Sometimes even daily brushing and flossing is not enough to protect your teeth against the everyday grit and grind. Bacteria, acid, and other nasties can all eventually lead to dental mayhem and teeth that don’t look there very best. Thankfully, when the going gets tough, there are other powerful and practical solutions in addition to brushing and flossing to help protect your teeth.
3 Practical Ways To Protect Your Teeth
1. Dental Prophylaxis (Professional Teeth Cleaning)
The term prophylaxis refers to a broad action that is taken to prevent disease. Within the context of your teeth, dental prophylaxis refers to a preventative dental cleaning done by a trained dental professional such as a certified hygienist. While often referred to as a dental cleaning, a dental prophylaxis procedure involves much, much more than merely removing bacterial biofilm or food debris from the surface of teeth.
First, our patients are carefully screened for signs of oral cancer and other dental concerns. A screening typically involves a visual check as well as x-rays and other imaging procedures if necessary. Significant or severe concerns are brought to the attention of Dr. Reza Khazaie, DDS, Prosthodontist, who can advise the patient on recommended next steps.
After carefully checking the mouth and teeth, our dental hygienist will proceed to clean, or scale, the patient’s teeth. Unlike basic brushing and flossing, the cleaning and scaling procedure often involve the latest technology in dental equipment. Professional instruments such as scalars and curets powered by concentrated air and jets of water are employed to help remove plaque, tartar, and hardened calculus along with food debris and other unwanted particles.
The physical cleaning portion of a dental prophylaxis cleaning session includes professional flossing that can be used to not only demonstrate proper flossing techniques to our patients but also test their gums for areas of sensitivity and potential gingivitis.
Once the cleaning is complete, the teeth are polished to a beautiful shine and to make the surfaces of the teeth more difficult for microbes to attach and spread unwanted bacteria. This helps prevent future bacterial buildup until the next cleaning session. Polishing is then followed up with a fluoride application to seal in essential minerals and seal out bacteria.
2. Dental sealants
Dental sealants are protective coatings placed over a patient’s teeth to protect from wear and tear as well as dental decay. Much like wax on a trophy car, dental sealants form what is essentially a sacrificial layer of material that absorbs the damage from abrasion, acids, and bacteria. Unlike car wax, however, properly applied dental sealants can protect for many years. Another important benefit of dental sealants is that it covers and fills the natural grooves and fissures in a patient’s molars, making them less susceptible to plaque buildup and cavities.
Dental sealants are typically applied to the molars of children. However, they can also be used on other primary baby teeth and the teeth of adult patients. The first step to any sealant application is to prepare the tooth. This involves carefully cleaning and polishing a tooth, followed by etching to allow the sealant to adhere. Once the tooth is prepared, the sealant is applied with a brush. A self-curing light is used to help chemically bond the sealant to the tooth. After bonding, the sealant is checked and allowed to harden completely into a protective plastic shell. Your sealed tooth is now completely protected from the elements.
Flossing and regular visits to Willow Pass Dental Care for checkups are also highly recommended, but brushing is the foundation for an effective dental hygiene routine.
Brushing your teeth is the cornerstone of a healthy dental hygiene routine. We have been taught, told, and exhorted to brush our teeth from the emergence of our very first tooth.
Recent headlines would suggest that sparkling water might not be such a great alternative to just plain old water. But is bubbly, carbonated water really that bad?
Fluoride is incredibly beneficial, even critical, for healthy teeth. It provides support both systemically and topically. Systemically, fluoride plays an essential role in strengthening tooth enamel, which is the hard, protective outer surface. Adequate fluoride intake through water and food, particularly before the eruption of primary teeth, makes enamel stronger and more resistant to decay. Furthermore, fluoride also plays an important role when applied to teeth topically through exposure to water or fluoride-enhanced kinds of toothpaste.
Topical fluoride helps teeth rebuild and remineralize and can even reverse mild decay in some cases. With adequate fluoride intake, the mineral will eventually become a component of a patient’s saliva and confer continuing rebuilding, and remineralizing benefits as the saliva bathes and protects the teeth.
Fluoride is, without a doubt, an incredibly important component of preventative dentistry. That’s why fluoride paste is applied after every prophylactic dental cleaning. Seven decades of comprehensive scientific research and study have shown safe levels of fluoride exposure to reduce tooth decay in children as adults significantly. Yet, recent trends have shifted against the use of fluoride in some communities based on erroneous information and a misunderstanding of what fluoride is. Some people mistake fluoride for an industrial chemical. This is far from the truth. Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance found in many rocks and many bodies of natural, clean water. When added to the routine of the average human being in small amounts, it is an essential, indispensable, and nontoxic component of preventative dental health.
Visit Willow Pass Dental Care to Learn More About Preventative Dentistry.
Willow Pass Dental Care is dedicated to providing the best dental care, including preventative dentistry, for both children and adults. Dr. Reza Khazaie a well-known and highly regarded Prosthodontist will also be able to best identify any worrying signs of dental malaise before it gets out of hand, address any pressing dental concerns, and provide you with the care and advice you and your family needs to build healthy dental habits.
Willow Pass Dental Care is regarded as the best Concord, CA dentist. We invite you to check us out. You can schedule an appointment using our online system below or call us at 925-326-6114. We will be glad to serve you.