Caring for your teeth to ensure they remain healthy is known as preventive dentistry. This dentistry helps you to avoid cavities, wear of your enamel, gum disease, and a lot more. There are many forms of preventive dentistry which include steps you can take at home and some that require routine visits to your dentist.
The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends you clean or brush your teeth regularly at home as well as floss them. Additionally, show your children at an early age how important oral care is, and make it a practice of brushing and flossing their teeth daily. The ADA also states it is vital for you to schedule visits to your dentist at regular intervals to get them professionally cleaned.
Preventive Dentistry Treatments
Preventive dentistry is oral care you receive in order to prevent serious complications in the future. Preventative care includes educating you on the ways you can maintain healthy gums and teeth, cleanings and explaining how these tasks affect your overall health. There are also a variety of procedures that occur for all patients, regardless of age when they come in for preventive treatments.
The exam in itself is a preventive treatment as this is when your dentist looks for potential dental decay. The exam consists of both an oral exam and if necessary x-rays. Once the dentist is finished looking at your teeth, they may recommend a cleaning. The cleaning is helpful to prevent gum disease and cavities. These are some of the procedures you can expect during your visit:
Comprehensive Dental Exam
The full dental exam is a process to prevent oral diseases and care for your teeth to make sure they are healthy. The exam results are kept on file with your dentist as a baseline for your future appointments. Having this information allows the dentist to track any concerns with your teeth and gums and they are able to watch for any irregularities concerning your health. Being able to compare your exam results will alert the dentist to any changes and allow them to determine if you require preventive measures or treatments.
It doesn’t matter what your age is, your dental health is important, so it is recommended you visit Ganji Dental at least twice a year to have your teeth cleaned. The top priority is to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Routine cleanings reduce your risk of losing your teeth and delay the need for implants or dentures.
Teeth are cleaned with the use of special tools to remove the buildup of plaque that can cause gum disease. If plaque is not removed, it can buildup and not only damage your gums; it can cause you to lose your teeth. The special tools used by your dentist remove this plaque as well as any stains on your teeth. Your teeth are sensitive to coffee, tea, and wine so by consuming these products and other drinks or foods you can create stains on your teeth.
When you floss and brush your teeth at home, it will remove some of the daily debris left from foods and drinks. The dental cleaning; however, cleans off tartar buildup and crusty deposits that trap bacteria and stain your teeth.
Once the cleaning is completed, your dentist will then polish your teeth. The polish is an additional step for removing plaque and stains not caught during the cleaning process.
Good preventative treatments for your teeth include fluoride treatments. These provide a natural mineral called fluoride for your teeth, so they are able to remain strong and fight off cavities. The fluoride treatment will support your teeth’s enamel and provide it the ability to fight off bacteria on your teeth and in your mouth.
Your dentist will able to tell if your teeth or a family member’s teeth are prone to developing cavities. Fluoride treatments are incredibly beneficial to anyone who is at high risk of getting cavities. The treatments will help reduce the bacteria that buildup on gums and teeth which is a sticky layer of plaque. Plaque increases your chances of developing infections and cavities.
Dental sealants are painted on to the surface of your teeth. They are a thin, plastic coating applied to your teeth to prevent your teeth from decaying. This protective material will bond quickly to your tooth’s surface and reach into any grooves or depressions on your teeth to create a shield that will protect the tooth’s natural enamel.
When you brush and floss at home, you are able to remove a lot of food particles and debris from your teeth, but a toothbrush cannot always reach into the small crannies and nooks of your back teeth. Dental sealants are especially crucial to your premolars and molars in the back of your mouth.
When a person thinks about ‘preventive dentistry’ they often associate it with fighting tooth decay and cavities. Preventive dentistry is more than preventing tooth decay from damaging your teeth. It is about protecting your teeth from any form of damage. The American Dental Association is taking an active stand to recognize the value of mouthguards and their role in preventive dentistry.
Both the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs and the Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention realize how frequent dental injuries occur during collision and contact sports. These accidents are just as likely to happen during recreational activities as well. Sports-related dental injuries are documented for participants of all genders, ages and skill levels in organized and unorganized sporting events as well as competitive and recreational activities.
According to the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, and the Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention, you should be properly fitted for a mouth guard as a protective device to reduce your risk of severe dental injuries when participating in sporting events that present a danger to any area of your head and mouth. Check with your dentist at Ganji Dental to find out how you can be fitted for a mouthguard before your next sporting event.
Laser Decay Diagnosis
Technology continues to change our lives including our visits to the dentist. Laser technology is now commonplace in a large area of the healthcare industry and is now capable of detecting tooth decay. With a small hand-held device, your dentist can detect tooth decay not even visible to the human eye.
