The old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is true across many fields, including dentistry. Establishing, maintaining and protecting your oral health ensures that not only will your teeth, gums and jaw remain healthy and working well, but it can also help immensely to protect your overall health. Some oral health issues like periodontal disease and gingivitis can actually affect other organs and systems in the body, and can even lead to the development of major health issues such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory infections and diabetes. Ideally, all dentistry performed would be preventative dentistry, where patients are helped to prevent dental issues from occurring rather than being helped to cure these issues once they present. And there is another incentive to participate in preventative dentistry, as not only can preventative dentistry be less costly than restorative dentistry, it is far more comfortable for the patient than restorative dentistry. Following are the specific preventative dentistry procedures delivered at Providence Dental Group:
Dental CleaningsKeeping your teeth clean is a very important part of preventative dental care, which is why dentists recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss your teeth at least once a day. This daily care is certainly vital to your oral health, but receiving a deeper dental cleaning twice a year can go one step further. The training, experience and equipment at the dentist’s office is critical in ensuring that all plaque is thoroughly removed from your teeth, any stains from coffee, tea, wine, tobacco and other food products are polished away, your breath is freshened and your overall health is better protected.
Many things that are occurring with your teeth can be easily determined through a visual examination, but there are many other things that are only detectable through dental x-rays. These x-rays allow the dentist to see between, under, and inside your teeth, the tips of your roots and the bone underneath your gums–information which will help him to determine whether everything is as healthy as it should be. This can assist in the diagnosis of problems that are just beginning, which can prevent more extensive damage and issues later on.
Fluoride has long been used to combat tooth decay, which is why it is often present in our drinking water and toothpastes and why fluoride treatments are highly recommended as a part of preventative dental care. Studies into the benefits of fluoride have determined that it makes the tooth structure stronger so it is more resistant to acid and it also remineralizes areas where acid has attacked the tooth, which can help to prevent decay.
Sealants, which are thin, plastic-like coatings placed on your back, chewing teeth, are an important part of preventing tooth decay. While fluoride in our drinking water, toothpastes and fluoride treatments helps in this, the more porous surfaces of the back, chewing teeth require extra protection. A sealant covers these surfaces in order to keep out germs and food that can cause decay, helping to prevent the fillings, crowns or caps that are often needed to fix decayed teeth.
Mouthguards are soft plastic or laminate gear that are worn in the mouth for the express purpose of protecting the teeth, mouth, cheeks, tongue and jaw against injuries. They can be used for a variety of purposes but are especially helpful when used in sports, where mouth injuries are more likely to occur. Using a sports mouthguard can prevent chipped or broken teeth, damaged crowns or bridgework, lip or cheek injuries, root damage, fractured jaws and concussions, and their use is actually mandatory in collision sports (football, hockey and boxing).
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