How Preventative and General Dentistry Can Keep Your Teeth and Mouth Happy
Preventative and general dentistry are the many methods used to care for your teeth so they can remain clean, healthy, and gleaming white. These include things like checkups, cleanings, and treatments that prevent problems getting out of hand. Preventative dentistry is a way of eliminating risk when it comes to oral health issues. This allows you to worry less about your teeth and simply go about enjoying your life, knowing you have a healthy mouth and smile.
We will look at some preventative dentistry procedures that you should certainly add to your dental hygiene routine. We will also cover preventative options that you can do on your own in the privacy of your own home. At Port Washington Dental Care, we care about your health and want to help you ensure your mouth and teeth are in the best possible condition.
Who Benefits from Preventative Dentistry
Everyone can benefit from general dentistry options. Even those without teeth can benefit from timely dental care, as things like mouth cancer and denture stomatitis (an infection of the mouth) will be seen during regular visits. This allows these things to be treated promptly. It is especially useful for children who are on the path toward good oral hygiene but is beneficial for everyone.
Basic General Dentistry Practices
Your dental team in Port Washington will check your mouth and gums, then speak with you about any potential treatments you may need. The point of preventative dentistry is to help you get and keep your mouth very healthy. This lessens the possibility of decay or gum disease in the future.
Habits to Take on at Home
Preventative dentistry takes place both at your Port Washington dentist’s office and in the comfort of your own home. There are many simple ways you can ensure the best gum and mouth health without even stepping into a dentist’s office. We will look at some of those below.
Brushing your teeth
Everyone knows that brushing your teeth helps make your teeth clean and healthy. It is suggested by the American Dental Association that you brush with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day or after every meal. However, you should also make sure to brush your tongue. The tongue carries much of the bacteria in your mouth and brushing it can make your breath even fresher. We suggest using a soft toothbrush with a small head as harder options can lead to recession of the gums.
Floss your teeth
Flossing is great in tandem with brushing as it removes both bits of food particles and bacteria that may be in between your teeth. Those who are wearing braces can use floss threaders to reach beyond the brackets of the braces. That said, braces or not, it is important to floss properly. If you have any doubts, ask your dentist in Port Washington for a demonstration so you can be sure you are doing things correctly. We suggest flossing once a day to prevent cavities.
Eating healthy meals
With brushing and flossing, you should also make sure that your teeth get all the appropriate minerals and nutrients that keep them healthy. Fluoride is the primary one to watch out for. If you eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water, that will help. Avoiding sugar and acidic foods and drinks can also help with your oral health, as they can erode your tooth enamel.
Proper Brushing Guide
We mentioned the toothbrush of choice from the American Dental Association, but there’s more to brushing than that. The following is a guide to proper brushing, which will ensure you get rid of all the debris that may be found in the mouth.
- Rest the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle where the gums and teeth meet.
- Brush gently in small circular motions at the teeth and gum line.
- Avoid using too much pressure on the teeth, as it can damage the enamel and gums.
- Be sure to brush every surface of the tooth, with a particular focus on the surfaces of the back teeth.
- Brush back and forth on the chewing surfaces.
- Finish by brushing the tongue to remove food, debris, and bacteria.
- General and Preventative Dentistry In-Office
Of course, not every preventative procedure can be handled at home. Some things need to be taken care of in a dentist office in Port Washington. This includes check-ups, cleanings, and essential treatments, among others.
Digital X-rays and Exams
Digital x-rays and dental exams allow the general dentist to evaluate your teeth and the bone around the teeth. This can show any decay that may be hiding out between your teeth. Your Port Washington dentist will likely take these on your first appointment and during some routine visits later on. Some of the things your dentist will look for are gum disease, oral cancer, tooth decay, and existing fillings and crowns.
Dental cleanings are typically scheduled once or twice a year. These cleanings take care of any buildup of plaque that regular brushing has not removed. This is a preventative dentistry procedure, as letting this go can lead to tooth decay or gum disease. A regular cleaning ensures you keep that bright, white smile. Tartar and plaque are removed, and polishing will help with the aesthetic of the teeth.
