The Importance of Preventative Care
Oral bacteria can cause a wide array of dental issues, such as gum disease and tooth decay. Once infection gains a foothold, it can trigger a domino effect, causing symptoms to worsen over time. The easiest way to prevent these problems is to avoid them altogether; of course, this isn’t always possible. Even the most diligent patients develop dental problems from time to time. However, when preventative steps are taken, issues can be diagnosed and treated in the early stages, saving you a tremendous amount of worry and money in the future.
Cleanings and Examinations
Two of the most important factors in preventative dentistry are routine examinations and cleanings. Most general dentists recommend regular dental cleanings every six months. Did you know there is a scientific reason behind this? Even with proper at-home care, oral bacteria repopulate every few months. In most patients, it takes about six months for the bacteria levels to become unmanageable. Therefore, every time your teeth are cleaned, the oral bacteria is reduced to baseline again. Patients who are predisposed to certain issues such as cavities or gum disease may require more frequent appointments. Dr. Markham can work with you to determine an appropriate cleaning schedule for you.
Regular examinations are also vital to oral health. During these visits, Dr. Markham will assess for signs of damage and decay, and will also check the pockets around each tooth to make sure your bone levels are healthy. Digital x-rays will also be taken to evaluate the health of the teeth and jawbone.
Dental sealants are often placed on children, but they are beneficial for patients of all ages. Oftentimes, the premolar and molar teeth have deep fissures on the chewing surfaces, which can trap food, plaque, and bacteria. To prevent cavities from developing in these hard-to-reach areas, sealants can be placed to shield the tooth. To do this, a clear plastic coating is painted onto the teeth. This simple procedure can help you invest in your smile, and can usually be completed in less than ten minutes.
Today, several products have fluoride in them to help keep teeth strong and healthy. However, professional fluoride treatments can give your oral health an extra boost. Children, teens, and adults can benefit from this quick and simple procedure. We recommend it for anyone who is prone to decay, or for those who simply want to provide the utmost protection for their teeth.
The plaque that accumulates on the teeth can become acidic and dissolve the enamel. This demineralization makes your teeth vulnerable to decay and sensitivity. Fluoride remineralizes the enamel and strengthens the teeth, protecting them from cavities.
Custom Mouth Guards
Another aspect of preventative dentistry is the use of custom mouth guards or night guards. Not every patient will require an oral appliance such as this. However, if you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding), or if you play contact sports, Dr. Markham may recommend a custom guard to protect your smile from damage.