Preventive dental services are essential because they prevent future oral health problems and also save money.
The two most common reasons for dental problems are tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria from foods and drinks get in between teeth and cause a gradual breakdown of the enamel, which is a protective layer on teeth. Gum disease is when bacteria spread in between teeth and gums around the base of the tooth. It can cause a buildup of tartar that traps food particles, leading to cavities in the mouth that lead to tooth loss over time.
Preventive treatments include cleaning your mouth or using mouthwash to wash away bacteria, or brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to strengthen enamel against decay.
Preventive Dentistry is the most important part of dentistry because it is the only way to prevent problems before they happen. It offers a few benefits that include:
Signs of tooth decay and gum disease are often tricky to identify, presenting only when the problem is already serious. This includes bleeding gums, pain, and other symptoms. But, during your regular dental checkup, the dentist will examine your teeth for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, any pain or discomfort, and more. When problems are detected early enough, they can be solved with a relatively easy treatment.
Decay and gum disease is caused primarily by bacterial infection. These problems, if not addressed, can cause the teeth to loosen and lead to extraction. Tooth extraction is a dental problem that can weaken your jaw and surrounding teeth.
Regular checkups allow the dentist to detect and treat infection, preventing tooth extraction.
Preventive dental procedures are used to maintain good dental hygiene and prevent the onset of different dental problems.
Various preventive dental treatments maintain healthy teeth and gums. Some of them are listed below:
Dental exams and cleanings are one of the most important dental treatments. It is because they help detect and prevent tooth decay, gum disease, other oral health problems.
A dental exam is a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and jawbone for any signs of oral health problems. The dentist will examine your teeth and gums with a small mirror to check for plaque, tartar (hardened plaque), sores, and other abnormalities such as broken teeth or tooth roots that have become exposed. He will also check to see if you have any decayed or broken teeth that need to be treated by a dentist.
Your dentist may also take an x-ray to look for cavities in the hidden areas.
Dental sealants are plastic or glass ionomer coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth. The coating’s purpose is to block food and plaque from getting into the grooves of the chewing surfaces, which is one of the most common pathways for tooth decay. Sealants can be placed on permanent teeth at about age six or seven (when permanent teeth come out).
It’s important to know that dental sealants will not prevent cavities if you do not practice proper dental practices. It is also important to avoid drinking lots of sodas or sweets and brushing your teeth with harsh brushing motions.
It is important to the strength of your teeth, and one of the most effective ways to do this is by using fluoride treatment. Fluoride can be found in many foods and beverages, but its benefits are higher when applied directly to the teeth.
Fluoride treatments can help prevent tooth decay and improve dental health. The treatment can be achieved through various methods such as brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste, mouthwash, or getting fluoride treatment as varnish and gels.
Visit Steven F. Hinchey, DMD, for more information about preventive dental services and how they can help improve your oral health.