the gums. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush for at least two minutes.


Flossing should be done at least once a day, preferably at night before going to bed. It is important to floss along the gum line and between the teeth. Flossing is most effective when done in conjunction with brushing. Flossing does not replace brushing. It is an addition.

Many people think flossing is just about making sure your teeth are clean. While these are essential reasons, there are many other reasons why flossing is more important than you might think. Flossing goes deeper than removing surface debris. When you floss, you remove food particles and plaque from between teeth and below the gum line. This helps prevent the growth of plaque and bacteria, keeping your gums healthy. Reaching below the gum line and into those hard-to-reach areas is what flossing does best.

How To Floss Your Teeth?

Flossing your teeth is important for removing the sticky plaque that builds up in between your teeth. If you have braces, you’ll need to take special care around each bracket.

First, pull a small section of floss from the dispenser. Wrap it around your middle fingers, and slide the floss between your teeth. Gently curve the floss into the space between your teeth, and slide it up and down along the side of each tooth. Make sure to clean both the front and back of each tooth. Repeat this process for all your teeth.

How Often Should You Brush And Floss?

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss your teeth once a day. Brushing removes the plaque from the surfaces of the teeth. Flossing removes the plaque from the surfaces in between your teeth. Plaque that is not removed can harden and turn into tartar, which can only be removed with professional dental cleanings.

Dental Exam 

A dental exam and teeth cleaning are the basic components of preventive care, which is the best way to protect your oral health. A dental exam is a thorough examination of the teeth and gums. During the dental exam, the dentist will take X-rays to check for signs of decay, damage, and alignment issues. The X-rays allow the dentist to see in between the teeth, where cavities and damage often hide. It involves the following:

  • The dentist will examine your teeth and gums, looking for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems.
  • The dentist will conduct a visual inspection of the teeth, looking for signs of decay, damage, and alignment issues.
  • The dentist will also conduct an oral cancer screening through visual and tactile techniques.
  • The dentist will check the bite and alignment to look for signs of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
  • The dentist will examine your jaw, head, and neck for abnormalities.
  • The dentist will also check the gums for signs of gum disease, including inflammation, bleeding, and gum recession.

Dental Cleaning

A dental cleaning, also called a prophy, is the removal of plaque and tartar from the teeth. Plaque and tartar are the leading cause of tooth decay and gum disease. The dental hygienist will use instruments to manually remove plaque and tartar from the teeth. The hygienist will also use an ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque and tartar from difficult-to-reach places. The teeth will be polished after the plaque and tartar have been removed. A dental cleaning will restore the health of the teeth and gums.

How Often Should I Have A Dental Exam And Teeth Cleaning?

A dental exam and teeth cleaning are a part of your regular dental care. Typically, it is recommended that you have an exam and teeth cleaning every six months. However, depending on your current oral health, your dentist may recommend more frequent appointments.

What Are The Benefits of Getting A Dental Exam And Teeth Cleaning?

Getting a dental exam and teeth cleaning twice a year benefits you in the following ways.

A dental exam and teeth cleaning:

  • Help early detection of oral health problems
  • Remove plaque, tartar, and stains from the teeth
  • Help you maintain healthy teeth and gums
  • Help prevent gum disease and tooth decay

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums. Gum disease is most often caused by poor oral hygiene but can also be caused by certain medications and illnesses. The bacteria that cause gum disease release toxins that can damage the gums. This can lead to gum recession, infection, and even tooth loss.

Stages of Gum Disease

The stages of gum disease include gingivitis and periodontitis.

  • Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the first stage and is a mild form of gum disease. Gingivitis occurs when the gums become inflamed. This inflammation is caused by the bacteria that accumulate on the teeth and along the gum line. The gums may also be red, swollen, and bleed when brushing or flossing.

  • Periodontitis

Periodontitis is the second stage and is more severe than gingivitis. At this stage, the gums begin to separate from the tooth. This leaves pockets where food debris and bacteria buildup, causing infection.

