Dental Preventative Care
There are many forms of preventive care, such as daily brushing and annual dental cleanings. These practices are designed to ensure that teeth are clean, strong, and white. Children should be taught proper oral hygiene at an early age. The most important part of preventive dentistry is to brush teeth daily with fluoride toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Most people should replace their toothbrushes three to four times a year or as the bristles start to fray. Daily flossing is also recommended. Flossing helps to clean out the tight spaces between the teeth. People with braces may need to use floss threaders to get between the metal brackets.
Annual dental cleanings and exams allow dentists to identify problems and take care of them right away. Eating a balanced diet also helps to protect the teeth by providing them with the nutrients they need.- Learn more
Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities. They are a plastic material usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often.
Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by 'sealing out' plaque and food.
Sealants are easy for your dentist to apply. The sealant is painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and may last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.
The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates. But adults can benefit from sealants as well.- Learn more
Fluoride is a mineral that helps fight tooth decay. It is found in public water supplies, toothpaste and many other dental products.
Often called, "nature's cavity fighter," fluoride helps repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay can be seen. Research shows that fluoride helps prevent cavities in children and adults by making teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that cause cavities. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other fluoride dental products, you are preventing cavities and strengthening your teeth's enamel.- Learn more