Why Preventative Dentistry is Important
What do you think of when you imagine going to the dentist? Usually, it’s getting cleanings, exams, and maybe even a filling or two. While that does cover general dentistry services, there is also another part called preventative dentistry. This type of dentistry serves to mitigate minor problems before they become major problems and works to prevent problems before they even start.
What is Preventative Dentistry?
Preventative dentistry involves stopping problems before they begin. It also encompasses fixing up minor problems before they turn into major ones. In short, a dentist or dental hygienist that focuses on preventative dentistry can work with you to preserve your teeth. This includes routine dental cleanings, tips, and advice on toothbrushes and kinds of toothpaste as well as brushing and flossing. With regular dental exams, a small cavity can be caught early on, for example, and filled before it grows larger or causes further decay.
When you visit Culp Dental for a checkup, we’ll remove troublesome plaque that destroys your tooth enamel, and look for cavities and other potential problems that can be treated early. As we mentioned before, if cavities are left untreated, they will continue to grow larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth. This can lead to severe pain, infection, and even tooth loss. The Mayo Clinic states that regular dental visits and good brushing and flossing habits are your best protection against cavities and tooth decay. We recommend coming to visit us at Culp Dental every six months for an exam and cleaning. Ask your dentist about a treatment plan that is specific to your smile.
The Best Ways to Prevent Cavities & Tooth Decay
There are several ways you can work to prevent cavities and tooth decay. The friendly and knowledgeable staff at Culp Dental, the best dentist in Rock Hill, SC, can help you set up the perfect oral hygiene plan. We can also work with you to find the best toothpaste, toothbrush, and mouthwash with fluoride for you needs. One of our incredible dental hygienists would also be happy to show you the most effective way to brush and floss your teeth.
Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth as it helps remove plaque, food particles, and stimulates the gums. You should be brushing, in gentle circular motions, and flossing twice a day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends throwing your toothbrush out and getting a new one every 3 to 4 months. We also suggest using a mouthwash with fluoride. Fluoridated mouthwash helps to reduce the amount of acid in your mouth. It also works to clean hard-to-reach areas while re-mineralizing the teeth.
Your general diet can also work to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Acidic foods and sugary foods can erode teeth and cause cavities, so we suggest you keep them to a minimum. Acidic fruits, teas, and coffees can also do this but not as severely so you can enjoy these in moderation. Crunchy fruits and vegetables are a great addition to your diet and wonderful for your teeth. We also recommend drinking water after each meal to help remove sticky and acidic foods between brushings.
Using Dental Sealants to Prevent Cavities
Besides all of the great advice and tips above, dental sealants are one of the best ways to prevent cavities. Since decay in pits and fissures of the molars can begin early, you’ve likely heard about using sealants for children and teenagers. Fissures are grooves that naturally occur on the biting surfaces of teeth. While pits are the small depression on the chewing surface of molars that also occur naturally. People of all ages can benefit from sealants and they last for several years. So, what exactly are dental sealants?
Sealants are made from a composite resin that acts like a coating on the teeth that is applied to deep, inaccessible pits and fissures. Commonly, sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces on back molars since these areas are not easily cleaned with a toothbrush. This coating acts as a barrier and protects these spaces from food particles and plaque becoming embedded. The sealant protects the enamel from the mineral eating acids caused by plaque.
A study published in 2010 found that dental sealants were more effective at preventing cavities than fluoride varnish. It stated the results, “revealed the effectiveness of pit and fissure sealants to be statistically significantly higher than an application of fluoride varnish every 6 months.”
Having sealants applied is a quick and easy process. During your dental visit, the coating will be painted onto the chewing surface where it will bond and harden. One of the best parts is that they last several years but your dentist will check them during your biannual exams and reapply when needed.
The Importance of Fluoride
The importance of fluoride in preventative dentistry cannot be understated. Fluoride is essential to the health of your teeth and the prevention of cavities. As multiple studies show, fluoride has been used for over three decades now for its tooth protecting power. study in 2016 found that regular use of a fluoride mouthwash by children and adolescents was associated with a large reduction of cavities present in permanent teeth. Research has also shown that the fluoride added to water is just not enough. In fact, a journal article in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found a reduction in cavities was only shown with a high fluoride toothpaste.
We suggest using both toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride in it. When you visit Culp Dental for your regular checkup or first-time appointment, we’d be happy to make recommendations.
Preventative Dentistry Services at Culp Dental
Have you been searching for “dentist near me” to find the best place to go? Search no further! Culp Dental is the best dentist in Rock Hill, SC. We have hundreds of satisfied patients to back it up. You don’t even have to be in the Rock Hill, SC area. We see patients from all over the state and the southern US. Dr. Charlie Culp and the team at Culp Dental are friendly, helpful, and experts in the field of dentistry.
You can be assured that at Culp Dental you are getting the best team available for your oral health. We are knowledgeable and well versed in the latest dental treatments. Give us a call at 803-324-2921 or send us a message at any time to get started and set up an appointment. You can find all of our new patient information online. We can assist with routine cleanings, exams, fillings, general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, dentures and partials, oral cancer screenings, and more.