In Family and Restorative Dentistry
Preventing Dental Problems
Here are some steps to take toward not being included in that group!
The most effective path toward preventing problems is effectively brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily. This removes sugars, food debris and dental plaque from your teeth and gives your saliva a chance to do its job of keeping the mouth at a productive moisture level. Flossing, while it is everyone’s least favorite hygiene activity, cleans the 40% of your tooth surfaces that the brush can’t reach. So it is very important to prevent cavities. Using toothpaste with fluoride in it helps too!
The next most important step toward keeping a healthy mouth is to have regular dental cleanings. In our office, we will schedule a “cleaning” that best suits your dental needs, either more or less intensive. This intensity level will be determined by the health of your gums and by how effective you are in your home care of your mouth. (See section on gum disease.) All cleanings in the dental office remove more debris from your teeth than your toothbrush can do.
We will also look closely at your teeth and gums and take x-rays to catch any new problems before they become big problems. Routine exams and x-rays save you the discomfort and cost of a small problem growing into a larger one.
Sealants provide a protective coating over the chewing surface of the teeth. This prevents sugars and dental plaque from becoming imbedded deep in a surface grooves and causing a cavity (decay) from starting. Most children and teens, and some adults, will benefit by having sealants on the teeth that have deep grooves on the chewing surface.
Flouride treatments are recommended for most children and high-decay-risk adults. It is widely accepted as a treatment that prevents decay and remineralizes the teeth.