  • Advanced Periodontitis

Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of gum disease. At this stage, the infection has moved into the bone in the jaw. Bone loss can cause teeth to become loose and fall out.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Gum disease symptoms include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Sensitive gums
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Teeth that shift
  • Tooth pain
  • Tooth sensitivity

Risk Factors

There are a number of factors that increase your risk of developing gum disease. The major among them is a lack of good oral hygiene. Other risk factors include, but are not limited to:

    • Cigarettes: Cigarette smoking is one of the biggest risk factors, as it significantly increases your risk of gum disease. Cigarette smoking also increases your risk of developing oral cancer.
    • Certain conditions of the tooth or dental appliance conditions: Ill-fitting dental bridges, crowded teeth, or defective fillings may trap bacteria and cause gum disease.
    • Many medications: Some medications, like steroids, cancer therapy drugs, oral contraceptives, etc., can increase the risk of gum disease. 
    • Systemic diseases
    • Genetics 

Treatment For Gum Disease

Treatment for gum disease will depend on the type and severity of the disease. If your dentist diagnoses you with gingivitis, the treatment will likely include a thorough oral cleaning. Your dentist may also recommend an at-home cleaning routine. This routine may include brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day.

If your dentist diagnoses you with periodontitis, the treatment will likely include scaling and root planing. This is a deep cleaning that removes plaque and tartar from below the gum line. Your dentist may also recommend antibiotics if your gum disease is severe. 

How To Prevent Gum Disease?

    • Brush your teeth at least twice a day. It’s important to brush in the morning, after you eat, and before bed.
    • Floss at least once a day. It’s important to floss before you brush. This helps remove any debris or food particles that may be stuck between your teeth.
    • Use mouthwash. Don’t be afraid to use mouthwash because it won’t hurt your teeth. It can, however, help kill bacteria, which helps keep your mouth and gums healthy.
    • Quit smoking: Smoking can increase the risk of gum disease. So, quit smoking at the earliest. 

Flossing helps remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth. The built-in bristles of the floss are designed to reach through the teeth and scrape the plaque away. Flossing helps to prevent cavities, halitosis, and gum disease.

Why Is Flossing Important?

Flossing removes plaque from between the teeth, areas a toothbrush cannot reach. If plaque remains on teeth, it can cause gum disease. Plaque that is not removed can eventually harden into tartar, which cannot be removed with a toothbrush and can only be removed by a dental professional.

What Are The Different Types of Floss?

  • Traditional: This is the most commonly used type of floss. It is composed of thin nylon fibers and is wrapped around a plastic holder.
  • Floss picks: also known as disposable flossers. These disposable floss picks have a piece of floss that glides between teeth.
  • Water flossers: water flossers are a great alternative to traditional flossing. It uses a jet of water to remove plaque and food particles from between teeth.

How To Floss Your Teeth?

The most important thing to remember when flossing your teeth is to take your time. The flossing technique takes a little practice, but it is simple. Once you master it, you will find that flossing is much less intimidating.

  • Grasp about 18 inches of floss. Wrap most of it around one finger and hold it tightly between your thumb and forefinger.
  • Gently stretch the floss between your fingers, sliding it up and down on the side of one tooth.
  • Move the floss carefully back and forth between your teeth.


Flossing is an essential part of keeping gums healthy. Most patients don’t realize that cavities and gum disease are often linked. In fact, brushing well and flossing regularly can help to prevent both.

Flossing removes the plaque and food debris that build up in the mouth. Not flossing can lead to a variety of oral health problems, including tooth decay and gum disease. It is important to floss the teeth at least once a day, preferably after every meal. When using floss, it is important to gently slide the floss along the surface of the teeth, between every tooth, and below the gum line. 

A tooth that has been knocked out requires immediate dental attention. Until you reach the dentist, you should only do the following:

What to do if you lose a tooth

The most important thing to do when you lose a permanent tooth is to call your dentist immediately. Your dentist can determine if the tooth can be reimplanted and if so, he or she may be able to reimplant it successfully. He or she can also provide you with treatment options that can prevent bone loss and infection while you decide what to do with the tooth. Most dentists have an emergency hotline that you can use after hours or on weekends to reach someone who can determine whether they can reimplant the tooth and help you make an appointment with the dentist as soon as possible. If you experience severe bleeding, pain, or swelling after a lost tooth, you should seek emergency medical care.

