Learn how to keep your teeth and gums in good condition and what we can do to help you. Prevention is the key! If we can prevent gum disease or cavities or even catch small cavities and gum disease in their earliest stages, we can prevent the loss of teeth, prevent the need for major reconstruction of your teeth through root canal, crowns and large fillings, and conserve precious tooth structure. Some preventative measures that we employ include:
Brushing and Flossing
Tooth brushing – Brush your teeth at least twice per day. The most important time to brush is before going to bed because during the night, plaque bacteria can build up and cause cavities and gum disease.Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between your teeth. Believe it or not, floss covers more of your tooth than your toothbrush! That is, if you are properly wrapping the floss in a C-shape around your tooth and sliding it below the gum and wiping the side of your tooth between your tooth. Your toothbrush can only clean above the gum line, but dental floss gets below it, where the bacteria and plaque resides.
What is a Dental Sealant?A dental sealant is a plastic coating that is applied to the grooves and pits of teeth on the chewing surface. Grooves in back teeth can be so narrow that toothbrush bristles can’t get inside them to clean them properly, but guess what does? Bacteria. Bacteria that cause tooth decay. By having the plastic sealant coating placed over the teeth, we can prevent the most common cause of tooth decay in both kids and adults.
Who should get Dental Sealants?
Children should receive them on their permanent teeth as soon as they erupt. Usually this is at age 6, 12 and 17. Anyone can have a dental sealant placed as long as there is no decay present, or a filling.
Fluoride is the most effective agent to help prevent tooth decay and sensitivity. It works in two ways.
- Topical Fluoride strengthens teeth after they have erupted by seeping into the outer enamel surface and making the tooth more resistant to decay. Fluoride is in toothpaste, rinses, and gels. Professionally applied fluoride, in the dentist’s office, is recommended twice a year during your cleaning/check up appointment.
- Systemic Fluoride strengthens teeth that haven’t yet erupted, and teeth that have already erupted. The most common source of systemic fluoride is in our municipal water supplies. Parents need to watch children when they brush their teeth to make sure they do not swallow their toothpaste. Excess fluoride causes fluorosis, which causes white spots and sometimes even dark brown spots on teeth.
TMJ or Grinding Splints can be made for people who grind or clench their teeth. Splints basically protect the teeth from wear, which at times can be severe if not treated. The bite guard is worn at night when most unconscious grinding and subsequent damage to the teeth occurs. People who find they grind their teeth during the day, may also wear their guard as needed.
- Sport Mouthguards
- Athletic Mouthguards
Protection of the front teeth is critical when playing contact sports, such as soccer, football, hockey, and even baseball. We can make custom made mouthguards in lots of different colors for the athlete in the family. All it takes is a simple impression. We do the rest.