Prevention

Tooth Cleaning

Why have your teeth cleaned?

Saliva produces a mineral deposit called tartar that accumulates on your teeth. It is very porous and bacteria love to hide in it. Once inside they dump toxic waste on your gums. They also slide between the tooth and the gums creating the gum infection (gingivitis or periodontitis).

Once the tartar is removed the gums can heal.

It is recommended to have your teeth cleaned at least twice a year to prevent gum disease. The dental cleaning also removes dark ugly stains.

Fluoride treatments in the dental office, extra protection for your Teeth

Dental caries (tooth decay) is caused by acid producing bacteria which gathers around teeth and gingivae (gums) as a type of sticky, clear film called “plaque.” If you don’t have a good daily oral care routine and regular dental visits, teeth will become more exposed to caries. Brushing your teeth twice a day and cleaning between teeth with floss or another type of interdental cleaner will help to remove plaque and prevent build up. Regular dental check ups and cleaning appointments also are important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Another key to good oral health is fluoride, a mineral which helps to prevent caries (up to 70% fewer cavities) and can repair teeth in the very early, microscopic stages of the disease. Fluoride can be obtained in two forms: topical and systemic.

Topical fluorides are applied directly to the tooth enamel. Some examples include fluoride containing toothpastes and mouth washes, in addition to fluoride treatments in the dental office. Professional fluoride treatments usally take just a few minutes. The fluoride may be in the form of a solution, gel, foam or varnish. Typically, it is applied with a cotton swab or brush, or it is used as a rinse or placed in a tray that is held in your mouth for a few minutes. After the treatment, you may be asked not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow your teeth to absorb the fluoride and help repair any microscopic carious areas which are present. Depending on your oral health, fluoride treatments may be recommended every three, six or twelve months. Your dentist can may recommend additional preventive measures if you are at a moderate or high risk of developing caries. These measures can include over-the-counter or prescription therapeutic products such as fluoride mouth washes, gels or antibacterial mouth washes.

Dental Sealants

Highly effective in preventing decay on the biting surfaces of your chewing teeth, sealants are a very simple procedure whereby a tooth colored filling is applied onto the surface of the tooth. This “seals” the deep grooves, acting as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. This procedure helps to prevent most cavities, but not all. You must also use dental floss to eliminate cavities that could form between your teeth. Sealants cannot be applied between the teeth.

Sealants protect the depressions and grooves of your teeth from food particles and plaque, where brushing can’t reach.

Easy to apply, sealants take only a few minutes to seal each tooth. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and can last several years before a reapplication is needed. 

Children and adults can benefit from sealants in the fight against tooth decay.

Bruxism, or grinding, is difficult to detect as it occurs when one is sleeping

If you have woken up with a head ache an aching jaw or even an ear ache, you could be grinding your teeth.

This reflex called bruxism wears down and weakens your teeth. It can be caused by stress, anxiety, anger, abnormally positioned teeth or missing teeth.

Unfortunately, bruxism is difficult to detect as it happens at night. On top of aching muscles you will notice flattened and sharpened teeth.

A protector also called a nightguard appliance can be made to protect your teeth and to release muscle tension thereby reducing or eliminating the grinding.

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