How to save and transport a knocked-out tooth?

Call your dentist immediately and save any pieces of the tooth you can find. The tooth should be handled carefully to avoid damaging it further. Rinse off the tooth with lukewarm water and try to place it back in its natural position while on your way to the dental office. If this isn’t possible, store it in a cup of milk or saline solution until the dentist can repair your smile.

If the tooth can’t be placed back into its socket, your dentist may be able to create a replacement for the lost tooth using a dental crown or bridge. These custom-crafted restorations match the size, shape, and color of your natural teeth, giving you added confidence when you smile in public and around other people. 

Tooth discoloration can be caused by a number of factors, including poor oral hygiene habits, poor diet, smoking, certain types of medications, dark beverages such as colas, tooth trauma, genetics, certain types of dental work, etc. If you are dealing with dental discoloration, your dentist may recommend a professional teeth whitening treatment.

What Is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening, also known as teeth bleaching, is an aesthetic dental procedure that removes stains and discoloration from the enamel and dentin of your teeth. Teeth whitening is one of the most sought-after cosmetic dentistry procedures because it can greatly improve your appearance. Teeth whitening is a quick, painless procedure that can be performed in the dental office or at home.

What Are The Types of Teeth Whitening?

    • In-Office Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that uses a whitening solution to remove stains and make teeth brighter. Most in-office whitening treatments use hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.

During your teeth whitening appointment, your dentist will place a protective layer over your lips and gums and apply the whitening gel to your teeth. The whitening gel will remain on your teeth for a certain amount of time. During this time, the gel will penetrate the enamel and bleach the stains from your teeth. Your dentist will then remove the whitening gel. This procedure is repeated till the desired whitening levels are attained.

    • At-Home Teeth Whitening

Whitening your teeth at home can be done using:

    • Over-the-counter whitening products.
    • Custom-fitted whitening trays (made from impressions of your teeth).
    • Whitening lights, such as the ones found in our teeth whitening kits.
    • Whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes.

At-home teeth whitening kits are less expensive but may not be as effective as professional teeth whitening. Most at-home teeth whitening kits are peroxide-based and require a much longer treatment time than in-office teeth whitening procedures.

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support the teeth. It is caused by the bacteria found in plaque. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss, and recent studies have linked it to some systemic diseases.

How are heart disease and gum disease linked?

Periodontal disease is the inflammation of the gums, which can lead to gum recession, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. If left untreated, the infection can get into the bloodstream and cause a range of health problems, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Researchers have found there is an increased risk of cardiac events in patients with periodontal disease compared to patients without it. These patients also tend to have more plaque buildup on their teeth, leading to the narrowing of arteries, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. Studies have found that patients with severe periodontitis have a 2-to-3-times higher risk of developing coronary artery disease than people without the disease. Additionally, patients with moderate and severe periodontitis have also been found to have a higher prevalence of heart attack or stroke than those with mild forms of the condition.

Researchers aren’t exactly sure why there is a link between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease; however, they believe it may be due to bacteria from the mouth entering the bloodstream. This can cause inflammation in the blood vessels throughout the body. This inflammation can then lead to clogged arteries that can result in a heart attack or stroke.

While researchers continue to explore the link between periodontal disease and heart disease, it’s important to be mindful of your own oral health. If you’re concerned about having periodontal disease, talk to your dentist about treatment options. They may recommend deep cleanings to remove harmful oral bacteria from your mouth.

You can also help lower your risk of heart disease by managing your weight, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding smoking. You should also see your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.

Porcelain veneers are thin shells of material that are custom shaped and colored to match your natural teeth. The shells are then bonded to your teeth, creating a natural-looking tooth. Veneers can be used to close gaps in teeth, fix broken or chipped teeth, or whiten your smile.

What Can Porcelain Veneers Improve?

Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are bonded to the front of your teeth. They are thin enough not to require much preparation for your existing teeth. They are naturally stain-resistant, so you can enjoy an enhanced smile for years to come.

Porcelain veneers can improve the appearance of teeth that are stained, chipped, cracked, worn, or gapped. Veneers can disguise tooth misalignment, hide tooth discoloration, and even close gaps between teeth.

