Solid preventive care is the foundation for your oral and overall health. Good at-home hygiene habits, in combination with professional cleanings, can keep your smile free from decay and other oral health issues like gum disease. Regular exams allow us to monitor your oral health so you can address any minor concerns before they become larger, more costly, and more invasive issues.
Cleaning & Hygiene
Regular teeth cleanings and hygiene appointments are the foundation of preventive dental care. During your cleaning, we will thoroughly cleanse your teeth and gums, removing any plaque or debris from every surface in your mouth. You’ll even be able to reverse minor stains to keep your smile bright and beautiful. We recommend scheduling routine cleanings and exams every six months for most patients.
However, good oral hygiene shouldn’t stop when you leave our office. Keeping up with your at-home brushing and flossing routine is equally as important as attending professional cleanings, and is the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Use a fluoride-rich toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time; and don’t forget to floss! Flossing at least once every day, ideally before going to bed, helps to get rid of food particles, plaque, and bacteria that can’t be removed with brushing alone.
Digital x-rays are safe, quick, and comfortable. Using the latest technology, we can create crisp, high-resolution images of your mouth’s structure, so we can make accurate diagnoses and treatment plans. Digital x-rays use only a fraction of the radiation as traditional film x-rays, so you can rest easy. Most patients receive one or two full sets of x-rays every year, but we may recommend additional imaging in the case of a dental emergency, or if we find an oral health issue that we need to investigate further.
Fluoride treatments are one of the best ways to keep dental decay at bay. A simple, non-invasive procedure, fluoride treatments help to keep your enamel strong. After your cleaning, we’ll apply a fluoride-rich varnish or gel; we may ask you to refrain from eating or drinking anything for 30 minutes or so following your visit. Fluoride helps kickstart a process called “remineralization,” which restores essential minerals like calcium and phosphates to your teeth, keeping your enamel hard and resistant to acids, like those that cause tooth decay.
Dental sealants are a great way for patients to protect their teeth from decay. Dental sealants are often recommended for children, but can still be a great option for patients of all ages. Plus, dental sealants can provide protection for your teeth for years after being applied.
Applying dental sealants is a quick, non-invasive procedure that utilizes a dental resin that is applied to the molars. The uneven surface of molars, which are located in the rear of the mouth, are filled with grooves where plaque and bacteria can flourish. After application, the resin is cured with a UV light, causing it to harden into a powerful barrier between your teeth and the foods, drinks, acid, and bacteria that lead to decay.
Gum disease, while common, can have serious effects on your oral and overall health if left untreated. Advanced stages of periodontal (gum) disease can lead to gum recession, bone loss, and even tooth loss, so timely treatment is essential. Periodontal care uses a variety of treatments, like deep cleanings, also known as scaling and root planing, to stop gum disease in its tracks and restore your oral health. If your gums are inflamed or bleed easily, if you have persistent bad breath, sensitive teeth, or notice any changes in your bite, get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation and get your smile back on a healthy path.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer screenings are a part of every preventive visit, and are a quick way to fortify your peace of mind. Through consistent exams, we can catch oral cancer early on, which gives us a better chance at treating it before it spreads. A routine oral cancer screening can even save your life!
Your dentist will examine your gums, tongue, and the rest of the soft tissues in your mouth, keeping an eye out for lesions and other abnormalities like lumps and discolorations. If there is anything that concerns us, we may recommend getting a biopsy, which will be analyzed by a specialist to determine the cause of the abnormality. Regular oral cancer screenings allow us to identify any potential problems before they become major issues.
Unconscious teeth grinding and clenching, known as bruxism, is a common issue that tends to happen at night while patients are asleep. However, night guards can help patients alleviate symptoms of bruxism by creating a barrier between your teeth that protects them from grinding-related damage. Depending on the severity of the case, night guards can be made from several different materials with varying degrees of softness.
To get fitted for a night guard, you will receive impressions or digital scans of your teeth and gums that we will use to custom-craft a mold that will then be sent to the lab. Your night guard will be created to match your exact specifications and measurements for a perfect fit. Night guards ease tension in your jaw, alleviating the painful headaches and preventing dental damage caused by clenching and grinding. Night guards can keep your smile healthy and help you get the restful sleep you need.
Sports guards are worn over the teeth, and are specifically designed to protect your mouth from oral trauma caused by high-impact sports. Many sports put players at risk for dental injuries caused by collisions to the mouth, face, or head, but a custom-fitted sports guard can help protect you from chipping, cracking, or knocking out a tooth. Tailored to fit your unique smile, sports guards are both comfortable and durable, so you can play the sports you love without missing a beat.
A sports guard is essential if you’re an athlete who plays football, basketball, baseball, soccer, rugby, hockey, gymnastics, mountain biking, or if you participate in any other activities that put you at risk for injury due to falling, body contact, or flying objects.