Preventive Dental Care

Did you know that one out of every four children aged 2-5 in the US children have cavities, and about 25% of the US elders aged 65 or above have lost all their teeth.  This could be prevented easily with regular preventive dental care, which involves professional dental procedures that are aimed at keeping your teeth and gums healthy.  Preventive care reduces the likelihood of dental infection through early detection and timely treatment. 

 

Who Can Benefit from Preventive Dentistry?

It is commonly thought that preventive dentistry is only for young people or those who retain their natural teeth, which is not true. In fact, even those people who have lost all their teeth can also benefit from preventive dentistry, as oral cancer and denture stomatitis, thrush (fungal infection)  are some examples of conditions observed in the older individuals.  These conditions can be prevented with regular preventive dental care.

 

What is involved in preventive Dentistry?

  • The main goal behind preventive dentistry is prevention rather than cure. The following treatments are provided in preventive dentistry:

Dental Examination
This involves a thorough and detailed dental examination, so that any developing dental problems can be diagnosed and treated before they cause permanent damage or require extensive dental treatment.

Dental X-rays
Dental x-rays provide very high quality radiographic images on teeth, supporting bone and jaw structures to help in diagnosis of developing dental conditions. Most cavity, infection, gum disease and other abnormality can be diagnosed by dental x-ray. By using the modern digital x-ray, we have significantly reduced radiation and compared to traditional dental x-ray systems.

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Dental Cleaning
This involves thorough cleaning of the teeth to prevent the development of gum diseases.

SDF Treatment
The extensive use of silver diamine fluoride (SDF) for management of dental caries and preventing future caries has been around the world for decades. Evidence based dentistry confirms that SDF is effective for caries arrest on cavitated lesions in primary teeth and root caries in the elderly. It may also prevent new lesions. Application is easy, noninvasive, affordable, and safe. Although it stains the lesions dark as it arrests them, it is an additional preventative tool for caries management when esthetics are not a primary concern.

Cancer Screening
According to the oral cancer foundation, over 56,000 US citizens will be suffering from oral cancer this year that will take life of 1 oral cancer patient in every 24 hours. One of the main objectives is to perform a thorough oral screening upon each visit to the dentist, and if there is any suspicion of any cancerous activity, it is promptly investigated and appropriately treated.

Oral Hygiene Instructions
Proper dental hygiene at home is the key to maintaining of dental health. Dental providers can design patient's individualized home regimen that best suit their life style and dental conditions.

Nightguard
Teeth grinding (bruxism) may not cause any real concerns in the early stage, but long-term, consistent grinding can lead to broken teeth, loss of tooth enamel, and in severe cases, loss of teeth. The exact cause of grinding is unknown, but it is believed that stress and anxiety play the significant role. Other causes may also be alcohol use, cigarettes, caffeine, sleep apnea, snoring, an abnormal bite, and crooked teeth. Most cases of Bruxism can easily be treated by wearing a night guard while you sleep. Nightguards are the simplest and most effective way to prevent teeth lost. It works by putting a barrier between your teeth when your jaw is closed. The nightguard helps to lighten the tension and give cushion to the muscles in the jaw. This cushioning not only helps to prevent face and jaw pain, but also protects the enamel of your teeth.

The centuries old saying that “prevention is better than cure” also holds true in the case of dental care.

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Sealant
A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth. More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves. Teeth with these anatomies are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay. A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface. Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years, but need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits.

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Home Care
A beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate goal when treating patients. Your personal home care plays an important role in achieving that goal. Your personal home care starts by eating balanced meals, reducing the number of snacks you eat, and correctly using the various dental aids that help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.

  • Tooth brushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.

  • Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

  • Rinsing – It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist.

The centuries old saying that “prevention is better than cure” also holds true in the case of dental care.