Are Porcelain Veneers Right For You?

Porcelain veneers are thin, tooth-shaped shells made of extremely lifelike dental porcelain. They are carefully crafted to blend in seamlessly and look natural. Porcelain veneers are bonded to the front surface of your teeth, immediately hiding any aesthetic flaws and imperfections. All it takes to beautify your smile is two dental appointments.

Porcelain veneers are a versatile cosmetic treatment. They can be used to correct a wide range of smile flaws. If you have teeth that are chipped, cracked, gapped, worn down, misshapen, or discolored, porcelain veneers can help.

There are several advantages to choosing porcelain veneers. These restorations are stain-resistant and can be cleaned the same way you would your natural teeth. Porcelain veneers are durable, lasting up to 15 years or even longer with proper care. They are also highly resistant to wear and chipping.

Benefits of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are custom-made shells designed to cover the front teeth. They are made of high-quality dental ceramic, giving them an appearance that mimics natural tooth enamel. Veneers offer many benefits, including:

  • Improved appearance
  • Added strength
  • Improved function

Cosmetic dentistry is a branch of dentistry that focuses more on the aesthetic outcome of a dental procedure. Many patients who choose cosmetic dentistry are looking for aesthetic improvements, but cosmetic dentistry procedures can also improve dental health.

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures To Improve The Appearance of The Smile

Tooth whitening

Tooth whitening is a simple cosmetic procedure that can lighten the appearance of teeth by several shades. Whether teeth become stained from drinking coffee, tea, or soda or from tobacco use, teeth whitening can restore their natural beauty.

During the procedure, a whitening solution is applied to the teeth. The solution seeps into the enamel and breaks up the stains. The teeth can become up to eight shades whiter.

Porcelain veneers

Porcelain veneers are one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures. They are very thin shells made of dental ceramic that are placed on the front portion of the teeth. Veneers conceal a variety of cosmetic flaws, such as stains, chips, and cracks. Additionally, this treatment is able to reshape the appearance of teeth, thereby improving a patient’s smile.

Dental bonding

Dental bonding can be used to fix the appearance of minor tooth damage, such as minor chips to the front teeth, which can occur from biting on hard foods. The bonding material is often made of tooth-colored composite resin that looks natural. The dentist will apply the resin to the surface of the teeth and mold it into place.


Cosmetic dentistry can correct many common orthodontic issues, including overbites, underbites, and crooked teeth. Orthodontic treatments can also address problems with your bite, such as TMJ disorder. Each procedure has its own benefits, and your cosmetic dentist can help you explore the options to find the solution that’s right for you.

Dental crowns

A dental crown can repair a cracked or chipped tooth, as well as improve the appearance of a severely stained or discolored tooth. Dental crowns are custom-made to fit each patient’s smile and are color matched to your existing teeth.

Dental bridges

A dental bridge is a restorative option that replaces one or multiple missing teeth. The bridge consists of two dental crowns, which are placed on each side of the gap where a tooth is missing. The dental crowns are attached to two artificial teeth that fill in the gap, restoring your smile.

Dental fillings

A dental filling is a restorative dental procedure that involves the removal of decayed or damaged material from a tooth. After the decayed and damaged material is replaced, the tooth’s surface is bonded. Dental fillings can improve the appearance and health of your smile.

Dental implants

Dental implants are a revolutionary way to replace multiple missing teeth or a single tooth. This restorative treatment will help to restore the function and appearance of your smile.

Dental implants are small titanium screws that are surgically placed in the jawbone. These implants replace the root of the tooth. The implant is then capped with a dental crown, bridge, or denture. The implant will take a few months to heal, after which the restoration will be attached to the implant. Dental implants are a permanent and natural-looking way to improve the appearance of your smile.

Gum lift (gum contouring)

A gum lift is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that reshapes the gums and teeth at the gum line. A gum lift can help create an even gum line and makes the teeth look more symmetrical. A gum lift can also improve the appearance of the teeth by making them appear longer.

