What is Preventive Dentistry?

April 15, 2020 Kalamazoo Smiles

preventive dentistry kalamazoo miAs the name suggests, the goal of preventive dentistry is to prevent oral health issues from emerging. These issues include tooth decay, gum disease, and other complications to oral health.

Why is Preventive Dentistry Important?

It’s important to remember that your oral hygiene affects the rest of your body. For example, people with diabetes often have a higher risk of developing gum disease because they have a low resistance to infection. This is one of many examples of how oral health affects more than just your mouth.

Preventive dentistry will also help decrease the likelihood of you needing emergency dental care.

Here are the different types of preventive dentistry available to you and your family.

Oral Hygiene Counseling

The best way to protect your teeth and gums is to practice good oral hygiene. But this can be easier said than done!

That’s why it’s important to consult with our family dentist and her team if you have issues maintaining good oral health at home.

We recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily. This will help remove dental plaque from your teeth and gums. It’ll also help prevent tooth sensitivity.

Dental plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that lives inside your mouth. This bacteria feeds on sugar to produce cavity-causing acid. Over time, these acid attacks from plaque will weaken tooth enamel and infect your gums. The good news is that you can prevent dental plaque buildup by brushing and flossing every day.

If we still find a lot of plaque during your next appointment with us, we may recommend adding a fluoride mouth rinse to your routine. Fluoride is great for your teeth because it helps strengthen your enamel, increasing its resistance to acid attacks from plaque.

Teeth Cleanings & Exams

Did you know that dental plaque hardens into tartar? Only a dental professional can remove tartar, which is why you’ll need to schedule routine teeth cleanings with our office. During a teeth cleaning, we use a special tool called a scaler to gently scrape away plaque and tartar.

We recommend you see us for teeth cleanings and oral examinations at least every 6 months. But we may recommend more frequent visits if we need to closely monitor certain oral health conditions, such as gum disease.

Each patient is different. Request an appointment with our office to learn how to best take care of your smile!

Dental X-Rays

X-rays let us see what’s going on beneath the surface of your teeth. It also lets us determine the health and condition of your jaws. For example, patients with missing teeth may experience a loss of bone density in their jaw over time. This is because the body absorbs minerals in the jaw to use elsewhere once it detects a missing tooth.

Taking X-rays allows us to see these types of problems and recommend solutions before they endanger your oral health. For example, we may recommend a dental implant to prevent further bone loss in the jaw. (Check out our blog post on why dental implants are often better than dentures.)

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are clear, plastic coatings our dentist paints on the chewing surfaces of your molars. These sealants fill in small cracks and divots where the plaque would otherwise accumulate. While dental sealants help prevent cavities from forming in your back teeth, it’s important that you still maintain good oral hygiene. Brush and floss like you would normally to maintain a healthy smile.

Dental sealants may last up to 10 years.

Gum Disease Treatment

Gingivitis (gum inflammation) is reversible with good oral hygiene and seeing our dentist at least every 6 months for routine teeth cleanings. But if left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis.

Periodontitis is incurable, which is why it’s important to schedule an appointment with our dentist if you suspect you have gum disease.

If you have periodontitis, we’ll need to schedule appointments for scaling and root planing. During this procedure, we remove dental plaque and tartar both above and below the gum line. This helps mitigate the damaging effects of gum disease.

Request an Appointment with Dr. Bandos

Dr. Katherine Bandos is dedicated to helping you maintain a beautiful, healthy smile for life! As a family dentist in Kalamazoo, MI, she is dedicated to treating patients of all ages with compassion and respect. To request an appointment, call Kalamazoo Smiles at (269) 353-3700.

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