What Is Preventive Dentistry?
ANNUAL ORAL HEALTH EXAMINATION
A critical part of preventive dentistry is catching and treating problems before they become painful or require an invasive procedure. Visiting your dentist in Columbus, OH at least one time per year for an oral health examination allows your dental team the opportunity to check for problems, like oral cancer, gum disease, and cancer. Utilizing digital x-rays and other state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, the team at DentalWorks – Easton checks the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. If any concerns are discovered, your dentist will explain your diagnosis and talk about your treatment options. If signs of oral cancer are discovered, you may be referred to an oncologist in Columbus, OH 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.
FIX PROBLEMS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
If your dentist finds a problem during your oral health examination, make sure you return soon to have it fixed. If you’re not going to the dentist regularly and you notice symptoms like dental sensitivity, a toothache, or bleeding gums, schedule an examination with a dentist in Columbus, OH 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.
BI-ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL CLEANINGS
Even though brushing and flossing your teeth every day is an important part of preventing dental problems, you most likely still have some plaque and tartar built up on your teeth. A professional cleaning at a dental practice in Columbus, OH at least twice a year will remove this tartar and plaque buildup. 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 dental professional 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 at home. In addition, this is a good time to ask for advice on proper techniques for brushing and flossing.
In the event you or your children participate in any athletics, you will need to make sure you are protecting your teeth, gums, and jaw with a mouth guard. When playing contact sports (for example, football and hockey), a mouth guard is usually required, but it’s also a good idea to have a mouth guard during any activity where your teeth, gums, and jaw could be at risk (like skateboarding, soccer, or basketball). For superior protection and comfort, ask your dentist in Columbus, OH about a custom athletic mouth guard.
WATCH WHAT YOU EAT
What you eat affects your dental 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.
Frequently recommended for younger patients (since they typically aren’t great about brushing and flossing as much as they need to), dental sealants help patients avoid cavities. Sealants are a flexible plastic material that can be adhered by a dentist to the tops of the back teeth in a quick treatment. This protects the grooves in the back teeth from trapping debris and bacteria where cavities typically form.
PROPER DENTAL ALIGNMENT
Having poor dental alignment can lead to 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 including cavities and gum disease. A dental malocclusion (crossbite, underbite, or overbite) can cause painful problems like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). If you are a parent, ask your dentist in Columbus, OH 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 choices, like Invisalign, which moves your teeth into place with removable aligners.