Preventive Dentistry – What is it?
If you want to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy then preventive dentistry is a modern method of doing so. It can help you maintain healthy teeth as well as needing less visits for treatment at the dentist. Tooth loss is caused by two main reasons – gum disease and decay. If you can prevent these two problems from occuring, then you will greatly increase your chances of healthy teeth and gums for life.
It’s a team effort though and requires work from both the patient and dental experts so that fewer, if any fillings or extractions are needed. Often, your dentist will recommend a plan of action to deal with current problems with your oral health and give you recommended actions to keep up the maintenance, for example, flossing or brushing techniques.
Is Preventive Dentistry for everyone?
Yes it is. If you have your own teeth then preventive dentistry is something that can help you keep them healthy. Even for a patient with a full set of false teeth, they can also benefit from preventive dentistry as instances of mouth cancer can also be identified and then treated accordingly. The younger the better in terms of when to being conscious of oral health and the well-being of teeth and gums.
What is involved with Preventive Dentistry?
Initially, the dental team will inspect your gums and teeth to check for any problems. Should there be any then they will be able to advise regarding treatment options. The aim of the dentist is to get your teeth and gums back to a healthy state. As long as dental advice is followed, then decay or gum disease will no longer be a problem for the patient. As already mentioned though, this is a team effort and does require commitment on behalf of the patient to carry out the tasks advised by the dentist.
Removing build ups of plaque and tartar is the first job is most cases improve dental health. This procedue which takes between 5-10 minutes is more commonly known as a scale and polish.
Bacterial plaque is constantly forming on your teeth and your dentist will advise you on how to best brush your teeth and also clean in-between the teeth using floss or interdental brushes. Sugary foods, of which there are many, contribute to tooth decay because the build of bacterial plaque is converted into acid which causes tooth decay. If left untreated, plaque build up can cause gum inflammation, leading to blood when brushing. This can leads to more serious problems, often resulting in tooth extractions. A build up on the teeth can also be hard tartar, which initially starts as plaque.
There are many oral care products available and without expert advice, it can be difficult to know what to buy. Fortunately, the dental team will be able to advise you for your specific requirements, thus saving you money on wasted purchases.
Diet forms a big part of your overall oral health so you’ll likely be asked some questions about what you eat, when you eat it and if you smoke or drink.
A dental check will also involve inspecting any existing fillings you have to make sure they are in good condition and haven’t eroded. If needs be, any rough edges to fillings you have can be smoothed over.
Will treatment be recommended?
One of the things the dentist will look for is any teeth that need strengthening, so that they don’t break in future. If the dentist finds a tooth that has cracked then a filling or crown will be recommended to offer protection in future. This preventive technique is always the recommended approach rather than doing nothing and waiting for the tooth to break, in which case, it then becomes a dental emergency.
What else can be done to prevent tooth decay?
Fluoride helps teeth resist decay. Flouride in toothpaste is known to help prevent tooth decay so the team will also be able to advise you on that. For children, there are flouride varnishes available to help prevent the onset of tooth decay. Your dentist will be able to talk you and your child through the exact procedure to allay any concerns. For high risk patients, a toothpaste with a higher flouride content can be used and the dental team can advise on that.
Pit and Fissure sealants – what are they?
When the surfaces of the teeth come together through the action of biting, these surfaces can be protected by applying a sealant to them. The purpose of doing so is to make the tooth surface smoother, easier to clean and helps tooth decay from starting in hard to clean areas of the mouth. If this is appropriate for you then the dentist will advise accordingly.
Would you like to sign up with a preventive dentistry provider in Leamington Spa? Contact our team today to arrange.