The best dental visits are the ones in which you learn your teeth are healthy and problem free. By practicing responsible hygiene habits and taking preventative dental measures, you can increase your chances of hearing good news from your cosmetic dentist at every visit. Use the following information from our Madison dentistry office to bolster the health of your teeth and gums, in turn saving you from additional dental treatments.
Preventative Care At Home
Dentists can help keep your teeth clean and offer extensive restorative options, but true preventative care begins at home. Daily hygiene routines are the primary factor in your oral health, and no one has a greater effect on your teeth than you.
- Brushing: Everyone knows they’re supposed to brush their teeth, but small differences in how you brush can add up. It’s important to brush twice daily, using fluoride toothpaste to fight the bacteria that build up throughout the day and night. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your enamel, but do not let it wear out; replace your brush every three to four months.
- Flossing: Imagine if you only brushed one side of your teeth. That’s essentially what happens if you don’t floss: the edges of your teeth are neglected and plague is allowed to accumulate. For the best results, floss gently once a day, curving the floss around the edge of each tooth. Be sure to rinse afterward.
- Mouthwash: Diligent brushing and flossing is usually sufficient. However, patients still suffering from bad breath, gum disease, or tooth decay may benefit from using a mouthwash. Look for products that include fluoride, chlorhexidine, or Cetylpyridinium Chloride (CPC). Consult your dentist for additional information on which mouthwash products may benefit you.
There is only so much you can do with a toothbrush and floss. As a result, patients are advised to make appointments for regular dental cleanings, as often as twice a year. Through scaling, polishing, and fluoride treatments, dentists can clean the excess plaque and tartar that build on even the most responsible patients’ teeth.
- Professional cleanings: Professional cleaning procedures include scaling – the removal of plaque and tarter along the teeth and gum lines – and polishing, which makes the surface of teeth smoother and thus less likely to retain plaque. Children may also undergo fluoride treatments and the application of sealants to further ward off decay. During a professional cleaning, your hygienist or dentist can also keep track of your progress and make recommendations for your at-home dental routine.
- X-rays and digital imaging: Many cavities can only be detected through X-rays and imaging devices. Some may not even hurt until they have already decayed a sizeable portion of your tooth. A dental visit can detect the beginnings of potential problems so dentists can recommend the proper preventative or restorative treatment.
- Mouth guards: Preventative care is not just about avoiding tooth decay and gum disease. For patients involved with sports, a mouth guard can prevent permanent damage to teeth or, worse yet, tooth loss. A customized mouth guard is also beneficial for those who suffer from habitual teeth grinding at night, called bruxism.
If the event you still suffer from a cavity or gum disease, our practice can provide appropriate restorative treatment. Ask about the variety of services we offer, including tooth-colored fillings, inlays, onlays, and dental crowns.
Let Us Help You Maintain Your Hygiene
There’s a lot you can do on your own to prevent dental problems. Let us give you the proper care and tools to fight potential cavities, so you can leave our office with a bright smile. Contact us at our office to schedule an appointment.