Preventive dentistry helps patients avoid the costly and invasive procedures that are often needed for serious dental conditions. Maintaining dental health helps patients look and feel their best and can positively affect their overall health as well.
Preventing dental conditions requires a lifelong commitment that usually begins with the appearance of the first tooth. Children should see a dentist shortly after this to begin developing proper dental hygiene habits. Parents play an important role in helping their children develop and maintain these habits throughout childhood and early adulthood.
Comprehensive dental oral exams and cleanings are recommended at a minimum of every six months for all patients. These visits help identify any tooth decay or early signs of gum disease or oral cancer through diagnostic digital radiographs to minimize radiation to gather valuable information with minimal risk to the patient and physical examination. Early detection of these conditions can help ensure effective treatment and prevent permanent damage.
Regular cleanings help keep teeth clean and healthy through thorough exams provided by a licensed dental hygienist. A dental cleaning includes removal of tartar and plaque above and slightly below the gum, which can buildup and cause inflammation and disease if left untreated. The teeth are also polished during a cleaning to remove stains and further buildups of plaque that may not be removed during regular tooth brushing. Dr. McClatchie’s office utilizes the newest technology with an ultrasonic cleaner that allows for more effective removal of plaque and tarter.
In order to ensure a happy and healthy smile, patients must take an active role in their dental care. This involves brushing your teeth at least twice a day, especially before going to bed at night. The ADA recommends brushing for at least two minutes with a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste to clean every surface of each tooth.
It is also recommended to floss at least once each day to clean the spaces between the teeth and under the gums. This prevents plaque from forming and prevents permanent damage to the gums, teeth and bone. Rinsing your mouth with water should be done after brushing, flossing and all meals if possible. Over-the-counter mouthwashes are often helpful in freshening breath and protecting the mouth from disease as well.
Eating balanced meals and reducing the number of snacks you eat can also help improve your dental hygiene. Other home dental aids are also available to help keep teeth as healthy as possible in between visits to the dentist. Your doctor will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for your teeth at home. It is important to follow these instructions to ensure good dental health.
The objective of scaling & root planning is to remove etiologic agents which cause inflammation to the gingival (gum) tissue and surrounding bone. Common etiologic agents removed by this conventional periodontal therapy include dental plaque and tartar (calculus).
These non-surgical procedures which completely cleanse the periodontium, work very effectively for individuals suffering from gingivitis (mild gum inflammation) and moderate/severe periodontal disease.