A preventive program is a cooperative effort by the patient, dentist, and dental staff to preserve the natural dentition and supporting structures by preventing the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental diseases and conditions.
Preventing dental disease starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet. It is continued in the dental office by the efforts of your dentist and dental hygienist to promote, restore, and maintain your oral health.
Prevention also includes regular dental exams, cleanings, and x-rays. Sealants and fluoride are also great preventive treatments that help protect the teeth.
Prevention helps avoid serious and costly dental problems and is the key to having a healthy, confident, beautiful smile.
When you come for your regular exam, we take x-rays and perform a complete examination of your teeth and mouth. Many problems that arise can be seen by examining the inside of your mouth. Your tongue, the sides of our mouth and the roof of your mouth can all give us indications of problems or unusual bacterial growth that needs attention.
Most people don’t realize that simple things like breathing through their mouth instead of their nose can cause dry mouth. Dry mouth is a symptom that your mouth is producing insufficient saliva. Saliva is an important aspect of your oral health. It “washes” your teeth in between brushings and helps remove food particles that would otherwise interact with your mouth’s natural bacteria. This interaction eventually leads to tooth decay if not taken care of.
Saliva also helps to remove plaque. Plaque, if allowed to stay on your teeth, will harden and become tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by your toothbrush. It is calcified and can only be removed with special tools.
Another procedure your dentist can perform, but you can’t, is to remove the bacteria that hide under your gums. These bacteria can lead to tooth decay and also to gum disease. If you notice that your gums are red, swollen, or bleed when you brush your teeth, you should immediately contact us to make an appointment. We can usually treat this stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, fairly easily.
When we clean your teeth in our office, we use special tools. We can detect and scrape the tartar from your teeth without damaging the enamel that protects them. We have seen the dental tools that are sold over-the-counter. They look similar to those that we use but are not the same. In an untrained hand, these tools can cause permanent damage to your teeth.
We have seen this damage when we notice that the enamel on a patient’s teeth is not as thick as it should be or its thickness is uneven on a single tooth. Enamel is one of the hardest substances in your body. When we mention this to our patient, in the hope that we can find a cause we can fix, many times they mention these tools.
For a dental cleaning, contact us at 914-693-0199 to make an appointment.