Missing teeth can make simple tasks like eating and speaking difficult. However, thanks to the development of dental technology, there are several popular and effective long-term solutions for missing teeth. During your dental visit, your dentist will discuss options with you to replace any teeth you have lost.

Options to replace missing teeth

Dental bridges 

A dental bridge is one of the most popular options to replace missing teeth. A bridge consists of an artificial tooth anchored on both sides of the gap by dental crowns. The bridge is permanently cemented in place and can only be removed by a dentist.

Dental implants

Dental implant treatment is often one of the most preferred methods of replacing missing teeth. The implant itself is a small titanium post that is placed directly into the jawbone by an Oral Surgeon or a Periodontist. Once the post has healed, it can act as a new tooth root by supporting a crown or bridge. Implant-supported restorations look and function like natural teeth. Patients often prefer implants to traditional dentures because they do not affect the surrounding teeth and provide a permanent replacement for a missing tooth and its root. Patients with dental implants must be vigilant about oral hygiene and regular checkups with the dentist to ensure that their restoration lasts a lifetime.

The benefits of choosing dental implants over dentures include the following:

  • Improved oral health
  • Permanent solution for missing teeth
  • Maintain a healthy jaw structure
  • Prevent jawbone deterioration
  • Avoid slippage of dentures
  • Easier to eat and speak properly
  • More comfortable than removable prosthetics
  • Preserve facial contours near the mouth
  • Look, feel, and function like natural teeth
  • May last a lifetime with proper dental care


There are several types of dentures available, and which one is right for you will depend on many factors. Some common options include full dentures, partial dentures, implant-supported dentures, overdentures, and traditional removable dentures. Your dentist can help you determine which option is best for you based on your personal needs and preferences.

Both full and partial dentures can be a great choice for those missing several teeth. Full dentures are used when all natural teeth are missing in the upper or lower jaw, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. Both allow you to eat and speak normally again, as well as restore your facial shape and ability to chew effectively.

An implant-supported denture can be used to replace all teeth in an arch or just some. This type of denture uses dental implants to anchor it into place. Implants provide excellent stability and support for your new prosthetic, making it the closest replacement option to having healthy natural teeth.

Overdentures are a special type of denture that’s attached to two or more dental implant posts. They act similarly to traditional dentures but are more stable and comfortable. Traditional dentures rest directly on the gums and are removable by the patient, so they will need to be removed for cleaning and storage at night. With implants supporting the denture, they stay in place without the need to be removed. They also have less maintenance than traditional dentures, which requires regular removal and reinsertion of the appliance.

On the other hand, traditional removable dentures may be the right choice if cost is an issue or if you’re interested in a removable prosthetic versus an implant-supported one. These are still effective solutions for replacing multiple missing teeth, but they don’t provide the same stability as other options. Removable dentures will require careful cleaning and storing when not in use.

Do you have old, defective, discolored, or unattractive dental fillings? Are you looking for ways to replace them? Here are a few popular options:

Composite fillings

Composite fillings are bonded to the tooth structure to replace small to medium-sized missing or damaged portions. They require less removal of healthy tooth structure for placement than traditional amalgam fillings and can also match the color of your surrounding teeth. The result is a more natural smile that you can be proud to show off!


A crown is a cap that covers the entire tooth and restores it to its original shape and size. They are often needed when a tooth is chipped or broken or significantly worn down from years of use. They are also used to hold a dental bridge in place, cover dental implant posts, or cover teeth that are discolored, misshapen, or malpositioned. Dental crowns can be made of different materials; the most common are metal alloys, ceramics, and resin. Metal alloys are used because of their durability and their ability to withstand biting forces. Ceramic crowns are matched with the color of your natural teeth and are a good choice for front-facing teeth that are visible when you smile. Resin crowns are the most affordable option and are made of plastic-based materials that can be tinted to match your surrounding teeth.


Both inlays and onlays are restorative options that can be used for many of the same reasons as traditional dental fillings. They can help treat tooth decay, worn enamel, cosmetic tooth damage, and even cracked teeth. However, they are more conservative than dental crowns because they only cover a certain area or number of surfaces of the tooth and do not require the reshaping of the entire tooth. For this reason, they can be a good solution when patients are looking for a less invasive option that still offers all the benefits that come from having a full set of healthy, attractive teeth.

