Although dentistry can treat a variety of oral health problems, truly the best way to keep your teeth healthy is prevention. Combining good at-home habits with regular dental check-ups is a winning strategy for maintaining a lifelong healthy smile.
Dr. Jason Downey offers comprehensive preventive dentistry at his Las Vegas, NV practice to help you protect against oral health issues. Take a proactive approach to your oral health care and schedule your check-up today!
Components of Preventive Dentistry
Preventive dentistry allows patients the opportunity to prevent dental problems as well as save money. Most restorative dentistry services are costly. Depending on the extent of the damage, the expenses can add up. The key to preventive dentistry is regularity.
Oral health depends on incorporating consistent dental care into your routine, both on your own and at the dentist’s office. The primary components of preventive dentistry include regular check-ups, proper at-home care, fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and a healthy diet.
Regular Exams and Cleanings
During a typical check-up and cleaning, Dr. Downey and his team will examine your mouth, teeth, and jaw as well as clean the plaque and tartar from your teeth.
If you maintain a bi-annual schedule of cleanings, this will better enable us to monitor your oral health and keep your mouth clean. Patients who are at risk of developing oral diseases may require four-month intervals, instead of bi-annual.
Hygienic cleanings supplement your daily dental routine, eliminating the debris that you may have missed. It is important to keep these appointments, even if you have no dental concerns.
Regular visits also allow us to identify and address issues such as periodontal disease, TMJ disorder, and oral cancer. Even if you are experiencing only a minor oral health issue, it is recommended to have your mouth examined early, before significant damage occurs.
Ideally, your children should begin attending your dental visits with you as well as once their first tooth erupts. Bringing your child to your routine dental appointments will help them become familiar with the office and with the goings-on of a dental appointment.
Daily dental hygiene forms the foundation of a healthy mouth. Brushing and flossing helps remove the sticky plaque on teeth that forms from debris and bacteria. Eliminating plaque early helps prevent further growth, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.
We recommend brushing and flossing at least twice daily; however, brushing after every meal usually offers the best results.
Fluoride Treatments and Dental Sealants
Fluoride treatments and dental sealants help prevent cavities, particularly in younger patients, who are often less attentive to their oral hygiene habits.
Similar to how calcium builds bone strength, fluoride enhances enamel strength, which reduces the risk of tooth decay. While most public water contains fluoride, additional fluoride treatments can further protect your teeth.
Dental sealants serve as a barrier of protection against cavities. This thin plastic coating is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, which contain particularly deep grooves and pits. Because these areas are difficult to clean, bacteria can easily settle and cause decay.
While sealants are strong enough to withstand the high pressure of chewing and can last up to ten years with proper care, they are only temporary barriers and will fall off over time.
The food you eat plays a large role in your long-term oral health. Although sugar and carbohydrates are important for a balanced diet, too much of these foods can lead to bacteria growth, which turns into dental plaque.
Patients who are at greater risk of decay may want to switch to a sugar substitute. Natural sweeteners can help prevent decay and improve oral health.
It is also important to incorporate calcium from dairy, fruit, and leafy greens into your diet. Too little calcium can weaken teeth and put you at risk of developing periodontal diseases and jawbone deterioration.
Contact Us Today
Dr. Downey and his team combine excellent care with a comfortable environment to lay the foundation for a healthy, lifelong smile. Contact us today to begin protecting your loved ones’ oral health— as well as your own— through preventive dentistry.