Preventative dental care is one of the most important aspects of maintaining excellent oral health. Preventative dental care includes dental cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants and x-rays and much more. We recommend having dental cleanings every 6 months to maintain a healthy smile. Healthy teeth and gums allow you to look and feel great and eat and speak properly. The American Dental Association states, “The mouth is a window into the health of the body.” There are many diseases that can be diagnosed and first noticed inside the oral cavity. A healthy mouth is a key part of overall health.
Checkups, Cleanings, and Exams
The American Dental Association and All in the Family Dental recommends that everyone visit the dentist at least twice per year, about every 6 months. At these routine visits we will clean your teeth and examine your entire mouth checking for things like gum disease and oral cancer. We will also take x-rays of your teeth to check for decay, bone loss (periodontal disease) or other anomalies. We will carefully exam each tooth for decay or cracks and leaky or worn out dental work. Sometimes dental fillings and crowns can break away from the teeth or become worn and need to be replaced. These routine visits often help reduce the potential for large dental problems. For example, most cavities start out small and can be easily treated with a filling. However, cavities that go untreated can become large and often times lead to root canal therapy or extraction.
Fluoride is a wonderful preventive measure in your dental treatment. Fluoride helps to re-mineralize your teeth and make them strong and healthy. Fluoride is found in most dental toothpastes and some mouthwashes. At routine dental visits we will often recommend a professional in office fluoride treatment. This delivers a high concentration of fluoride to your teeth and helps prevent cavities and breakdown of your enamel. One exception is small children. Fluoride can be toxic to small children if it is ingested. All in the Family Dental is happy to discuss the right time for your child to have fluoride.
Dental sealants are a tooth colored filling material applied to the chewing surfaces of back permanent teeth. The chewing surfaces of most back permanent teeth have deep groves and pits that can trap food and bacteria that can cause cavities. By placing dental sealants on these surfaces we can fill in the deep grooves and pits and prevent the food and bacteria from sticking in these areas. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface can be protected from dental decay. These can be helpful in children and adults. All in the family dental is a happy to apply dental sealants and will check at routine cleanings and exams to make sure they remain intact.
A mouth guard is an appliance that helps protect your teeth. There are several types of mouth guards including sports mouth guards, night guards and snore guards. All in the Family Dental makes custom mouth guards that fit only your teeth. We will help you determined if you can benefit from a mouth guard and what type of mouth guard is best for you.
- Athletic mouth guard. All in the Family Dental always recommends protecting your teeth during sports, especially any type of contact sport. An athletic mouth guard is a soft rubber material that covers your teeth and helps protect them from impact with a ball or another person. We take an impression of your teeth and then create a custom fit athletic mouth guard. Athletic mouth guards can help protect your teeth from fractures and help prevent them from being knocked out.
- Night guards for Bruxism (teeth grinding). Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is very common among patients. Often patients do not even know they are grinding their teeth. Bruxism can be caused by stress and people unconsciously grind their teeth during the day or while they are sleeping. The constant pressure can harm teeth and make muscles and tissue in around the jaw very sore. Teeth grinding can even cause headaches and earaches. Teeth grinding can wear teeth down and cause an array of dental problems. We evaluate all our patients during routine cleaning exams for teeth grinding and evidence of wear on the teeth. We also ask patients if they are having any symptoms of pain or soreness in their jaw or ears. If we determine that you suffer from bruxism or teeth grinding, we will suggest ways to consciously stop teeth grinding and/or create a custom fit night guard appliance that will prevent you from clenching and grinding. We often recommend patients wear them every night when they sleep and will sometimes recommend that night guards be worn during the day.
- Snore Guards. Snore guards are custom appliances that are worn during sleep. They work by repositioning the jaw and tongue to allow for unobstructed airflow. Most people have little trouble adjusting to the appliance and find immediate relief. If you suffer from snoring contact us for a consultation. A snore guard may help improve your quality of life!