Preventative dentistry is designed to prevent or reduce issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. While there are a number of different procedures that fall under preventative dentistry, here at Raptou Family Dental, we believe that the two most important preventative techniques are dental exams and dental cleanings. By getting an oral exam and a professional cleaning every six months, you can prevent or greatly reduce the severity of a large number of common oral hygiene problems.
Oral Exams Are the Key to Preventative Dentistry
When you come in every six months, we will perform an oral exam. This gives us a chance to inspect your teeth, gums, tongue, and the rest of your mouth for signs of damage or the development of an oral disease. We will look for cavities, check the condition of any placed fillings, crowns, and implants, and look for signs of gum disease. If we find any of these conditions, we will treat them that day or talk to you about scheduling treatment at another appointment and give you the needed oral hygiene and periodontal care instructions. We will look back at notes from previous sessions and update the progression of anything we are concerned about.
During an oral exam, we also look for signs of conditions such as bruxism and oral cancer. Detecting oral cancer early is the key to treating and overcoming it. We will also talk to you about any recent pain or other odd sensations you have had in your mouth. If you have any questions, this is a great time to discuss them with us.
Dental Cleanings Let Us Take a Proactive Stance Against Decay
The second key principle of preventative dentistry is cleaning your teeth. While brushing and flossing at home do a good job of removing most bacteria and food debris, even the most diligent brusher will not be able to fully clean their mouth. A professional dental cleaning uses tools and products you cannot get over-the-counter. Having one of our experts clean your mouth also allows us to approach your teeth and gums from a different angle. We clean your entire mouth, but we specifically target those areas that we know are difficult for most people to clean themselves or that are often missed. We will leave your mouth clean and with a reduced risk of cavities. We may also do a fluoride treatment to help make your teeth stronger and more decay-resistant.
What Else Does Preventative Dentistry Include?
While exams and dental cleanings are the most important parts of preventative dentistry, there are a few other procedures that fall under this category. Creating protective mouthguards is also a part of preventative dentistry. These mouthguards are worn while playing sports and protect your teeth and gums from injuries. X-Rays and other diagnostic tests also fall under the umbrella of preventative dentistry when used to diagnose conditions in their earliest stages. Any procedure that is proactive rather than responsive and is done to protect the current state of your oral health can be seen as preventative.
Tips for Brushing
Brushing properly is important to keeping your teeth, gums, and tongue in good health. If you do not brush correctly, even if you brush twice a day you will not be completely cleaning your teeth and gums. You can still develop cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues. Here at Raptou Family Dental, we want to make certain all of our patients brush twice a day and do so correctly. We have gathered some good tips for you to follow if you are not certain if you are brushing correctly. Of course, you can always talk to us about your brushing habits and any questions you may have when you come in for your regularly scheduled dental cleanings.
Good Brushing Starts with a Good Toothbrush
In order to brush correctly, you need to have the right tools. In this case, that is the right toothbrush. You want to make certain the toothbrush you are using has soft bristles so it does not damage your gums. Other than that, you want a toothbrush that feels right. The handle should be comfortable and allow you to reach all of your teeth easily. The head should not be so large that you have difficulty maneuvering it in your mouth. It is okay to take your time and try out several different brands of toothbrushes before you settle on the one that works best for you. Once you have a good toothbrush, you also need to take care of it. Rinse it after every use. You should also soak it in antibacterial mouthwash regularly. Even with good cleaning, your toothbrush will still eventually begin to wear out and attract bacteria. Replace it every three months to avoid getting bacteria in your mouth.
Do Not Use Force When Brushing
When brushing, be sure you only use enough pressure to keep the toothbrush in contact with your teeth and gums. If you apply too much pressure, even a soft bristle toothbrush can damage your gums. Be gentle when you brush. Being extra forceful or vigorous will not provide a better or deeper clean. Instead, it will only cause damage.
Do Not Forget Your Tongue
Many people do not brush their tongue, but many bacteria collect on the surface of it. This can lead to bad breath and other conditions. Be sure to give your tongue a good brushing each time you brush your teeth. If you do not like using a toothbrush on it, you can purchase a tongue scraper. Both accomplish the same thing.
Do Not Brush Immediately After You Eat
While you may think brushing right after you finish eating removes sugar before bacteria can make use of it, this is actually not a good idea. The enamel that protects your teeth can be softened by what you eat or drink because everything you put into your mouth affects its pH balance. If you brush while your teeth are weak, you can damage them. You should wait at least 30 minutes after eating to brush, though it is best to wait an hour if you eat foods that are very acidic or contain a lot of sugar.
Visit Us Regularly
Finally, our last tip is to be certain you come to see us every six months. Having an exam and dental cleaning twice a year allows us to catch small issues before they become major health concerns. Call Raptou Family Dental at (614) 427-0449 to make an appointment.