Checkups will be a part of your annual or twice annual visit and offer the foundational benefits of preventative dentistry. We will look at your teeth to determine any problems, such as decay or oral cancer. We will take a look at your fillings, canals, or crowns, and check your bite to make sure everything is healthy.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer most often occurs on the tongue, floor of the mouth, soft palate, lips, and gums. Finding this early is critical for treatment. As such, we complete an oral cancer screening at each checkup. Your general dentist in Port Washington will examine your neck, cheeks, head, and mouth for any irregular tissues changes, lumps, or ulcers. Often, oral cancer is painless, so scanning for inconsistencies is crucial.
For those who may be lacking in fluoride, we can apply it directly to your teeth. This mineral is available in toothpaste and helps keep your teeth healthy and less prone to decay. It can also stop small cavities in their tracks before things get overwhelming. Your dentist may also suggest the use of home fluoride treatments for certain situations, such as when there are sensitive root surfaces or poor hygiene habits.
You may know mouthguards from their use in sports. These are designed to absorb and distribute the force of an impact to the mouth or jaw. A mouthguard makes it less likely that you will acquire an injury to the teeth or tissues of the mouth. An injury is also less likely to be severe when using a mouthguard.
These are transparent plastic coatings, typically applied to molars, that leave crevices filled and unavailable to bacteria that can cause disease. Dental sealants can stop cavities from forming, which means there is no need to fill them in later. The dentist will clean your teeth and then apply the solution, after which the tooth is rinsed and dried. The material may harden on its own or with a special curing light.
Some diseases can be detected early by testing your saliva. This is a new technology that is rapidly rising, meaning many more issues will likely be detectable in the future with a simple saliva test.
The Many Benefits of Preventative Dentistry
There are endless benefits associated with general and preventative dentistry, not least of which is that you will have happier, healthier teeth. Different procedures offer different benefits, which all work together to provide a high-quality standard of care for those who are committed to their dental health.
As a general dentistry provider, we can reduce the possibility of you or your children having cavities by applying dental sealants. At our office in Port Washington, we can do an examination and determine if the surfaces of the teeth have ridges too deep to clean properly. If so, we can put on a sealant that will immediately reduce the chance of cavities.
Elimination of Nasty Bacteria
We offer antibiotic mouth rinses which are available at all dentist appointments. We offer this rinse to help eliminate some of the harmful bacteria that may be present in your mouth.
Warning Signs of Disease
Through our comprehensive examinations, we can determine if your teeth show any signs of decay or if there is any gum disease present. Doing this on a regular basis allows us to catch any problems early before the condition causes pain or discomfort.
Preventative dentistry includes fluoride treatments, when applicable. Fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel of your teeth, ensuring your teeth are strong enough to fight off bacteria when it is present. We suggest a fluoride treatment once a year for most patients at our Port Washington office.
When we find a problem early, it is often possible to prevent the spread with gentle treatment options. If you have a small cavity, but it is caught early, it is simple to treat it before it causes health problems or requires a more complicated procedure. Only visiting a general dentist twice a year can help with this.
Minty Fresh Breath.
At our office, we treat bad breath, also known as halitosis. Many people are unaware that constant bad breath can be caused by bacteria, decay, or mouth infections. We can clean your teeth and check for any other issues, helping you have fresh breath every day.
For those who play sports, a mouthguard is an excellent way to ensure teeth are protected from damage. As such, we can build a mouthguard for the child who is involved in sports, offering peace of mind to them and their parents.
If you find that a tooth is cracked or chipped, a general dentist in Port Washington can provide a solution. The quicker you visit, the most likely we will be able to do so with ease. We will work to restore your teeth to former glory, so they remain healthy for years into the future.
By having preventative dentistry procedures done on a regular basis, you may actually save money. The cost for general dentistry is small compared to the cost of dentures, crowns, or root canals, which is considered restorative dentistry. Even for those with dental insurance, the costs of poor health can be much higher than the expenses to keep things in good working order.
Less Risk of Other Health Issues
Poor oral health has been shown to be associated with things like diabetes, respiratory disease, heart disease, and osteoporosis. By stopping in and having preventative work done, you can avoid major health issues.
Contact Our General Dentist Today
As you have seen, there are many benefits associated with preventative and general dentistry. Simply brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, watching your diet, and getting into the dentist office for your checkups can lead to a much healthier mouth, and less concern about cavities, gum disease, and other oral nightmares.
If you are looking for a preventative dentist in the Port Washington area, Port Washington Dental Care would love to have you as a patient. You can call us at 516-378-1725 or contact us using our online form. We would be happy to schedule an appointment and help you get your oral health on track.