Preventative dentistry is the first line of defense against factors that can hinder your ability to achieve that excellent smile. Key factors in achieving excellent oral health include routine dental visits, proper oral hygiene, and diet.
During a routine dental check up, many necessary tasks are performed such as updating patient’s current overall health, evaluation of periodontal (gum) tissue, a complete oral exam, and the removal of stubborn hard to get build up. Patient education is imperative so you can properly maintain your oral health between visits. In addition, during a routine visit, we utilize multiple preventative measures as needed such as fluoride and sealants. Fluoride helps facilitate repair and prevent break-down of the enamel on your teeth. Sealants are coatings that are placed over deep groves of teeth to prevent these more cavity prone areas from getting cavities. Such areas are especially vulnerable in younger populations. Recognizing and addressing gum-related issues such as gingivitis and periodontal disease, is extremely important during routine visits. Periodontal disease can cause tooth loss and also affect a person’s overall health. The dental team is instrumental in diagnosing gum related problems and in creating a plan of action with the patient for treatment and overall success.
Proper oral hygiene is imperative to insure excellent routine check-ups. Part of our patient education is discussing proper oral hygiene. Tooth brushing even if properly performed, is not enough to prevent cavities that may form in between teeth. In such case, a toothbrush does little to clean these hard to get to areas. Flossing and a fluoridated mouth rinse can help prevent cavities in these areas from forming. Part of the routine visit is detecting cavities that have started to form in the enamel. Early detection many times can be key in preventing progression and like-wise restorative treatment.
Diet is extremely important for your overall oral health. Proper oral hygiene is not enough to ensure a healthy smile. Many sugary and acidic foods put your teeth at greater risk for getting cavities as well as enamel erosion and staining. First and foremost, it is very important to understand that your saliva is the major protective factor for your teeth. Your enamel is under attack daily from acid producing bacteria as well as certain foods and beverages. Your saliva is what repairs and protects the surfaces of your teeth from such attack. If your saliva is consistently overloaded with sugary and acidic foods/drinks, it cannot perform this function as effectively.