Preventive dental care is crucial to ensuring your teeth, and surrounding structures remain healthy and strong. Referring to any activity that works to prevent oral health issues, such as tooth decay, preventive dentistry requires effort from both you and your dentist. Since quality oral hygiene affects your overall health, taking care of your teeth now reduces the risk of more significant problems in the future.
At River Rock Dental Group, we understand the importance of preventive care in keeping your teeth, gums, and other oral structures strong and healthy. Our caring dentist and team are committed to helping you learn good oral hygiene habits to enjoy a healthy smile for a lifetime. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Timothy R. Lund today.
Our Preventive Dental Services
It’s essential to visit the dentist approximately every six months for a thorough examination and cleaning. Dentists can remove harmful plaque and bacteria and identify any potential issues. When you visit River Rock Dental Group for your regular cleaning, Dr. Lund and our friendly staff will perform the following preventive services:
The first step of a regular dental appointment is a comprehensive, thorough oral examination, which typically includes:
- Oral cancer screening: Your dentist will observe your neck, tongue, lips, face, throat, gums, and other soft tissues for any evidence of oral cancer.
- X-ray: Used to gain a glimpse into your current oral health and detect decay and other issues early, X-rays are both routine and diagnostic. At River Rock, we offer digital X-rays, an intraoral camera process to create impressions, and 180-degree panoramic X-rays.
- Checking restorations: For patients with restorative dentistry devices such as fillings, crowns, or implants, the dentist will check to ensure their function.
- Gum disease examination: An exam for gum disease includes probing, an action that checks your gums and bone for signs of periodontal issues.
After the initial oral exam, a trained dental hygienist performs the routine cleaning, which includes:
- Plaque removal: A grainy film, plaque comprises bacteria, food particles, and saliva. The bacteria are harmful and can create cavities or other forms of decay if not professionally removed.
- Calculus (tartar) removal: Simply put, tartar is calcified plaque that accumulates on your teeth’s surface. Calculus can only be removed using specialized instruments since it usually forms below or above the gum line.
- Polishing: The dental hygienist utilizes powerful brushing techniques to remove stains and plaque, giving your teeth a clean appearance.
- Flossing: Floss removes any remaining food particles between your teeth.
- Fluoride application: Fluoride works to strengthen your teeth through remineralization, where minerals attach to deteriorating areas of enamel. A transparent substance painted on your teeth, fluoride also interrupts the formation of bacteria and is a great way to prevent future issues.
Another preventive dentistry treatment we offer is dental sealants, which shield the teeth from food debris and other bacteria responsible for cavities. The thin sheet of plastic that comprises sealants is placed between the grooves of your back teeth (molars), and if applied correctly, protects from decay. The treatment only requires one visit and includes the following steps:
- The dentist cleans your tooth thoroughly to remove all stains
- Your tooth surface will be rubbed (roughened) so that the sealant bonds well
- Once your tooth is dry, the dentist will apply the sealant to the grooves
- The sealant hardens by ultraviolet light or laser for maximum protection
- Your dentist will inspect the area to ensure proper placement
Benefits of Dental Preventive Care Services
As its name suggests, preventive dentistry is highly effective at lowering the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. Dentists and their skilled staff can identify the early signs of issues and will form a personalized care plan to treat them accordingly. Plus, early oral health problems likely reduce the need for more costly and time-consuming procedures later.
However, preventive care is performed by both dental professionals and patients. In addition to your cleanings and exams, your dentist will inform you of proper oral hygiene practices during routine appointments. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain regular cleanings at the dental office and care for your teeth at home.
Preventive Dental Care at Home
Maintaining healthy dental practices at home can help reduce the risk of issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. A solid regimen includes the following steps:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice per day (typically morning and night) with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
- Flossing at least once per day to remove food particles between teeth and reduce plaque buildup
- Rinsing with mouthwash to further remove any remaining debris and kill bacteria
Other ways to implement preventive dental care at home include:
- Avoiding acidic foods that can harm tooth enamel, such as tomatoes and lemons
- Being cautious about crunchy foods, such as hard candies and those with seeds that could chip or crack teeth
- Not smoking or using other tobacco products, as they can stain and weaken teeth
- Wearing a mouthguard when participating in contact sports or at night if you grind your teeth
Schedule an Appointment With Our Belgrade Dentist
Preventive dentistry is critical to maintaining good oral health. It requires regular dental cleanings and exams. River Rock Dental Group provides the highest quality dental care to patients in a comfortable environment. We take pride in detecting potential issues early.
To improve your oral health, schedule an appointment with our Belgrade dentist today!