Oral diseases can cause pain, discomfort, poor appearance and loss of self-esteem. Luckily, problems like cavities and gum disease are largely preventable with the proper care. Practicing preventative dentistry protects your beautiful smile and reduces your risk of developing serious dental problems.
The prevention of dental disease and the pursuit of oral health includes both professional services offered at McDonald Family Dentistry and at-home oral hygiene habits.
Preventative Dentistry Services
Oral Exams and Cleanings
Routine oral exams and cleanings are the foundation to preventative dental care. Our dental hygienists perform thorough gentle cleanings using techniques and instruments that can remove bacteria even your toothbrush can’t reach. Our hygienists also strive to educate you about the best ways to take care of your teeth at home, based on our knowledge and your individual diagnosis. After your cleaning, you should feel more prepared to take care of your oral health in between visits.
Oral exams identify signs of dental problems early, when they are more easily treated with less-invasive means. During an exam, Dr. McDonald performs a thorough visual examination of your mouth, including your teeth, gums and other soft tissues, looking for any abnormalities.
Regular X-rays allow Dr. McDonald a more comprehensive view of your teeth, including a look at the insides and spaces between your teeth, where decay often develops. Though X-rays are usually not needed at every visit, they should be performed approximately once a year.
Professional fluoride treatments are also an important piece of some preventative dentistry routines. Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens teeth and prevents cavities. Dr. McDonald can apply a highly concentrated fluoride solution in the form of a varnish, gel or foam to your teeth if he feels it would help you.
What Is Your Role In Preventative Dental Care?
In between professional preventative care visits, you should be diligent about at-home oral care. Your daily oral hygiene habits play a crucial role in preventing dental health problems.
Most importantly, you must brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day, using the techniques you have learned from our team. Using a soft-bristled brush and fluoridated toothpaste, you should make small circular motions to clean every exposed tooth surface. It should take you approximately two minutes to clean every tooth. When flossing, you should slip the piece of floss in between every tooth, guiding it from the top of the tooth to below the gumline. Once you’ve brushed and flossed, you can finish off by rinsing out the dislodged bacteria and food particles from your mouth with a mouth rinse.
Careful, consistent brushing and flossing keeps your mouth clean and healthy and helps reduce the risk of tooth loss due to dental disease.
Contact Our Practice Today
For more information about preventative dentistry or to schedule your next exam and cleaning, we invite you to call McDonald Family Dentistry or send us an email.