Is It Possible To Prevent Dental Disease?
Yes. With modern dentistry and constant new developments, it is possible to prevent or considerably reduce dental disease.
Why Is Preventive Dentistry Necessary?
It helps you to keep your teeth. The two major causes of tooth loss are decay and gum disease. The better we prevent or deal with these two problems, the more chance people have of keeping their teeth for life.
Who Can Benefit From Preventive Dentistry?
Preventive dentistry will benefit anyone with some of their own teeth. It is excellent for children and young people, but it is never too late.
What Does Preventive Treatment Involve?
We will first assess your teeth and gums, and discuss with you any treatment that is necessary. The primary aim is to help you to get your mouth really healthy, so that dental problems do not recur in the future. In a healthy mouth it is unlikely that decay or gum disease will continue to be a problem. We will make sure that all your fillings are in good repair and there are no rough edges to make cleaning difficult. Our hygienist will thoroughly ‘scale and polish’ your teeth. We will show you the best methods of brushing and flossing to remove the bacterial ‘plaque’ which forms constantly on the teeth and gums. You will be advised which is the ideal brush for you to use, very probably one with a small head. The hygienist will probably discuss diet with you and will also advise you on the importance of cleaning between your teeth.
What Can I Do To Help?
The process of getting your mouth healthy will be a continuing one. It is very important that you keep up a good routine to keep your teeth and gums healthy at home. This will involve brushing and flossing as you have been shown, and being careful to monitor the frequency of foods or drinks that will encourage decay. It is important to brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste. There are now many specialised formulations of toothpaste available including Tartar Control, for sensitve teeth and Total Care toothpastes. Mouthwashes can be beneficial and again, there are many different formulations available. You will also need regular sessions with us to monitor the improvement and give you any help and encouragement. Achieving a healthy mouth does not happen instantly – it may take several months to achieve, and will need continual care to maintain in the future.
Food and drinks containing sugar cause decay.
A reduction in the frequency of consuming sweet things will help considerably. Food such as cheese, fruit, nuts and vegetables make good substitutes. A ‘preventive dentist’ will often recommend treatment to reinforce a tooth to make sure that it does not break. For example, if we see that a tooth is cracked, or is weak and in danger of breaking, they we may advise a new filling or perhaps a crown or ‘onlay’ to protect it. This is always better than waiting till the breakage happens, and then working out how best to dealo ith it, perhaps as an emergency.
With the right partnership between patient, dentist and hygienist, preventive dentistry can change the traditional pattern of continuing treatment to one of continuing treatment to one of continuing dental health.
Dental hygienists are specially trained to work with the dentist in providing care to the patient. They play an important role in dental healthcare and are mainly concerned with gum health, education in correct home care, diet advice and the application of preventive materials to the teeth and gums.
Gum disease describes inflammation or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease..
Fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in water. The amount of fluoride in the water varies from area to area.
Fissure sealants are a safe and painless way of protecting teeth from dental decay.
A mouthguard is a specially made rubber-like cover which fits exactly over the teeth and gums, cushioning them and protecting them from damage.