Are dental health problems — cavities, gum disease, discolored teeth, chips and cracks, and eventually tooth loss — inevitable as we age? Maybe you think these issues are just part of getting old and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.
Well, that’s actually not the case. Just like taking care of our bodies keeps us healthy overall, taking care of our teeth will result in a stronger, more beautiful smile for life.
Practicing good preventive dentistry is perhaps the most important thing you can do to maintain disease-free teeth and gums. While restorative dentistry fixes problems that have occurred, preventive dentistry keeps those problems from happening in the first place.
Regular cleanings and examinations are an important aspect of preventive dentistry. Call Highland Advanced Dental Care at 248-329-3552.
Preventive Care Starts at Home
If your teeth and gums are in good shape, you come to our office only twice per year. This means your dental care is on you most of the time. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of consistent and proper brushing and flossing.
You should brush your teeth at least twice per day — after every meal is even better. Brush for two full minutes, being sure to reach all surfaces of the teeth, including the backs. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gumline.
Brushing well doesn’t mean brushing hard. If you apply too much pressure, you will, over time, wear away the enamel, leaving yourself vulnerable to cavities. Be thorough but gentle, and always use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Flossing is also important. Use about eighteen inches at a time, keeping all but an inch or two wrapped around your middle fingers. Go between the teeth, using a clean section of floss for each tooth, being sure to keep the floss taut against the enamel. Make a c-shape at the base of each tooth and use the floss to clean around the gumline.
Visit Us Twice Every Year
A dental examination and professional cleaning every six months is vital, even if you don’t have any apparent issues at the time.
Even if you do everything right at home, there are areas of your mouth that are very difficult for you to keep clean with a toothbrush and floss. A dental hygienist will be able to remove plaque and tartar that’s built up around and even below the gumline. Left alone, this nasty stuff can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. The hygienist will also give your teeth a good flossing and polish them so they gleam.
Dr. LoCascio will perform a comprehensive dental exam. He may be able to spot signs of gum disease and other issues before you even have symptoms, enabling you to get a head start on treatment.
We will screen you for oral cancer using the cutting edge VELscope system. We may take digital X-rays (which expose you to a fraction of the radiation of traditional X-rays). This will enable us to catch problems not apparent in Dr. LoCascio’s visual examination, like impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts, and hidden spots of decay.
Additional Preventive Services
Sealants are commonly recommended for children, but they can be beneficial at any age. A sealant is a plastic coating painted over the surfaces of the back molars. It protects the tooth enamel from bacterial acid attacks. The procedure is easy, painless, and lasts for several years.
As you may know, fluoride is a mineral that’s essential to building up bones and tooth enamel. Your teeth lose fluoride continuously in a process called demineralization, so it must be replenished. Many toothpastes and mouthwashes contain fluoride, and most municipal water supplies are fortified with the mineral.
At Highland Advanced Dental Care, we offer fluoride treatments and varnishes to ensure your enamel remains healthy and robust.
If you participate in sports and other athletic ventures, you may be putting your teeth and gums at risk of injury. An athletic mouthguard is an excellent idea for any active person. Our mouthguards are custom fitted and custom made for your mouth only. So they are more comfortable and easier to wear than the one-size-fits-all variety you’ll find at the drugstore or sporting goods shop.
We also offer mouthguards for patients who grind or clench their teeth at night, or suffer from TMJ pain. These mouthguards are designed to protect the enamel from wearing down further and to keep your jaw in a position that enables it to heal.
If you’re due for your next checkup — or are interested in any of our dental services — call Highland Advanced Dental Care at 248-329-3552.