What is Preventive Dentistry?
Preventive dentistry helps protect your teeth and promote your oral health. This includes regular visits to your dentist for professional cleaning and examinations. Whether you are having an issue with your teeth or not, sticking to these checkups is vital to maintaining your smile. During a preventive dental appointment, we will clean your teeth thoroughly. Even with proper brushing and flossing at home, plaque and tartar tend to build up on your teeth. Our specialized tools will help remove buildups to prevent decay and cavities. We also offer tooth extractions as part of our preventive dentistry when a tooth is beyond saving.
What Kinds of Treatments Does Preventive Dentistry Include?
Preventive dental services at Anthony Dental can include the following:
- Cleanings: We will thoroughly clean your teeth and mouth with the latest tools and expert techniques. Regularly clearing buildups of plaque is essential to avoid tooth decay and gum disease.
- Examinations: When you are in the dental chair, we will carefully check your mouth to catch any possible conditions early. This includes cavities caused by tooth decay and even early signs of periodontal disease or gum disease. Early detection of these issues is important so we can formulate a plan to get you healthy again — and address issues before they become serious.
- X-rays: Regular x-rays are essential to detect possible problems below the surface of your teeth or in the jaw bone.
- Dental sealants: We are proud to offer dental sealants as a preventive treatment. Dental sealants are applied quickly and painlessly in a thin, clear, undetectable layer on teeth with many ridges, like your back molars, to help block decay. Sealants are particularly useful for children, but adults can still experience sealants’ benefits.
- Fluoride: Fluoride is proven to help prevent tooth decay. If we believe you are a good candidate, we may recommend specialized fluoride treatments while you are at the office for your checkup.
- Screenings: During your visit, we will also examine your mouth to screen for oral cancer. This exam is quick and painless and is designed to identify any potential issues early enough to deal with them quickly and comprehensively. We will check for any unexpected changes in your mouth. If you have noticed any changes that you find strange, this is the time to bring them up.
- Evaluations: We will also identify whether you might be a good candidate for orthodontic treatment. Straightening your teeth is about much more than simply aesthetics. Orthodontics also addresses the health of your bite.
- Instructions: We will help you ensure that you are doing everything you can between appointments to keep your mouth healthy, including offering tips on brushing and flossing and what habits to avoid for a healthier mouth.
How Does Preventive Dentistry Work at Home?
Though visiting us twice a year for your six-month appointments is important to your oral health, your dental habits at home are instrumental in staying healthy during the rest of the year. During your regular checkup, we will ensure you use the proper tools and techniques when brushing and flossing. Feel free to ask us questions during these office visits, as it is the perfect time to get them answered.
Between visits to Anthony Dental, follow these straightforward tips to ensure that your teeth stay in good shape:
Brush at least twice a day. Ideally, you should brush after every time you eat, but doing so when snacking, at parties, eating out at restaurants, or after lunch during your workday could be hard. In lieu of brushing, try to at least rinse your mouth with water after eating to clear any possible food particles and rinse away sugars that could feed the kind of bacteria in your mouth that create tooth decay.
Floss regularly. After brushing, floss your teeth using the techniques we demonstrate during your office visit. If you are surprised by the amount of debris left between your teeth that flossing finds even after brushing, make sure you continue to floss regularly. The debris left there can promote tooth decay. If you experience bleeding with flossing, try to avoid feeling discouraged and keep at it. The more often you floss, the less you will tend to bleed. If you think any bleeding of your gums is out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate — to give us a call.
Incorporate fluoride into your dental hygiene habits. This could mean drinking fluoridated water if you live in an area that does that, using fluoride mouth rinses, or brushing your teeth using fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay.
Drink plenty of water. Avoid sugary beverages like sodas and alcohol, which can harm your oral health. Especially if you take medication that causes dry mouth, water is key in maintaining the health of your teeth and gums.
Avoid tobacco. There are no forms of tobacco that do not harm your teeth. Tobacco can stain teeth, cause decay and cavities, and even cause gum disease, which could cause tooth loss if left untreated.
Ready to schedule your next checkup, or have questions for us between regular visits? We’re just a phone call away.