HOW PREVENTIVE DENTISTRY CAN SAVE YOU MONEY, TIME, AND PAIN
Even though you may not love going to the dentist, you probably dislike pain and dental problems more. Whether you're motivated by avoiding pain or keeping an attractive smile, preventive dentistry should be part of your daily routine. At DentalWorks - Beaver Valley, our team of dental professionals works with each of our patients to improve their oral health with preventive dentistry. Starting with visits to our dental practice in Monaca, PA at least twice a year and following an excellent oral hygiene routine at home, we help our patients avoid painful dental problems. If you have dental insurance, preventive dentistry appointments are often covered since they will help save you money and time in the long run. We have listed a review of the most essential pieces of any preventive dentistry plan for patients in Monaca, PA. Read on to learn more and then schedule an appointment at DentalWorks - Beaver Valley for yourself and your family to start your preventive dentistry plan.
- FIX PROBLEMS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
If your dentist finds a problem during your oral health examination, make sure you return soon to have it fixed. If you're not going to the dentist regularly and you notice symptoms like dental sensitivity, a toothache, or bleeding gums, schedule an examination with a dentist in Monaca, PA right away. Most dental problems don't heal themselves, so ignoring a diagnosis or symptoms will only make the problem worse. Early diagnosis and treatment can help you avoid a more invasive and expensive procedure later.
- WATCH WHAT YOU EAT
What you eat affects your dental health as much as your waistline. Sugary foods and drinks (particularly juices, sodas, and candy) encourage the growth of bacteria that turns into cavities. Try to limit sugar and processed foods or at the very least, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth as soon as possible after eating and drinking. To help remove buildup from your teeth, snack on crunchy vegetables like celery and drink fluoridated tap water.
- FLOSSING AND BRUSHING EVERY DAY
Since most people are at the dentist's office two days a year, it's vital that you take good care of your mouth every other day of the year on your own. To prevent oral health problems, you have to brush your teeth at least twice per day with a fluoridated toothpaste. Whether you prefer a manual or electric toothbrush, make sure you're brushing for two minutes with light pressure moving your toothbrush in small circles across your teeth and gumline. You also have to make sure you are switching to a new toothbrush (or brush head for electric toothbrushes) every three months or earlier if the bristles are worn. In addition to brushing twice a day, you should be flossing at least once per day. Proper flossing removes debris and plaque between your teeth and helps to keep your gums healthy. If you're not sure about your brushing or flossing technique, ask your dentist or hygienist for advice during your next appointment.
- PROFESSIONAL FLUORIDE TREATMENTS
Professional fluoride treatments are suggested for children after bi-annual cleanings. Fluoride will reinforce and protect the enamel while the teeth develop. Adults who are vulnerable to cavities or have weak enamel can request fluoride treatments at the dentist. Many cities add fluoride to their drinking water to help their residents, but if you are in an area that doesn’t have fluoride in the water, you prefer bottled water, or your city doesn't add enough fluoride (the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends 0.7 mg of fluoride per liter of drinking water), ask your dentist about home fluoride treatments.
- PROPER DENTAL ALIGNMENT
Having poor dental alignment can lead to serious dental problems. Teeth that are crooked or too close together are more difficult to clean properly, which puts you at higher risk for problems including cavities and gum disease. A dental malocclusion (underbite, overbite, or crossbite) can cause painful problems like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). If you are a parent, ask your dentist in Monaca, PA to check your child's dental alignment and recommend an orthodontic treatment if necessary. If you never had braces as a child and your teeth are out of alignment, there are many great modern orthodontic choices, like Invisalign, which moves your teeth into place with removable aligners.
- DENTAL SEALANTS
Frequently recommended for younger patients (since they typically aren't great about brushing and flossing as much as they need to), dental sealants help patients avoid cavities. Sealants are a flexible plastic material that can be adhered by a dentist to the tops of the back teeth in a quick treatment. This protects the grooves in the back teeth from trapping debris and bacteria where cavities are often found.
- ANNUAL ORAL HEALTH EXAMINATION
One important part of preventive dentistry is catching and treating problems before they become painful or require an invasive procedure. Visiting your dentist in Monaca, PA at least one time per year for an oral health examination allows your dental team the opportunity to check for problems, like gum disease, cavities, and oral cancer. Utilizing digital x-rays and other state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, the team at DentalWorks - Beaver Valley checks the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. If any concerns are discovered, your dentist will explain your diagnosis and talk about your treatment options. If signs of oral cancer are discovered, you may be referred to an oncologist in Monaca, PA for a biopsy and treatment. While it's tempting to avoid the dentist so you don't have to find out about problems or get treatment, early diagnosis typically means an easier, less invasive treatment.
- BI-ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL CLEANINGS
Even though brushing and flossing your teeth every day is an important part of preventing dental problems, you most likely still have some plaque and tartar built up on your teeth. A professional cleaning at a dental practice in Monaca, PA at least twice a year will remove this tartar and plaque buildup. Using special tools that help remove buildup from even the hardest to reach areas of your enamel, a dental hygienist carefully scales your teeth during a professional cleaning so the plaque and tartar don't turn into cavities or gum disease. After your teeth are scaled and are free of buildup, a dental professional will polish your enamel to remove stains, which will brighten your smile. After your cleaning is finished, your dental hygienist may talk to you about any areas they found with excessive buildup so you can concentrate on these spots at home. In addition, this is a fantastic time to ask for advice on proper techniques for brushing and flossing.
- MOUTH GUARDS
In the event you or your children participate in any athletics, you will need to make sure you are protecting your teeth, gums, and jaw with a mouth guard. When playing contact sports (for example, football and hockey), a mouth guard is usually required, but it's also a good idea to have a mouth guard during any activity where your teeth, gums, and jaw could be at risk (like basketball, soccer, or skateboarding). For superior protection and comfort, ask your dentist in Monaca, PA about a custom athletic mouth guard.