Preventative Dental Procedures in Huntington, IN
Many oral health problems can be avoided by practicing good hygiene habits, such as brushing after meals and at bedtime (FOUR times a day!) and flossing at bedtime. Professional cleanings from our hygienists, fluoride treatments, sealants, periodontal evaluation, oral cancer screening plus cavity checks, sleep apnea, headache/TMJ, cosmetics evaluations, bite alignment and much more are all part of a regular check-up at our office. Our team is committed to keeping your smile bright, healthy, and functional. At our practice, we work to prevent problems, such as cavities and gum disease, which can be avoided with proper dental attention. If you are interested in learning more about preventive dentistry, please give us a call. We look forward to helping improve your oral health.
- Disclosing agents
- Mouth guards
- Oral Cancer Screening
- Plaque Control
- Regular Dental Visits
These agents are usually red or purple and either a tablet or liquid. They are used at night (when you are not going out for the evening) to color plaque so you can see where you are missing. It is a great product we highly recommend. Be careful; they stain everything—sinks, Formica, clothing, etc. When using, empty your mouth in a glass and pour it down the center of the sink drain.
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources, including oceans, lakes and rivers. Research shows that fluoride helps prevent cavities in children and adults by making teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that cause cavities. Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter, helping repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay can be seen.
There are two ways that you can benefit from fluoride: topically and systemically.
Topical fluoride is the type of fluoride you receive at the dental office or when you use dental products—such as toothpastes or mouth rinses. Systemic fluoride is ingested, usually through a public water supply, which in the United States applies to nearly 74 percent of the population. While teeth are forming under the gums, the fluoride taken in largely from drinking water and other beverages strengthens tooth enamel making it stronger and more resistant to cavities. This provides what is called a “systemic” benefit. After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild (remineralize) weakened tooth enamel and reverse early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other fluoride dental products, you are providing a “topical” benefit because the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth.
In addition, drinking fluoridated water and other fluoridated beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth and helping to rebuild weakened tooth enamel. The maximum reduction in tooth decay occurs when fluoride is available systemically and topically. Studies show that community water fluoridation, the addition of fluoride to water to a recommended level for preventing tooth decay, prevents at least 25 percent of tooth decay in children and adults. In fact, community water fluoridation is noted as the single most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has proclaimed community water fluoridation as “one of 10 great public health achievements.”
Mouthguards and nightguards are recommended for anyone who participates in a sport or physical activity and for those who suffer from nighttime teeth-grinding. Mouthguards and nightguards can greatly reduce the risk of athletic injury or teeth-grinding. You can break an arm and it will heal but an injury to a tooth can be a lifelong problem. We are happy to provide custom-fit mouthguards and nightguards for optimum comfort and protection. Call our Huntington, IN dental practice today to learn more.
Oral Cancer Screening
One of the many benefits of coming to our office for your comprehensive exam is that we will provide an oral cancer screening at each cleaning appointment. Throughout this screening, we will examine the gums, tongue, lips, and surrounding areas in the mouth and neck for any potential signs or symptoms of oral cancer or cancer on the face.
Plaque is actually bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. It forms on your teeth constantly. However, plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing. That is why we recommend brushing four times a day—after meals and at bedtime, and floss at bedtime, too. Floss is needed because the toothbrush does not go in between the teeth and that is where most of the disease occurs. Bacterial plaques favorite food is sugar—enough said?
Regular Dental Visits
It is almost impossible for most patients to save their teeth and prevent major problems without regular check-ups. We see most patients either every 3-4 or 6 months and a few monthly. How often do you get your hair and nails done? Also, ask us about our FREE Whitening-For-Life program for regular visits.
A sealant is a clear or tooth-colored plastic material that the dentist applies to the chewing surfaces of back teeth. This is where tooth decay most often occurs. A sealant prevents tooth decay by covering the pits and grooves of these chewing surfaces and sealing out food and germs that cause decay. Please call our Huntington, IN office for more information about how sealants can benefit you.
Xylitol is a sugar that has also been around for a long time. This sugar actually helps prevent decay. Xylitol can be found in some chewing gum and has been proven especially helpful for new moms. A study showed that if a new mother chews 4-5 sticks of gum containing the sugar Xylitol, the new baby is 70% more likely to not have cavities in their mouth. The study concluded that when the mother chews the gum, she can help the baby prevent cavities as well! Xylitol has been proven as a very helpful sugar that not only does not cause cavities (like typical sugar has been proven to do), but benefits teeth. Our office encourages patients to utilize the benefits that can be achieved by chewing gum with Xylitol. We sell this gum and some suckers in our office and it is also available for purchase online.