Laser decay diagnosis is now an important part of preventive dentistry. It has improved early cavity detection so the size and possibly the number of fillings you need can be reduced. It clearly shows your dentist which teeth have decay and prevents them from having to perform any unnecessary exploration of your teeth.
The laser decay detection is a vital part of preventive dentistry as it has become more difficult for your dentist to detect decay. Today many people practice better oral hygiene at home including the use of fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is excellent at protecting your teeth as it hardens the outer enamel surface; however, that protection can also cover up decay. The traditional x-ray can even miss this decay, but with laser diagnosis, your dentist will have a 9o% accuracy rate for identifying any suspicious areas for cavities.
Saliva has proven to play a crucial role in determining the health of your mouth. It helps you swallow and breathe by lubricating your oral tissue. Saliva begins the digestive process of the foods you eat with the enzymes it contains. It also protects your teeth from cariogenic bacteria. Salvia is now being considered an essential tool for early detection of disease.
Salivary diagnostics is a new development in the dentistry field. Your saliva plays a huge part in maintaining oral health as it comes from your blood and acts as the bloodstream of your mouth. It is helping to build and maintain the health of your hard and soft tissues. Outside of keeping your mouth healthy, saliva can indicate if other health issues are occurring in your body. Research is proving that by using saliva for health diagnostics, it will also aid in preventive dentistry measures.
Oral Cancer Screenings
There are more than 50,000 Americans diagnosed with throat or oral cancer each year. Preventive dentistry is now able to catch this disease early and offer patients a better survival rate when it is caught early.
Oral cancer symptoms include a change in how your dentures fit, a sore throat, difficulty eating, loose teeth, white or red patches in your mouth, or sores in your mouth. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, contact your dentist at Ganji Dental. As part of a routine exam, we will be able to look for any form of abnormality.
There are certain lifestyles which increase a person's risk for oral cancer. Some of these lifestyles include alcohol abuse, smoking, or excessive exposure to the sun on their lips. Sharing your habits or styles with your dentist during your regular exams allows them to screen for any signs of oral cancer. The key to fighting cancer is early detection, and if caught early enough, perhaps before you even recognize symptoms, you could save your life.
X-rays are an essential part of any dental care treatment process. As a preventive measure, they help your dentist diagnose potential issues in your mouth and help them begin treatments early before significant problems are created.
Teeth and bones are very dense, and an X-ray is a form of energy that can pass through soft tissue like your gums and cheeks and then be absorbed by the dense tissue of your teeth and jawbone. There are two categories for X-rays- extraoral and intraoral. The intraoral X-ray is taken inside of your mouth, while the extraoral is taken outside.
When you have an intraoral X-ray during your preventive dentistry visit, it will help your dentist identify cavities, see the root of your tooth, check the health of the bone surrounding your teeth, look for signs of periodontal disease, check the status of any developing teeth, and monitor all good teeth health.
Is Preventive Dentistry Important?
Yes, practicing preventive dentistry at home, along with regular visits to Ganji Dental, will help reduce your risk of problems with both your teeth and gums. You will lessen the chance of developing periodontitis, enamel loss, cavities, or gingivitis.
Periodontitis is the infection that compromises the structure around your teeth including the gums, alveolar bone, and periodontal ligament. In a severe form of this disease, all of the tissues are involved.
Early signs of periodontitis are swollen and bleeding gums. When these signs appear, your gums are infected with bacteria, and if not treated, the infection can spread and destroy the support for your teeth in your jawbone. When this infection is not treated and is allowed to continue, your teeth can become so loose; they will have to be taken out.
The enamel on your teeth protects them from daily functions such as crunching, biting, grinding, and chewing. It is a hard protector for your teeth, but can still crack or chip. Another function of enamel is to insulate your teeth from chemicals and extreme temperatures.
The enamel on your teeth can erode when acids are allowed to sit on them. Enamel loss is caused by drinking fruit drinks with too much acid or excessively drinking soft drinks that have high levels of phosphoric and citric acids. Acid reflux and gastrointestinal problems are also a cause of enamel loss as well as certain medications such as aspirin and antihistamines. There are many other factors which can result in the loss of enamel on your teeth. Talk to your dentist at Ganji Dental and discuss other ways you can protect your teeth.
Bacteria in your mouth cause cavities in your teeth. The bacteria take sugars and turn them into plaque containing acid. This plaque is different from that causing periodontal disease as that causes gum disease. This bacteria causes the inorganic layers of your dentin and enamel to get soft. When the layers soften and then get dissolved by your saliva, it leaves a hole, or cavity, in your tooth. If you do not have this cavity filled by Ganji Dental, it will continue to erode and damage the inner pulp of your tooth.
