April 7, 2017
Regular dental visits can prevent many serious problems with your teeth and gums from happening. That’s why Davenport Dental Group recommends twice yearly dental exams.
As a part of our general dentistry service, Davenport Dental Group offers a variety of preventive procedures that can help you maintain the health and beauty of your smile.
Although brushing and flossing can remove most food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of teeth, it’s a little harder to get the nooks and crannies on the back teeth. Sealants keep food and plaque from settling in those places by “sealing them out.” They protect your teeth from decay.
A dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating that we paint on the chewing surfaces of your teeth, particularly the back teeth (the premolars and molars). The sealant bonds into the grooves and depressions of your teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel.
Applying sealant is simple (and painless). It only takes us a minute to apply the sealant to each tooth. Here’s how it’s done:
- We thoroughly clean your teeth.
- We dry each tooth and place cotton around it to keep it dry.
- We apply a solution to the chewing surfaces of the teeth to give them a texture that the sealant will bond to.
- We rinse and dry the teeth.
- We then apply the sealant onto the tooth enamel.
The sealant will bond directly to the tooth and harden. On occasion, we may use a curing light to help the sealant harden.
Fluoride treatments and varnishes
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks that are caused by plaque, bacteria, and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride is found in water and in some foods.
You can also apply it through the use of fluoridated toothpastes and mouthwashes. These, in lower strengths, are available in over-the-counter products. Stronger concentrations require a doctor’s prescription.
We can also do a fluoride treatment in our office. A member of our team can also apply fluoride to the teeth as a gel, foam, or varnish. These treatments, in the form of a gel, foam, or varnish, contain a much higher level of fluoride than over-the-counter products. Varnishes are painted on the teeth. Foams are added to a mouthguard, which is applied to the teeth. We paint on gels or apply them via a mouthguard.
What you eat matters in everything, including the health of your teeth and gums. You can prevent both tooth decay (caries) and periodontal (gum) disease, just by improving your diet.
When you come to the office, we can give you more information on how to eat to ensure a healthy mouth. As a general rule, you should eat foods from the five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and chicken, fish, or beans.
It’s important to drink lots of water because a moist mouth protects your hard and soft oral tissues.
Foods that cling to your teeth promote tooth decay. Foods that do that include soft, sweet, sticky foods like cake and candy. It’s better to snack on healthy foods like raw vegetables, plain yogurt, and sugarless gum or candy.
Regular Cleanings And Exams
According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), professional dental cleanings at least twice a year can improve your oral health. When you come in for a professional cleaning, we can get rid of substances from your teeth that brushing and flossing don’t. If decay-causing tartar has formed on your teeth, it can be removed in a professional cleaning.
During a routine exam, a dentist can also locate areas in the mouth that may need special attention. One of our dentists will evaluate your gum tissue, check your bite and chewing patterns, and take X-rays to detect any tooth decay that might not be immediately visible. X-rays or examination of teeth may detect decay.
At a regular dental exam, one of our dentists will also do an oral cancer screening. An oral cancer screening is an exam that’s done to look for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth. The goal is to identify mouth cancer early, while there is a greater chance for a cure.
Make An Appointment
If you take care of your teeth by scheduling dental check-ups twice per year, you’ll be less likely to experience bigger problems down the road. For an appointment with Davenport Dental Group, you can call our Junction Drive location at 956-242-6745 or our Winfield location at 956-517-2695. You can also send us a message using our online contact form.