Regular Dental Visits
In order to maintain a healthy smile, it is vital to have professional cleanings and regular check-ups. Therefore, you should visit your general dentist twice a year (once every six months). At each appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth and provide an evaluation of existing dental problems and proposed treatment.
Tooth Decay Prevention
Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting from the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur in your mouth and the sugars consumed in your diet. Sugar causes a reaction in the bacteria, which causes the bacteria to produce acids. These acids break down the minerals in teeth, forming a cavity. Dentists can remove the decay and fill the tooth using a variety of fillings or cover the tooth with a crown. Avoiding unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen: brushing and flossing twice a day, regular dental check-ups, diet control and fluoride treatment.
The teeth, bones and soft tissues of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups help minimize and avoid cavities and other dental problems. Consuming sugary and starchy foods should be limited, including candies, cookies, chips and crackers. Healthier foods, such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheeses, help promote stronger teeth.
The grooves that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars) are extremely difficult to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria react with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Tooth sealants can protect these areas by sealing the grooves, preventing bacteria and food particles from accumulating. The sealants are made of a resin material that is applied to the back teeth, molars, premolars and any area prone to cavities. Sealants last for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking fluoridated water and daily brushing and flossing ensures significantly fewer cavities. Many, if not most, public water sources contain fluoridated water. Your dentist can evaluate the level of fluoride in your primary drinking water source and recommend fluoride supplements if necessary. There are also many kinds of toothpastes, mouthwashes and even some dental flosses that contain fluoride.
Preventive dentistry is the most effective and most important step you can take to keep your teeth healthy and prevent long-term damage or even tooth loss. This includes everyday, diligent oral hygiene as well as regular trips to see your dentist. Effective preventive dentistry keeps problems from developing and also helps make sure any problems that do occur are diagnosed before they become serious.
Your Role in Preventive Dentistry
Effective preventive dentistry begins with you. Your everyday oral hygiene routine is the most important step you can take in keeping your mouth and teeth healthy. The basics include:
- Regular brushing
- Regular flossing
- Regular visits to the dentist
- Avoiding activities that could damage the teeth
- Avoiding foods that could cause cavities
- Maintaining an overall nutritious diet
Brushing and flossing helps remove food particles that collect in the mouth as you eat. These food particles are consumed by the bacteria that naturally live in your mouth. Under normal conditions, these bacteria maintain a healthy balance. If they receive too much sugar, or if food particles are left in the mouth, they can multiply and create collections of waste products that cling to the surfaces of your teeth. This substance, called plaque, is highly acidic, and can eat through your tooth enamel, leading to cavities. If you brush and floss every day and avoid sugary or sticky foods, these bacteria are more likely to maintain that healthy balance.
Your Dentist and Preventive Dentistry
Your family dentist helps prevent dental health problems by providing more extensive cleaning, fluoride treatments, and a close examination of the condition of your teeth and gums. With the new school year also fast approaching, it is important to ensure you child’s teeth have a clean bill of health to start the new year! For this reason, Serenity Dental Studio also does school dental exams!
Since many issues with the teeth produce few symptoms until they become serious, your dentist is an important resource. Using digital imagery, X-rays, and routine examination, your dentist can find cavities while they are still very small and treatable.
Your dentist also evaluates the health of your gums to be sure you aren’t developing any early signs of gum disease—another condition that is much easier to treat when it’s diagnosed in early stages. These regular visits, combined with your everyday care, form the framework for effective preventive dentistry.
To schedule a teeth cleaning or just a checkup, contact our office today!
A dental emergency is any injury or accident that causes damage to the teeth or the mouth. Emergency dentistry is specifically focused on dealing with this type of injury or damage. Typically, this will include replacing broken fillings or crowns or even setting teeth back into place after they have been knocked out.
Defining a Dental Emergency
A dental emergency occurs when an injury directly affects the mouth and the teeth. This can include lacerations to the lips, cheeks, or tongue, as well as damage to the teeth. Some of the most common causes of dental emergencies include:
- Automobile accidents
- Contact sports
- Bicycle accidents
- Any sort of trauma to the face
If you have fallen or been in an accident and have damaged your mouth or teeth, you should see an emergency dentist as soon as possible, especially in the case of an avulsed tooth. If the tooth can be replaced as soon as possible, it is more likely that you will be able to keep it rather than having to have the tooth replaced with an implant or a denture.
What to Do in the Case of a Dental Emergency
If you hurt your mouth or teeth, evaluate the damage to determine how severe it is. If a tooth has been knocked out, or if cuts or lacerations are causing extensive bleeding, you should see an emergency dentist as soon as possible, or go directly to the emergency room. If a crown or a filling has broken or been knocked loose, schedule an appointment as soon as you can to have it replaced.
Ideally, you should have a first aid kit specifically for dental emergencies. In addition to gauze to stop bleeding, it should include toothpaste or a dental adhesive to hold a dislodged filling or crown in place. It is also useful to have a special kit that can be used to preserve a knocked-out tooth. With this kind of preparation and immediate access to an emergency dentist in the case of an emergency, you can expect a good recovery in the long run.
For more tips, contact our office at Serenity Dental Studio today!
Your family dentist is your greatest ally when it comes to making sure your and your family maintain excellent dental health. Regular visits ensure that any problems will be diagnosed before they become serious, and following your dentist’s recommendations for everyday care and hygiene will help prevent those problems from developing in the first place.
What Does a Family Dentist Do?
A family dentist specializes in just that—complete dental services for your whole family. If you’re a young couple starting out, you might want to establish yourself with a dentist who’ll be able to treat your children if and when they come along. If you’re older, you might prefer a dentist who’s treated other members of your family as they were growing up, or simply someone who provides a well-rounded, family atmosphere.
One of the advantages to seeing a family dentist is that they can follow your dental health throughout your life. Rather than switching from a pediatric dentist to an adult dentist when you or your children reach the age of eighteen, you can continue with the same dentist, ensuring continuity with your dental records and your long-term care. Your dentist might also be aware of health trends in your family, staying alert to the development of similar trends in your teeth or in those of your children.
Finding a Good Family Dentist
As with most doctors and dentists, the best way to find a good family dentist is through a referral. If you’ve just moved to a new area, find someone in a similar life situation to yours—someone with young children, if you have young children, for example. If they have a dentist they’ve been happy with, you can ask them for a referral.
You can also research dentists online. Look for a dentist whose online presence feels welcoming. Check to see if they make special accommodations for children, or if they mention how they handle younger patients. You can also look at their educational history—have they stayed up to date with the latest techniques and technologies? If a dentist appeals to you on all these levels, then they might be just what you’re looking for.
Call our team at Serenity Dental today!