Preventive dental care refers to the steps taken by a dentist to prevent tooth decay for a patient. This includes dental cleanings, X-rays, fluoride treatments, sealants, and any other form of care that protects and preserves the teeth. Preventive dentistry is one of the main services dentist’s offer, and it comes with significant benefits.
Cavities are caused by food particles that cling to teeth, turn into plaque, and weaken the enamel (the hard outer layer of a tooth). Weak spots or holes in the enamel allow the bacteria to reach the dentin (the soft, inner part of the tooth), resulting in a cavity. Cavities can be painful as the interior of the tooth contains nerves that respond with pain when the cavity exposes them. Professional dental cleanings should be performed every 6 months (or more frequently if gum disease is present) to remove plaque from the teeth to prevent cavities.
Prevents Gum Disease
Another potential problem that comes from plaque buildup is gum disease. Plaque feeds the bacteria in your mouth, allowing them to become overpopulated and infect your gum tissue. Gum disease can cause the gums to become inflamed and swollen. You may notice blood when you brush or floss your teeth, which is an indication that gum disease is present. Regular dental cleanings remove plaque from your teeth and even below the gum line where your toothbrush can’t reach. If gum disease is severe or recurring, your dentist may need to perform scaling or root planing procedures to treat the gum disease.
A common side effect of both tooth decay and gum disease is bad breath. If you or a loved one notice that your breath is less than desirable, it could be the result of some dental issues. The good news is that regular cleanings can prevent and eliminate bad breath by treating it at the source.
Improves the Appearance of Teeth
When plaque builds up on the teeth they can turn yellow or brown and look dingy. As part of a regular cleaning, hygienists use special tools to remove plaque and polish your teeth so that they are smooth and shiny. If you have severe discoloration, your dentist may offer other cosmetic procedures such as whitening treatments, cosmetic bonding, or veneers.
Identifies Any Dental Problems Early
Identifies any dental problems early. Cavity-detecting checkup X-rays are typically taken every year or two (depending on risk factors) at your dental cleaning. These images of your teeth will indicate if there are any cavities between the teeth or below the gum line that can’t be seen by your dentist’s eye. X-ray images allow your dentist to identify these issues early so that they can be treated as soon as possible. If cavities are left untreated for too long they can cause pain and lead to the need for more in-depth procedures, such as root canal treatments. Early detection can save you money and discomfort.
Prevents Other Related Health Problems
Research has indicated a direct correlation between dental health and a variety of other health issues such as heart disease and diabetes. Your oral health is a pretty accurate indicator of your overall health, making preventive dental care more important than ever.
Covered by Many Dental Insurance Plans
Covered by many dental insurance plans. If you have dental insurance, it most likely helps pay for two regular cleanings and exams per year, one of those including X-rays. Insurance companies are willing to cover these appointments because in many cases they prevent the need for more expensive dental procedures.
Preventive Care at Creekview Dental
At Creekview Dental we believe in the importance of preventive dental care, which is why we provide complete dental services for adults and children. From the time a child is between 18 months and 2 years old through the rest of their life, regular dental cleanings are an important part of proper oral health. Bring the whole family to one convenient location for all of your dental care needs.
Call or text (651) 738-8204 or contact us today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you maintain a healthy smile for a lifetime.