One of the most underrated areas of dentistry is preventative dentistry. This includes all the work that prevents bigger problems by keeping your teeth healthy and whole. There are two areas of the mouth that we focus on during preventative treatments, the teeth and the gums.
Preventative Dentistry for Teeth
Beautiful, healthy teeth are good for more than just a great smile. Healthy teeth are strong, enable you to eat well, and talk properly. Taking care of your teeth is very important. The American Dental Association recommends a professional cleaning every six months to keep your teeth in top condition. This is important because we can monitor your teeth and give extra care to weak spots. Some of the most basic but important things we do during a visit are:
- Take radiographs. This allows us to take a deeper look inside your teeth to find potential problems that aren’t visible during a visual exam.
- Oral Cancer Screening. Just like other cancers, the sooner the cancer is found, the better the prognosis.
- Hygiene Instruction. Based on areas with more plaque and tartar, the hygienist can spot areas you miss during brushing and flossing.
- Apply sealants. These are placed on the biting surfaces of molars and premolars. They help protect the teeth from decay in the most vulnerable areas by creating a smooth surface so food and bacteria can’t get stuck.
- Fluoride treatments. We apply these in the office to help strengthen your teeth and build up the enamel where demineralization has occurred.
Another procedure that some classify as preventative dentistry is filling small cavities. While this is not totally preventative, it does prevent more damaging problems and procedures.
Preventative Dentistry for Gums
Gums are a vital part of your mouth because they hold your teeth in, signal serious underlying problems, and protect the roots of your teeth. As a dentist in Lincoln who prides themselves in helping patients avoid dental problems, we do two preventative services for your gums. During your regular cleanings for preventative work, the hygienist will scrape off the plaque and tartar and then we do assessment on your gum health.
Scrape Plaque and Tartar
This is an unpleasant experience for some patients during the cleaning. It is very important to remove them from your teeth and gum line to help protect your mouth. Plaque is a sticky yellow substance that clings to your tooth, trapping bacteria against it. Tartar is plaque that has hardened and can only be removed through scraping. Both contribute to cavities and gum disease. Since it lies along the gum line, infection builds and the gums swell up and recede.
Assess Gum Health
Periodontal treatments are available in the office for those who have gum disease. Each treatment is based off what is the most effective method to fix the current conditions of the gums. Some of the signs we look for during a gum assessment that you can watch for at home are:
- Bleeding gums
- Bad Breath
- Swelling or bright red colored gums
- Receding tissue
- Shifting teeth
- A constant funny taste in the mouth
If you notice any of these signs between visits, let us know. We can help provide treatments in the office that help heal gum disease. The sooner the treatments are done, the better. Like all preventative dentistry, the best way to stop problems from happening is proper care at home and in the office.