A mild form of gum disease is known as, Gingivitis. This disease will cause your gums to become irritated, red, and swollen. These symptoms occur in the gingiva or your gums that surround the base of your teeth. This disease should be taken seriously because if not treated, it will lead to more severe gum disease, periodontitis, and tooth loss.
Benefits of Preventive Dentistry
All age groups benefit from preventive dentistry. Children benefit the most as it allows their developing permanent teeth to come in healthy and strong. Sealants used by your dentist along with topical fluoride treatments prevent decay from developing in your child’s teeth. Adults also benefit from preventive dentistry to maintain the health of their teeth and reduce the risk of having to get dentures.
Your overall health is connected to your oral health, as the mouth is the breeding ground for bacteria. When you keep your mouth healthy, you help keep your body as a whole healthy. Preventive dentistry can reduce the risk of secondary health issues such as cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, respiratory disease, and heart disease.
The treatment for cancer weakens your immune system. If you do not have good oral health, you will be more susceptible to infection. If the virus becomes severe enough, it could delay your treatments for cancer.
Radiation therapy used in treating cancer can damage your salivary glands and cause sticky, thick saliva. This saliva can lead to dry mouth which increases your chances of tooth decay and infection.
A major health problem is emerging which affects middle-aged and older individuals known as osteoporosis. This disease reduces bone mass and strength and makes those with the disease more prone to fractures. Osteoporosis has many risk factors, but increasing evidence is pointing at issues from oral health as being significant contributors.
One of the most common dental disease affecting those living with diabetes is Periodontal disease. Those with diabetes are at a higher risk for gum issues due to their inability to control blood sugar. Infections, such as gum disease, cause blood sugar to rise. If there is a rise in blood sugar, it will become harder to control diabetes, making you more susceptible to infections and less able to fight bacteria from damaging your gums.
A study conducted in 2011 suggests periodontal disease increases the risk of respiratory disease. The infection caused by bacteria in the upper throat is inhaled into the lower respiratory tract. The study’s results showed many patients with respiratory diseases were also diagnosed with severe periodontal health.
There has been a connection made between oral health and heart disease. Studies have shown periodontitis is connected with an increased risk of developing heart disease. When you do not have good oral hygiene, it increases the risk of bacterial infection in your bloodstream, which will then affect the valves in your heart. Studies are also showing a connection between tooth loss patterns and coronary artery disease.
Preventive dentistry has also been shown to reduce the risk of low birth weights and premature birth. Maintaining your oral health and using proper dental hygiene techniques when you are pregnant is important. This care includes visiting Ganji Dental during your pregnancy for routine checkups.
How to Practice Preventive Dentistry at Home
An excellent habit for you to develop is to brush your teeth daily with a fluoride toothpaste. This habit will increase your chances of retaining a healthy, beautiful smile. Check the label on your toothpaste to make sure the American Dental Association approves it. It is also recommended by the ADA; you replace your toothbrush about every three months or when you notice the bristles begin to fray. Brushing should also include your tongue to remove bacteria and help keep your breath fresh.
Flossing is recommended to clean out the tiny spaces in between your teeth. When you floss your teeth, you remove debris, food particles, and plaque that gets stuck in between your teeth which your toothbrush cannot reach. The practice of flossing will help you keep both your teeth and gums healthy. If you have braces, you will need to use floss threaders.
Another benefit for practicing preventive dentistry at home beside reducing the risk of health issues is it can save you money. If you do not take good care of your teeth, it increases your chances of having cavities which means you will have to pay for filling them or could end up needing a costly procedure of either a root canal or dental implant. Taking care of your teeth can go a long way towards avoiding expensive dental treatments.
Other Ways to Practice Preventive Dentistry at Home
Having a balanced diet will also help you protect your teeth as it will provide them the nutrients they need. By limiting your sugar, including carbohydrates such as white bread, along with drinking water throughout the day, improves the protection to your teeth.
Vitamins are an important part of oral health as well. Eat a varied diet and take the proper vitamins and you help keep your smile beautiful. When your diet is rich in minerals and vitamins, you help naturally strengthen your tooth enamel. Vitamins and minerals also protect teeth against drinks and foods that are responsible for acid erosion. Some of the minerals and vitamins you can include in your diet to support your teeth’s enamel include calcium, Vitamin D, phosphorus, and Vitamin A.
Find a Preventative Dentistry Practice Near Me
If you live near Hawthorne or nearby areas, call Ganji Dental your local Hawthorne dentist for all your dental needs at 310-643-8045. We have the highest quality of dental care for you and your entire family. We provide the tools needed to maintain excellent oral health and work with every patient to make sure your smile continues to shine.