Preventive dentistry spares you the pain of tooth decay, gum disease, and other problems. Preventive dentistry saves you potentially thousands of dollars and hours spent in the dentist’s chair for costly and invasive restorations. Preventive dentistry helps keep your natural teeth and gums in excellent condition for life.
Want to do the best thing you can for the health of your mouth? Brush up on your preventive dentistry basics.
Preventive Dentistry Begins at Home
You only see us at Callow Family Dentistry twice a year, so your day-to-day dental care happens at home. And you’ve probably been brushing — and hopefully flossing — your entire life. But are you sure you are using the proper technique or do you tend to just go through the motions? Read on for tips on keeping your teeth and gums in tip-top shape.
How to Brush
- Brush your teeth at least twice every day and for two minutes at a time.
- Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Reach all surfaces of the teeth, including the backs, and brush your tongue, too. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gumline and use short strokes.
- Replace the toothbrush when the bristles become frayed, or every few months.
- Take care to not brush to hard. Be thorough, but gentle. Scrubbing with too much force can wear down your tooth enamel, damage your gums, and make you vulnerable to cavities.
How to Floss
- Foss at least once every day.
- Use about 18 inches of floss at a time. Wrap most of it around your middle fingers, leaving about an inch to work with.
- Hold the floss taut, and move it up and down between your teeth. Keep it tight against the enamel, so it can help remove bacteria and sticky plaque.
- Curve the floss around the base of each tooth and clean gently under the gumline.
- For each tooth, use a fresh section of floss.
Keep Your Diet Tooth-Friendly
- Load up on calcium-rich dairy products and leafy greens, which are important to keep your teeth healthy and strong. Cheese in particular has been shown to raise pH levels in the mouth, protecting the teeth from decay.
- Try not to snack throughout the day. This tends to keep your teeth coated in a film of nasty bacteria and plaque.
- Avoid chewy, sweet foods like gummy snacks, soft granola bars, and even dried fruit.
- Choose water over soft drinks, juices, and sports drinks. Water rinses away decay-causing microbes and helps keep your teeth clean between brushings.
Preventive Dentistry Continues at our Office
The Basic Checkup
Even if you do everything right at home, it’s still important to come to Callow Family Dentistry for a checkup every six months. Here’s what you can expect:
- One of our skilled hygienists will give your teeth a meticulous cleaning. We are able to remove plaque and tartar below the gumline and other places that you just can’t reach at home. And we use a high-tech ultrasonic scaler to clean your teeth, which is much quicker and more comfortable than old-school tools. We will also floss and polish your teeth so that they are smooth and gleaming.
- Dr. Callow will give your mouth a thorough examination. He will check for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, and bruxism, or teeth grinding.
- We may take digital X-rays (which are faster and expose you to much less radiation than film X-rays). These allow us to see hidden cavities, abscesses, impacted teeth, cysts, and other problems not visible to the naked eye. We also use an intraoral camera and a DIAGNOdent non-invasive laser cavity-detection tool, which enables us to locate decay in its earliest stages.
Additional Preventive Services
- Dental sealants may be done at any age, but they are especially valuable for children. The American Dental Association says they can reduce the chance of cavities in kids by as much as 60 percent. A sealant is a protective coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of molars. It shields the teeth from destructive acids that eat away at the enamel and lead to tooth decay.
- Calcium and phosphate are minerals that are essential for keeping your teeth strong. They must be replenished continuously in a process called remineralization. When fluoride is present during that process, it helps harden the calcium and phosphate. At Callow Family Dentistry, we offer fluoride treatments to ensure you and your kids’ teeth are getting the fluoride they need.