Preventive Dentistry 101: Everything You Need to Know 

Preventive Dentistry 101: Everything You Need to Know 

Jul 01, 2020

When we actively take care of our teeth, we can avoid several problems such as dental decay and gum infection. Most of these dental problems develop because of neglect and poor hygiene. Moreover, dental problems affect your overall health. With preventive dentistry, you can support your teeth, gum, and overall oral health.

Why Do You Need Preventive Dentistry?

Preventive dentistry is the dental practice of caring for your gums and teeth and keep the mouth healthy. We have different forms of dentistry practices that offer great benefits such as:

  • Removes plaques and prevents decay and gum infection
  • Early detection of dental problems helps to minimize treatment cost
  • Strengthens your teeth
  • Comprehensive dental conditions can detect other health problems such as diabetes and gum disease

What Are the Types of Preventive Dental Services?

Brushing and dental flossing are primary preventive practices. However, they are not sufficient in preventing dental conditions. You need other dental services and we are here to help. We offer various preventive dental services designed to support your oral health such as:

  • Dental Exams and cleaning

Comprehensive dental exams help the dentist to assess your teeth and gums. The goal of the assessment is to check for any abnormalities, identify signs and symptoms of potential gums disease and decay.

Teeth cleaning or dental prophylaxis is the thorough cleaning of the teeth and gums. It is an essential service for preventing the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Dental prophylaxis removes tartar buildup from above and below the gum line. Sometimes it is impossible to completely remove bacteria from the gum pockets, hence you need deep cleaning. Profession teeth cleaning also helps to get rid of unsightly stains and freshen your breath.

During your dental appointment, the dentist will do an x-ray to diagnose dental problems that may go unnoticed such as damaged jaw bone, impacted teeth, tumors, and decay in between your teeth. Next, the dentist may measure the tissue and gum depth.

  • Fluoride treatment

It is critical to clean your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste. However, if you are prone to dental cavities, professional fluoride treatment is needed. Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps to reverse the effects of demineralization and prevents cavities.

A fluoride treatment involves the application of gel, foam, or varnish on the teeth surface to strengthen the enamel. You may need professional fluoride treatments every three, six, or 12 months depending on your dental condition.

  • Oral cancer screening

Although there’s debate on the importance of oral cancer screening, getting your mouth assessed can help prevent or increase your chances of surviving oral cancer. During your routine dental checkup, the dentist will check the gums and mouth for lumps, ulcers, red, and white patches.

We perform a visual and physical exam to assess your gums and teeth. The visual exams involve checking the mouth and gums for swelling, bumps, ulcerations, and abnormalities, and patches of color.

For the physical exam, the dentist will touch and feel the oral cavity, cheeks, around the jaw, and under the chin. Oral cancer screening is not a diagnostic tool, so after the exam, the dentist may recommend further tests such as a biopsy.

  • Dental sealants

Teeth sealants are plastic coatings applied on the teeth surface to shield them from decay. Dental sealants are ideal for children, but adults can use them too if they have healthy teeth free of decay.

These plastic coatings are fixed on permanent teeth, especially the molars to protect against decay. The sealants are durable and can last for about a decade. For baby teeth, the dentist may recommend pediatric dental crowns that work similarly to the sealants. These crowns protect the teeth and fall off with the primary teeth.

What Other Ways Can You Prevent Dental Problems?

  • Eat teeth-friendly foods such as yogurt, cheese, dark green vegetables, citrus fruits, whole grains, nuts, and eggs among others.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol which affects your gums and overall health
  • Wear mouthguards when playing sports or if you have bruxism

Visit Dipika Shah, DDS, LLC for more information on how to prevent dental problems and preserve oral health.

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