Let’s talk about one of the best values in health care today, Preventive Dentistry. The routine services your general dentist provides can help save your teeth and even your life. It’s true. Dentists are often the first to detect signs of dangerous health conditions, such as oral cancer, AIDS and anorexia to name a few. Also medical research has established a link between untreated gum disease and systemic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. By visiting your dentist regularly, you’ll make sure any oral health problems are caught early when they’re easiest to treat.
The core of preventive dentistry is a checkup and professional teeth cleaning your dental hygienist will use special tools to remove disease causing dental plaque from places you can’t reach with your toothbrush and floss. If left on the teeth for too long, this bacteria filled plaque and harden into tartar, which is particularly irritating to your gums. Your dental hygienist will then polish your teeth, so they’re sparkly and smooth. After the cleaning, your dentist will examine your mouth for signs of oral cancer, gum disease and tooth decay. Small cavities can often be filled to prevent decay from reaching deeper into the tooth and creating more painful and costly problems. Your dentist might also recommend specific oral hygiene aids to use at home, such as a floss holder or anti-plaque mouth rinse.
Preventive dental visits are important for everyone, but particularly children and seniors. Children can receive tooth strengthening topical fluoride treatments, as well as dental sealants to keep bacteria out of the little grooves in the back teeth. If your child plays sports, your dentists can make a custom fitted mouth guard that will protect against dental injuries.
Seniors are particularly prone to tooth decay, because many take medications that can dry out the mouth as a side effect. This leaves them without the natural cavity fighting protection of saliva and believe it or not, even seniors who were false teeth, need regular preventive dental visits, because dentures need to be adjusted from time to time to maintain a comfortable fit. Your comfort, health and quality of life are the main concerns of Preventive Dentistry. It’s been a while since you’ve seen your family dentist, make an appointment today.