4200 Columbia Rd, Martinez, GA 30907



Posts for: February, 2020

By Augusta Smilecare
February 25, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Sealants  

Plastic sealants from Augusta Smile Care coat vulnerable molars with an invisible protective shield. This is why Dr. John Massey recommends them for many young patients, and even for adults Learn why your family dentist in Augusta, GA, believes in this preventive service.

What is tooth decay?

It's one of the most prevalent health problems among American children, says the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Literal holes in the tooth enamel, cavities cause tooth loss, pain, and speech problems if left untreated. Routine brushing and flossing, along with a nutritious diet, all reduce their rate of occurrence, as do six-months cleanings and exams with your Augusta, GA, family dentist. However, as a parent, you wonder what else you can do.

Why molars are susceptible

Children receive their primary molars, or back teeth, by age six, and a second, permanent set by age 14. While initially appearing smooth, the chewing surfaces of molars contain numerous pits, fissures, and grooves that catch and hold food residues.

Brushing and flossing alone cannot remove all of this organic material, and frankly, even a professional cleaning can leave microscopic bits of plaque and tartar behind. As such, modern dentistry has developed a simple, effective way to protect these teeth from decay.

How sealants can help

Plastic sealants are thin, biocompatible coatings placed on back teeth to shield them from the oral bacteria which lead to decay. Tooth-colored and virtually unnoticeable, this acrylic material goes on as a liquid and then is hardened to an impenetrable layer with a special curing light.

The sealant does not adversely affect dental bite, and it protects for up to ten years. After that, Dr. Massey may repair any worn spots.

To place sealants, your child's teeth first are cleaned and dried. The sealant liquid is painted on and cured tooth by tooth. The process takes only about ten minutes per tooth and is completely comfortable. As an adult with healthy molars, you can also take advantage of sealants if you desire.

Contact your family dentist for more information

In Augusta, GA, Dr. John Massey and his wonderful team at Augusta Smile Care help adults, children, and everyone in between have healthy, bright smiles that last. If you'd like to know more about how plastic sealants could safeguard your youngster's back teeth, call us, come in for a consultation, or ask at your child's next exam and cleaning. Phone us at (706) 868-1322 today.

By Augusta Smilecare
February 20, 2020
Category: Oral Health

As a parent, you’re all about helping your kids grow up healthy. But there are some obstacles that can make that difficult. One in particular is tooth decay, which could interfere with their dental development.

A bacterial infection, tooth decay destroys dental tissue—and untreated it could lead to tooth loss. This could severely derail a child’s normal development, even if it’s one of their primary (“baby”) teeth. That’s why preventing tooth decay or treating it promptly when it occurs should be one of your top priorities for your child’s dental health.

Here are 3 things you can do to minimize your child’s risk of tooth decay.

Start oral hygiene early. Your best defense against tooth decay is to clean your child’s teeth daily of dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that’s the main driver for dental disease. The best way to do this is with brushing and flossing, so begin performing these tasks with your child as soon as their teeth begin to appear. Oral hygiene is also important before their teeth come in—simply wipe your infant’s gums after nursing with a clean damp cloth to reduce bacteria in the mouth.

Start dental visits early. By age 1, most children already have quite a few teeth, making it the recommended time to schedule their first dental visit. Not only will this and subsequent visits support your plaque removal efforts, they also give your dentist an opportunity to catch any emerging dental issues. Early visits can also help get your kids used to seeing the dentist, reducing the chances they’ll develop dental visit anxiety later in life.

Avoid “baby bottle decay.” Sugar is one of decay-causing bacteria’s favorite food sources, so restricting your child’s intake of this carbohydrate can lower their decay risk. ┬áBesides limiting sugary snacks and sweets, be sure you do one more thing: eliminate sugar from the nighttime or naptime baby bottle. Parents often lay babies down to sleep with a bottle filled with sugary liquids like juice, milk or formula. Either avoid giving the bottle or make sure it only contains water.

If you would like more information on how to help your kids’ dental development stay on a healthy track, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”

By Augusta Smilecare
February 10, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth decay  

Tooth decay doesn't occur out of thin air, but is the end result of bacteria feeding on sugar, multiplying and producing acid. High acidity erodes tooth enamel and creates an environment for cavity development.

Modern dentistry can effectively treat cavities and often save the tooth from further damage. But you don't have to wait: You can reduce your chances of cavities by managing risk factors that contribute to decay.

Here are 4 top risk factors for tooth decay and what you can do about them.

Poor saliva flow. Saliva neutralizes acid and helps restore minerals to enamel after acid contact. But your enamel may not have full protection against acid if you have diminished saliva flow, often due to certain medications. You can help increase your saliva by consulting with your doctor about drug alternatives, drinking more water or using a saliva boosting product. Smoking can also inhibit saliva, so consider quitting if you smoke.

Eating habits. High sugar content in your diet can increase bacterial growth and acid production. Reducing your overall sugar consumption, therefore, can reduce your risk of decay. Continuous snacking can also increase your decay risk, preventing saliva from bringing your mouth back to its normal neutral pH. Instead, limit your snack periods to just a few times a day, or reserve all your eating for mealtimes.

Dental plaque. Daily eating creates a filmy buildup on the teeth called dental plaque. If not removed, plaque can then harden into a calcified form called calculus, an ideal haven for bacteria. You can help curtail this accumulation by thoroughly brushing and flossing daily, followed by dental cleanings at least every six months. These combined hygiene practices can drastically reduce your cavity risk.

Your genetics. Researchers have identified up to 50 specific genes that can influence the risk for cavities. As a result, individuals with similar dietary and hygiene practices can have vastly different experiences with tooth decay. Besides continuing good lifestyle habits, the best way to manage a genetic disposition for dental disease is not to neglect ongoing professional dental care.

If you would like more information on managing your tooth decay risk factors, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “What Everyone Should Know About Tooth Decay.”

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John D. Massey, DMD
4200 Columbia Road
Martinez, GA 30907