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Good oral hygiene means more than just brushing and flossing. To properly take care of your teeth and gums, it is essential to have regular dental checkups and professional dental cleanings. Preventive dental services such as oral exams, regular cleanings, educational instructions, and x-rays will help identify and treat early dental issues before they become serious.

Types of Preventive Dentistry Care

Dental Exams

Your dentist at Gentle Dental will perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and mouth. This exam is to proactively look for signs of gum disease or other dental problems.

Digital X-Rays

Routine x-rays help determine and diagnose oral problems that would otherwise go unnoticed. Digital x-rays have significantly lower radiation than traditional x-rays.

Teeth Cleaning

A dentist or a dental hygienist will perform your routine teeth cleaning by removing built up plaque and tartar, flossing, and polishing your teeth. Regular cleaning is important to prevent gum diseases, cavities, bad breath, and other dental problems.leaning should be regular and must be scheduled at least twice a year.

Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps keep teeth healthy and resist decay. Topical fluoride treatments can even stop the development of cavities that are just beginning to develop. For patients that are fluoride deficient, we provide fluoride treatments directly to the teeth during a regular dental exam.

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer screenings have become a regular part of a routine dental exam. Early detection of oral cancer increases the overall success rate of treatment. With early detection, treatment can start right away.

Sealants

Sealants are a thin layer of a plastic-based substance that when applied to the teeth prevent plaque and food particles from gathering in the deep grooves of your tooth’s surface. Sealants on permanent molars reduce the risk of cavities by 80%.

The Benefits of Preventive Dentistry

Preventive dentistry starts at home and continues in your dental office visits.

Preventive dentistry is all about avoiding problems that can arise down the line. Education on proper oral hygiene, routine care, proactive cleanings, diagnosis, and treatment, can ensure and maintain strong, cavity-free teeth. Both adults and children benefit from preventive dentistry. If you practice good oral hygiene, maintain a healthy diet, keep up with visits to your dentist and routine dental cleanings. Regular visits to the dentist may help you avoid developing the following conditions:

  • Tooth decay and cavities
  • Gingivitis and gum diseases
  • Enamel loss and tooth sensitivity
  • Periodontal diseases

Good dental health is linked to overall health and wellbeing. Since the mouth contains disease-causing bacteria, maintaining good oral health is vital for overall health.

Preventive Dentistry for Overall Health and Wellbeing

Good oral hygiene and preventive dentistry can help reduce not only risk for dental problems but also secondary health issues that stem from poor dental health.

  • Diabetes
  • Heart diseases
  • Respiratory issues
  • Cancers
  • Low birth weight and premature births have also been linked to oral health

Tips for Preventive Dental Care

Brushing & Flossing

It is important to brush with anti-cavity fluoride toothpaste and floss your teeth at least twice a day. Remember to replace your toothbrush 2-3 times a year. Rinse your mouth twice a day with a fluoride mouthwash.

Routine Dental Visits

Visit the dentist at least twice a year for a comprehensive preventive exam. If you have existing oral issues, the dentist may recommend more frequent visits. If you experience any of the following signs or symptoms, you should follow up with your dentist immediately:

  • Red, tender or swollen gums
  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
  • Gums that begin pulling away from your teeth
  • Loose permanent teeth
  • Unusual sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks
  • Persistent bad breath or a distinctive taste in your mouth
  • Painful chewing

Use a Mouthguard

You may want to consider using a mouthguard if you:

  • grind your teeth at night
  • clench your jaw
  • play contact sports

Ask your dentist for more information.

Eating Well

Eat a well-balanced diet. Limit sugar and foods that are hard on the teeth. Limit dark beverages that stain the teeth, such as soda and wine.

Smoking &
Tobacco Products

Smoking and using oral tobacco products lead to oral cancers and other dental issues. The best prevention is to create a plan to quit.

Our dentists, and staff want to ensure that you and your family achieve optimal oral health. It is never too late or too early to practice preventive dental habits. We offer quality, award winning dentistry services for you and your family. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at a Gentle Dental near you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I floss, isn't brushing enough?

Flossing reduces the number of bacteria in your mouth. There are millions of these microscopic creatures feeding on food particles left on your teeth. These bacteria live in plaque which can be removed by flossing. Brushing your teeth gets rid of some of the bacteria in your mouth. Flossing gets rid of the bacteria the toothbrush can't get to. That's the bacteria hiding in the tiny spaces between your teeth. If you do not floss, you allow plaque to remain between your teeth, and eventually it may harden into calculus/tartar. Plaque can be removed by brushing. Only the dentist or dental hygienist can remove calculus/tartar. Ask your dental professional to show you the proper way to floss. You will both notice the difference at the next cleaning appointment.

How do I take care of my teeth between appointments?

It is important to brush your teeth twice a day and floss as well!

When should I change my toothbrush?

Replace your toothbruth every three months. For patients with a periodontal disease, it is recommended to replace your toothbrush every four to six weeks. If you have been sick, be sure to replace your toothbrush as soon as possible. It is recommended to read the instructions for replacement guides for electric toothbrushes as they may need to be replaces more frequently.

What are sealants?

Sealants are a thin plastic coating painted on chewing surfaces of molars and premolars. They act as a barrier, protecting your teeth against decay-causing bacteria. The Sealant bonds to the grooves in your teeth forming a protective shileld over the enamel of each tooth. Sealants have proven effective at preventing cavities in adults as well as children, but are most commonly used on children. Ask your dentist whether sealants are a good choice for your family.

What is a cavity?

A cavity is a small hole on the surface of your tooth caused by tooth decay. Cavities form when plaque builds up on your tooth and combines with sugar from the foods you eat, creating an acid that eats away the enamel on your tooth. If a cavity is left untreated, it can lead to more serious oral health problems. Cavities can be prevented by brushing and flossing regularly.

What is a filling?

A dentist uses a filling to fill a cavity. First all tooth decay is removed, and then a synthetic material is used to fill the hole. Filling can be made from a variety of different materials including composites, gold, or ceramic, and can be made to match the color of your teeth.

What is gum disease?

Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is mostly caused by plaque and bacteria buildup that is not treated in its early stage. Other causes of periodontal disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics.

Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease. If detected, it is treatable. Gingivitis left untreated may turn into gum disease. Advanced gum disease will lead to tooth and bone loss, and is a permanent condition.

Brushing your teeth regularly and visiting our office every six months will help prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of periodontal disease. Common signs of gum disease:

  • Red, irritated, bleeding, or swollen gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loose teeth, or loss of teeth
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity
  • Receding gum line
  • Abscessed teeth

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