Preventative dental care includes dental cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants and necessary x-rays and much more. We recommend having dental cleanings at least 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.
Preventative dental care is one of the most important aspects of maintaining excellent oral 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. We will often recommend 3 or 4 month recalls for some patients. 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 necessary x-rays of your teeth to check for decay, bone loss (periodontal disease) or other anomalies. We will perform a periodontal charting to assess the health of your gums and bone which are the supporting structure of your teeth. 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 for 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. We even recommend professional in office fluoride varnish treatments for children as young as 1 year old. If you are at high risk for cavities because of a dry mouth or a particular diet, we will recommend prescription fluoride based toothpaste.
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 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 from bruxism, teeth grinding, and general wear and tear. 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 and 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. If we determine that you suffer from bruxism or teeth grinding, we will suggest ways to consciously stop teeth grinding and/or design 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. Periodontally involved teeth have lost bone support and can become lose. We will often recommend an appliance to help protect these already compromised teeth from excessive forces caused by clenching and grinding.