It’s poor practice only to visit a dentist when something hurts or is loose because these are symptoms of greater problems and often indicate that an issue has already developed. Instead, regular exams and cleanings, as well as other procedures, are necessary for preventive dentistry and the overall health and wellness of the mouth.
Preventive dentistry refers to the practice of caring for the mouth to help stop problems from starting. Humans practice preventive dentistry every day through the process of brushing and flossing their teeth to eliminate plaque and bacteria. But there is only so much that can be done at home, which is why it’s important to visit a qualified professional at least twice a year to receive proper treatment.
There are several different procedures that qualify as preventive dentistry. The most frequently seen are biannual cleanings and exams, fluoride treatments, the application of sealants, and regular x-rays. During cleaning and exam, the dentist will perform a visual and tactile inspection of the teeth to look for cavities and the early stages of periodontal disease. When found early, these conditions can be reversed and prevent numerous problems from occurring. X-rays are typically done during regular exams.
A fluoride treatment is when the dentist applies a thin liquid coating of the mineral fluoride to the teeth. This mineral helps build up the enamel that protects the soft interior of the tooth from the harsh conditions is experienced while eating and chewing. The enamel is also important to catch plaque, a substance that can wear down the teeth. Older children, adults, and the elderly can all receive a fluoride treatment.
Sealants are substances that are placed over the teeth to form an extra layer of protection. While they don’t rebuild the enamel, they can help prevent plaque from eating through a tooth’s enamel, so the teeth remain healthy and strong. Most sealants can last for a year, if not longer.
If any of these procedures are something you are interested in, then make an appointment with Digital Smiles today to help preserve your healthy smile.