Porcelain veneers

A veneer is a thin shell of porcelain that goes over the front of the teeth. They can be used to change the color, size, shape, and spacing of the front teeth. They are often the treatment of choice for patients with worn-looking teeth, and they can be made from either composite resin or porcelain. Composite resin is less expensive and can be used to repair small chips in the front teeth. However, the composite resin is not as strong as porcelain, so it can cause the tooth to look opaque or unnatural. It tends to discolor over time as well. For this reason, porcelain is the preferred material to use when placing dental veneers.

Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant creates a smooth surface that makes it difficult for food and bacteria to adhere to the surfaces of the teeth. Dental sealants are most often recommended for children and adults who are at an increased risk of tooth decay. 

Dental sealants for children

The permanent molars erupt around age six for most people, with the second set of molars coming in around age twelve. These teeth can be susceptible to decay as soon as they come in from the gums. Dental sealants can provide a layer of protection against bacteria and acid, which can eat away at tooth enamel and cause cavities. Sealants can even protect baby teeth that are at risk of early decay. As a general rule of thumb, children should get sealants on their permanent back teeth after their adult teeth have come in but before the teenage years. However, sealants aren’t just for kids; adults can benefit from them as well. Many insurance companies will cover the cost of dental sealants for patients of all ages.

Sealants for adults

Any adult who suffers from tooth decay or is at risk of decay may benefit from the placement of a sealant over his or her teeth. Some adults may benefit more than others, and your dentist will be able to determine if you are a good candidate for a sealant during your appointment.

Some of the factors that may make you an excellent candidate for sealants include the following:

  • You have deep grooves in your teeth that are susceptible to plaque buildup and food particles getting stuck there and becoming lodged. These places are often hard to clean with a toothbrush alone, and a harder-to-clean area is more likely to decay over time.
  • You are prone to cavities or have suffered from tooth decay in the past. A sealant can help to prevent future decay by acting as a barrier against bacteria in your mouth.
  • You want to avoid the need for fillings or other dental procedures in the future. If you have many deep pits or grooves in your teeth, they are more likely to develop cavities over time. By placing a sealant, you can greatly reduce your risk of future dental work and the need for fillings.

If you are interested in learning about the benefits of sealants and how they can prevent tooth decay, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our dentist today! We would be happy to provide you with more information so that you can make the best decision for your oral health needs.

Straight teeth not only look good but are also easier to clean and maintain. Also, misaligned teeth can lead to other dental problems such as jaw pain, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), and sleep apnea. There are several other reasons why it is important to straighten your teeth.

Why straighten teeth?

When your teeth are crowded together, cleaning them will be difficult. Properly spaced teeth are also easier to clean, which means less plaque buildup and cavities over time. Crowding can also make chewing difficult and lead to acid reflux and other negative health effects.

Straightening your teeth can prevent oral health issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. When teeth are properly aligned, it helps the gums fit more securely around each tooth, creating a tight fit that can reduce the risk of bacteria getting trapped in the space between the teeth and gums. Straight teeth are also easier to clean, and this improvement in your overall oral hygiene can prevent cavities, gingivitis, and other common dental problems. Some patients also experience an improvement in their speech due to improved alignment.

Straightening teeth can also help improve your confidence and improve your quality of life. Over time, crooked teeth can cause you to feel self-conscious about your appearance when smiling or talking. You may also find it hard to clean between crooked teeth, leading to an increased risk of plaque buildup and tooth decay. You can address all of these issues with our orthodontic treatments.

Straighten your teeth with Orthodontics

Orthodontic treatments can improve your crooked teeth by correcting misaligned teeth and jaws. When your teeth are straighter, it can help you feel more confident about the way you look when you smile. With braces or Invisalign®, you can correct crookedness, crowding, spacing, and bite issues so that you can enjoy your smile and improve your oral health.

Schedule an orthodontic consultation at our practice today to find out if orthodontics is right for you. We can help you determine the best treatment for your needs so you can get a beautiful and healthy new smile!


504 N Humphreys St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Phone: (928) 779-3666

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