Preventive Dentistry

Preventive dentistry is the area of dentistry aimed to help people prevent oral disease and its further development. Preventive dentistry includes not just in-office dental care, but at-home treatments as well.

Some examples of at-home treatments include:

  • Regular brushing– the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing two times a day and directly after meals, when possible
  • Regular flossing– the ADA recommends flossing at least once a day
  • Rinsing with anti-bacterial mouth wash– recommended after each brushing

Proper brushing is an essential part in preventive dentistry. The proper way to brush your teeth is to use a soft nylon toothbrush with round-ended bristles. Next both the tooth surface and the gum line should be brushed by placing the brush at a 45-degree angle along the gum line and brushing gently in a rolling back-and-forth motion on the surface of the teeth. When brushing you should cover the inner surfaces of your teeth and then tilt the brush in order to brush the front teeth. The ideal brushing technique also involves the brushing of the tongue. Brushing should last until all teeth a gum lines have been thoroughly brushed.

Dental Exam

A comprehensive dental exam is performed at your initial dental visit. Regular check-up exams include the following:

  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer or other abnormalities.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay.
  • Examination of existing restorations and appliances: Check current fillings, crowns, dental implants, dentures, partial dentures, orthodontic retainers, night guards to prevent tooth grinding damage and bridges.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are performed by Registered Dental Hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:

  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with dental instruments.
  • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (metabolic bi-products) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
  • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
  • Education: During your visits you can count on candid discussions about your dental needs. You will receive a customized treatment plan to help you accomplish your dental health goals. Your dental hygienist and Gilbert dentist will listen and address your concerns.

Cleanings & Prevention

Always remember that carefully brushing, flossing, and consuming healthy foods can keep your smile healthy and beautiful. Dental cleanings and exams from your dental office can also prevent problems like cavities, tartar build-up, and periodontal disease. Dental cleanings help remove hardened deposits of tartar, and regular dental exams can catch the early signs of periodontal disease.

Sealants are invisible plastic coatings that fill the tiny grooves in the teeth in the back of your mouth so bacteria doesn’t have a place to settle. They help prevent cavities from forming and the need for fillings later on.

If your teeth are at greater risk for developing cavities, we can provide you with dental sealants to help block decay-causing bacteria and protect your teeth. Sealants are a fast and highly effective way to prevent tooth decay and keep your smile healthy.

Fluoride strengthens teeth and prevents tooth decay. Fluoride treatments are provided in dental offices, and dentists recommend using fluoride toothpastes, and mouth rinses at home. Flouride is even added to public drinking water. Fluoride can even reverse tiny cavities that are starting to form.

A nightguard is a custom-made acrylic mouthpiece that is worn to protect the teeth from grinding (bruxing) or clenching, mostly occurring during sleep. Many people clench and/or grind their teeth and may not even know it. Some people do this every night, and some only do this occasionally. Occasional grinding does not usually cause harm.

When grinding occurs on a continual basis, the teeth can be badly damaged and cause other oral health complications. Chronic grinding can also affect your jaw, resulting in possible hearing loss, cause or worsen TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face. At our office we believe there’s no reason not to have beautiful teeth at the age of 80, but it must begin by preventing wear on teeth starting years sooner.