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General and Preventive Dental Care

To maintain good overall oral health, routine care and regular visits to the dentist are essential. We offer routine and preventative dental services for the whole family. Routine cleanings, X-rays, and exams help keep teeth and gums healthy and prevent cavities and other damage. For children, we offer a full range of preventative care including fluoride treatments and sealants specifically designed to protect developing teeth.

In addition, our doctors treat patients suffering from periodontal disease — otherwise know as gum disease — which can have adverse effects on overall oral health. Caused by bacteria found in plaque, gum disease most often occurs in patients who neglect routine oral care. Common symptoms of gum disease are swollen, red, and bleeding gums or a receding gum line. If left untreated, gum disease can result in tooth loss. We treat gum disease with a deep cleaning below the gum line to remove plaque and calculus deposits that lead to bacterial growth and bone loss. Depending on the stage and severity of gum disease, further treatment may be required.

preventive dentistry

More On Preventive Dental Care

You have probably heard the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. This old adage certainly holds true in dentistry. This is due to the fact that dental issues become far more painful, and expensive, when they are not addressed early. Luckily, modern dental practices have made it fairly easy, and inexpensive, to ensure that the small dental problem you have today does not become a major issue later on.

Preventive dentistry is a catch all phrase that refers to all of the dental procedures that are used to prevent tooth decay and other oral issues from happening, and if they do occur, to arrest them at an early stage. The goal is to maintain optimal oral health and to retain natural teeth for a lifetime.

Preventive Procedures

Preventive dental procedures involve some very basic practices that have been successfully used for years, to recently discovered advanced techniques, to daily preventive measures utilized by our patients.

Cleanings

This is the starting point for good dental hygiene. There is simply no substitute for the physical removal of cavity and disease-causing tartar and dental plaque from the surface of your teeth. This is particularly true in difficult to reach areas that are close to the gum line. This is the reason that dental cleanings are vital to your oral health.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are invisible plastic coatings that are normally applied to molars so that crevices are filled and inaccessible to disease causing bacteria. Dental sealants stop the formation of cavities and the need to fill them later.

Fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral that becomes part of the structure of teeth. It makes them better able to resist decay and stronger. Fluoride can even arrest very small cavities just as they are beginning to form. If you are not getting adequate fluoride from your drinking water, which often occurs when people drink bottled water exclusively, or from your toothpaste, we can apply fluoride to your teeth in our dental office.

Laser Cavity Diagnosis

We can use a laser light to easily and rapidly detect tooth decay in its earliest phase, in the comfort of our dental office, before the teeth incur further damage, due to the formation of larger cavities.

Mouthguards

A mouthguard, worn during athletic events, is designed to distribute and absorb the force of an impact to the mouth or jaw. A mouthguard can reduce the chance on injury to the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth, and if an injury does occur, it is likely to be less severe when a mouthguard is worn. The most effective mouthguards will be those that are custom-made, to fit your mouth exactly, by your dentist.

Screening For Oral Cancer

The greatest chance for survival, should you get oral cancer, is detecting it early. Oral cancer frequently plagues smokers, but it can happen to non-smokers as well. Screening for oral cancer is routinely done during every dental examination.

Salivary Diagnostics

This is a relatively new tool in preventive dentistry. Some diseases can be detected by testing your saliva. This technology is rapidly developing so that many more issues will soon be detectable with a saliva test.

X-Rays

Dentists have been using x-rays for many years to detect signs of dental disease that aren’t visible upon inspection of the oral cavity with the naked eye. Today, with the use of CAT scans, these images are now three dimensional and have become a primary tool in the diagnosis of gum disease, tumors, tooth decay, bone volume, and bone density.

Your Role in Preventive Dentistry

There is one more aspect of preventive dentistry that is the most important component of all, which is you! The various procedures that we have mentioned can only be effective if you schedule regular dental appointments and make use of them.

Additionally, the most important factor in maintaining optimal dental health is the practice of oral hygiene at home. Effective brushing and flossing, at least twice daily, will work wonders in removing disease causing plaque, and preventing the need for more complex and expensive dental procedures.

There are a number of oral hygiene practices you can engage in to help ensure optimal oral health. The ADA (American Dental Association) also recommends that you visit your dentist regularly, usually twice per year. Dental visits, combined with the practices listed below, will go a long way towards optimal oral health.

Brush Teeth Twice A Day

The most important action you can take to improve your dental health is the daily brushing of your teeth. Use a fluoride toothpaste that is ADA approved. Your toothbrush should be replaced about four times annually because the bristles begin to fray.

Your tongue should also be brushed. This helps with the removal of harmful bacteria and it will also help you to have fresh breath.

Floss Daily

It is also recommended that you floss your teeth daily, to help remove debris from the spaces between adjacent teeth.

To achieve the most benefit from flossing, you’ll want to ensure you’re doing it properly. During your next appointment, ask your dentist for a fast flossing demo to ensure that you’re getting the most from your flossing efforts.

See Your Dentist

You should schedule a dental appointment at a minimum of once a year. Twice a year is optimal. If you have a high risk for dental issues, you may want to have more frequent visits. During each visit, you will have a cleaning and issues can be quickly identified before they become larger problems.

Many dental insurance policies will pay for two preventive dental visits annually.

Consume A Balanced Diet

A well-balanced diet will help to ensure healthy teeth by giving them the vitamins and minerals they need to be strong. Reducing your intake of sugars and simple carbohydrates and staying well hydrated throughout the day can also help in the prevention of dental caries and other oral health issues.

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