Preventive dentistry requires good at-home oral hygiene as well as regular professional dental checkups and care.
To maintain basic oral hygiene, you should brush and floss twice daily. Here's a great video from the American Dental Association on how to do it right:
In addition to brushing and flossing twice daily, the American Dental Association recommends dental checkups at least twice a year for patients with good oral health. Depending on your health or dental history, your dentist or hygienist may recommend more frequent visits.
What to Expect During a Checkup
- Cleaning and polishing:
Your dental hygienist will remove any tartar from your teeth with a special instrument called a hand scaler or ultrasonic dental instrument. He or she will then polish your teeth to remove any remaining plaque or stains.
Both your dental hygienist and dentist will examine your teeth, gums, and mouth, to look for changes or signs of a problem. If you have any visible problems, your dentist may recommend a particular treatment or may refer you to a specialist, such as a periodontist or orthodontist, for additional treatment. It's alway best to take care of dental issues as soon as they arise because the treatment is much more conservative in early stages and results better long-term results.
If you have x-rays from a previous dentist, you should always provide them to your new dentist. We only take x-rays on an as-needed basis to look for decay, gum disease, or other dental problems. Smile Source dentists use the latest in technology to make x-rays as quick and comfortable as possible.
- Flouride Treatment:
Fluoride varnishes may be recommended to help prevent decay. If you are particularly at risk of decay, your dentist may prescribe a high-strength fluoride toothpaste.
A sealant is a protective plastic coating which is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. Sealants are a safe and painless way of protecting your teeth from decay. The sealant forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth and causing decay.