The Importance of Preventive Dentistry

Although you most likely don’t love going to the dentist, you probably dislike tooth pain more. Whether you are motivated by avoiding pain or getting a beautiful smile, preventive dentistry should be part of your daily routine. At DentalWorks – Cary Crossroads, our team of dental professionals works with each of our patients to improve their oral health with preventive dentistry. Starting with visits to our dental practice in Cary, NC at least twice a year and following a fantastic oral hygiene routine at home, we help our patients avoid painful dental problems. If you have dental insurance, preventive dentistry appointments are often covered since they will help you save you time and money in the long run. We’ve shared a review of the most significant elements of any preventive dentistry plan for patients in Cary, NC. Read on to learn more and then schedule an appointment at DentalWorks – Cary Crossroads for yourself and your family to start your preventive dentistry plan.

    If your dentist finds a problem during your oral health examination, make sure you come back to have it addressed. If you are not going to the dentist regularly and you notice symptoms like sensitive teeth, tooth pain, or bleeding gums, schedule an examination with a dentist in Cary, NC right away. Most dental problems don’t heal themselves, so ignoring a diagnosis or symptoms will only make the problem worse. Early diagnosis and treatment can help you avoid a more invasive and expensive procedure later.
    A critical part of preventive dentistry is identifying and treating problems before they become painful or require an invasive procedure. Visiting your dentist in Cary, NC at least one time each year for an oral health examination allows your dental team the opportunity to check for problems, like oral cancer, gum disease, and cancer. Employing digital x-rays and other state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, the team at DentalWorks – Cary Crossroads checks the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. If any issues are discovered, your dentist will explain your diagnosis and speak about your treatment options. If signs of oral cancer are discovered, you may be referred to an oncologist in Cary, NC for a biopsy and treatment. While it’s tempting to avoid the dentist so you don’t have to find out about problems or get treatment, early diagnosis typically means an easier, less invasive treatment.
    Professional fluoride treatments are advised for children twice a year. Fluoride can fortify and protect the enamel while the teeth grow. Adults who are more prone to cavities or have weak enamel might request fluoride treatments at the dentist. Many cities add fluoride to their drinking water to help their residents, but if you are in an area that doesn’t have fluoride in the water, you drink bottled water, or your city doesn’t add enough fluoride (the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends 0.7 mg of fluoride per liter of drinking water), ask your dentist about home fluoride treatments.
    Since most people are just at the dentist’s office two days a year, it’s crucial that you take good care of your mouth the rest of the year on your own. To prevent oral health problems, you will need to brush your teeth at least twice every day with a fluoridated toothpaste. Whether you prefer a manual or electric toothbrush, make sure you’re brushing for two minutes with light pressure moving your toothbrush in small circles across your teeth and gumline. You also will need to make sure you are getting a new toothbrush (or brush head for electric toothbrushes) every three months or earlier if the bristles are worn. In addition to brushing twice a day, you should be flossing at least once every day. Proper flossing removes debris and plaque between your teeth and helps to keep your gums healthy. If you’re not sure about your brushing or flossing technique, ask your dentist or hygienist for help in your next appointment.
    More often recommended for younger kids (since they typically aren’t great about brushing and flossing as much as they ought to), dental sealants help reduce the risk of cavities. Sealants are a flexible plastic material that can be adhered by a dentist to the tops of the premolars and molars in a quick appointment. This protects the grooves in the back teeth from trapping debris and bacteria where cavities typically form.
    In case you or your children participate in any sports, you want to make sure you are protecting your teeth and gums with a mouth guard. In contact sports (for example, football and hockey), a mouth guard is usually compulsory, but it’s also a good idea to use a mouth guard during any activity where your teeth and gums might be at risk (like skateboarding, soccer, or basketball). For greater protection and comfort, ask your dentist in Cary, NC about a custom athletic mouth guard.
    What you eat affects your oral health as much as your waistline. Sugary foods and drinks (particularly candy, sodas, and juices) encourage the growth of bacteria that turns into cavities. Try to limit sugar and processed foods or at the very least, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth as soon as possible after eating and drinking. To help remove buildup from your teeth, snack on crunchy vegetables like celery and drink fluoridated tap water.
    Although brushing and flossing your teeth every day is an important part of preventing dental problems, you likely still have some plaque and tartar built up on your teeth. A professional cleaning by a dentist in Cary, NC at least twice a year will remove this plaque and tartar. Using special tools that help remove buildup from even the hardest to reach areas of your enamel, a dental hygienist carefully scales your teeth during a professional cleaning so the plaque and tartar don’t turn into cavities or gum disease. After your teeth are scaled and are free of buildup, a team member will polish your enamel to remove stains, which will brighten your smile. After your cleaning is finished, your dental hygienist may talk to you about any areas they found with excessive buildup so you can concentrate on these spots when you clean at home. Additionally, this is a good time to ask for advice on proper flossing and brushing techniques.
    If your teeth aren’t aligned, it might result in serious dental problems. Teeth that are crooked or too close together are more difficult to clean properly, which puts you at higher risk for problems such as cavities and gum disease. A dental malocclusion (crossbite, underbite, or overbite) can result in painful problems like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). If you are a parent, ask your dentist in Cary, NC to check your child’s dental alignment and recommend an orthodontic treatment if necessary. If you never had braces as a child and your teeth are out of alignment, there are many great modern orthodontic possibilities, like Invisalign, which gently moves your teeth into place with removable, clear aligners.