What is preventive dental care? Patient education & advanced services combine in San Marcos CA
Unlike medical conditions with causes that may still be elusive, many of the most common oral health conditions can be prevented. We know the risk factors for gum disease and tooth decay. What’s more, a proactive rather than reactive approach often doesn’t cost a dime. Many preventive procedures are frequently 100 percent covered by insurance, or cost far less than restorative treatments such as root canal therapy, crowns, and tooth replacement.
The financial cost says nothing of the time in the treatment chair and the demands on your body for healing. Wherever possible, we focus on preventing conditions with the understanding that natural and healthy tooth structure is always superior in form and function to even the most skillfully designed and applied imitations. Sun Smile Dental’s approach to preventive dental care and our answer to “What is preventive dental care?” is unique from other dentists in San Marcos CA, with a strong focus on providing patients the tools necessary to keep or restore their oral health at home. The health and beauty of your smile depends on what you do between 6-month recall visits. We complement proper, diligent home care with professional cleanings to remove hardened plaque or tartar, and with advanced diagnostics to catch problems early when they’re more treatable and the effects are reversible.
During routine exams, we also screen for oral cancers with ViziLite, a painless diagnostic device that alerts our team to tissue anomalies that could indicate cancers or precancerous cells. While it’s true habits like tobacco and heavy alcohol use are risk factors, anyone can develop these cancers.
Are you cleaning right?
Starting with the first dental visit between ages 2 to 30 months, Sun Smile Dental Group’s patients get to know the importance of proper brushing and flossing. How you brush and floss matters.
- Look for toothpastes with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. All toothpastes that bear this stamp of approval contain fluoride.
- Since fluoride makes the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from bacteria in plaque and sugars, we may recommend treatments that contain this mineral at higher levels, especially as primary and permanent teeth erupt between ages 6 months to 16 years.
- Brushing two times a day is the bare minimum.
- Brush for at least two minutes each time, and don’t forget to clean the gums, tongue and the roof of your mouth. These areas are breeding grounds for harmful, disease-producing bacteria.
- Floss every day, two or more times is preferred.
- You don’t have to be aggressive with your floss. It doesn’t take a lot of force to be effective, but don’t forget to floss around each side of the tooth.
- Oral irrigators are nice, but they are not a substitute for regular and adequate flossing.
Additional antibacterial agents or products may be recommended to help to keep the decay and disease away. In addition to brushing and flossing, there are other habits that may be discussed during check-ups. These habits can either improve or hamper oral health. For example, it’s best to consume any drinks besides water quickly and in one sitting, rather than sipping all day. The sugars in many of these drinks combine with bacteria to produce acids that coat tooth structure, eating away at the enamel that protects our teeth. Other habits that can be discussed or assessed during preventive visits include:
- Teeth-grinding and clenching – You may be doing this in your sleep or while concentrating on the job, and not even realize it. This habit places excessive pressure on the teeth, and can result in chips and other damage.
- Little things add up – Chewing your nails, or biting down on bottles and packages may not seem important until after teeth are chipped or worn, and lead to other problems that require costly restoration.
- Diet – Peanut brittle, jawbreakers, hard and sticky foods, and sugary drinks are a foe to your teeth and gums. Opt for leafy greens, yogurt, rice, and eat your fruit rather than drink juices that may be 5 percent fruit and 95 percent sugar.
Diseases like diabetes can profoundly affect oral tissues. Conditions like dry mouth are linked to decay and gum irritation, and can be symptomatic of other diseases like Sjogren’s syndrome, or be side effects of medications such as antidepressants and antihistamines.
Opening your mouth gives us a window into your health. For oral health and overall wellbeing, schedule your visit with Sun Smile Dental Group.