Preventive dentistry includes any task designed to stop oral health problems before they start. Brushing twice and flossing at least once a day are the main ways you can keep your teeth clean between visits. However, plaque that remains between teeth and at the gum line for 48 hours will calcify into tartar. This hard, bacteria-filled substance promotes cavities and can only be safely removed by a dentist or hygienist.
So, in addition to a daily routine of brushing and flossing, you need to visit the dentist for an exam and cleaning twice a year. Dental visits should begin for children by the age of one year. Cleanings usually start around age four to six.
Any time you or a family member experiences a toothache that isn’t alleviated by flossing, schedule a dental appointment. Preventive dentistry includes addressing dental issues, like cracks and cavities, early, before more advanced damage occurs.
Preventing Cavities, Gum Disease, and Bad Breath
Plaque is the naturally-occurring, sticky, bacteria-laden film that builds up on teeth. The bacteria in plaque can cause bad breath, cavities, and gum disease. These problems can interfere with daily life. Bad breath is embarrassing! And a toothache is painful! Regular home care and professional dental treatment will reduce plaque and tartar (also called calculus), promote fresh breath, and deter cavities and gum disease.
Preventing Cracks and Chips
For some patients, teeth crack and chip due to malocclusion, which means the upper and lower teeth don’t fit together as they should when the mouth is closed. Other times, chips and cracks occur after biting down on a fork, seed, or another hard surface. Athletes may chip or crack teeth during sports if they neglect to wear a mouthguard.
Dr. Young and our team will examine your jaws and teeth and also discuss lifestyle factors that contribute to oral health concerns. We want to help you avoid chips and cracks, but if they do occur, we want to address them as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Deterring Tooth Loss
The loss of one tooth that’s not replaced with an implant or bridge can lead to the loss of additional teeth, according to studies. By explaining why teeth fall out or require extraction, and by providing tools to prevent tooth loss, our team will partner with you to keep your teeth strong and healthy for a lifetime.
Preventing Crooked Teeth and Malocclusion
Few people have genes that lead to straight teeth and healthy occlusion. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers ways to address orthodontic issues, beginning in childhood. Dr. Young provides complete orthodontic care for children and adults, so your smile is in good hands at our office.