Prevention is always better than cure. At ProDent Care, our aim is to prevent the need for dental treatment by increasing awareness of dental disease and educating patients to avoid it.
Regular and thorough examinations are essential to pick up the first signs of decay (caries) and gum disease (periodontal disease) before they cause significant harm. Oral cancer is becoming increasingly common and regular dental check-ups can help in its early diagnosis thereby greatly increasing the chances of successful treatment.
We therefore encourage our clients to make regular visits, offering them the reassurance their oral health is being expertly and frequently monitored and that any necessary treatment will be minimal. Once registered with us, we will recall you as appropriate according to your individual needs.
What is preventive dentistry?
Preventive dentistry is the modern way of reducing the amount of dental treatment needed to maintain a healthy. It helps you to keep your teeth. The two major causes of tooth loss are decay and gum disease. The better we prevent or deal with these two problems, the more chance people have of keeping their teeth of life.
The joint efforts of the dentist, the hygienist and the patient can help to prevent the need for treatment, and so avoid the traditional pattern of fillings and extractions. A course of treatment may be recommended to get your mouth into good condition, and a maintenance plan will be worked out to help you keep it that way.
Can everybody benefit from preventive dentistry?
Yes. Preventive dentistry will benefit anyone with some of their own teeth. People who don’t have any teeth can also benefit because condition such as mouth cancer and denture stomatitis can be spotted during regular visits at the dentist and then treated. It is excellent for children and young people, but it is never too late to start.
What is involved?
We will first assess your teeth and gums, and discuss with you any treatment you need to be a problem. The main aim is to help you get your mouth really healthy, to try and prevent any dental problems returning. In a healthy mouth, it is unlikely that decay or gum disease will continue to be a problem.
We will show you the best methods of brushing and flossing to remove the bacterial ‘plaque’ which forms constantly on your teeth and gums. When you eat or drink something sugary, the plaque turns into acid, which will cause tooth decay. Plaque will cause gum inflammation if it is not regularly and thoroughly removed. The hard tartar (calculus) which build up on the teeth also starts off as plaque.
We will advise you which oral care products are the best ones for you to use. We will probably discuss diet and any habits such as smoking and drinking with you. We will also make sure that all your fillings are in good repair and there are no rough edges to make cleaning difficult. We will often recommend treatment to reinforce a tooth to make sure that it does not break. For example, if a tooth is cracked, or is weak and in danger of breaking, we may advise a new filling or perhaps a crown or onlay to protect it. This is always better than waiting till the breakage happens, and then working out how best to deal with it, perhaps as an emergency.
What are pit and fissure sealants?
The biting surfaces of children’s teeth can be protected by applyling sealants. These make the tooth surface smoother and easier to clean, and stop decay starting in the difficult-to-clean areas.
Can diet affect my teeth?
Food and drinks containing sugar cause decay. If you cut down on how often you have sugary snacks and drinks this will help considerably. Foods such as cheese, fruit, nuts and vegetables make good substitutes.
What is dental erosion?
Dental erosion is the loss of enamel caused by acid attack. When the enamel is worn away it can lead to pain and sensitivity.
Can I prevent dental erosion?
Acidic foods, and drinks such as citrus fruit juices and all fizzy drinks such as cola can be harmful if taken often in large amounts. Try to limit acidic food and drinks to meal times. It is also recommended that you do not brush your teeth for at least one hour after eating or drinking anything acidic, so your teeth can build up their mineral contact again.
Smoking can cause tooth staining, gum disease, tooth loss and mouth cancer. If you smoke, you may need to visit us more often, but the best advice is to try and give up. Alcoholic drinks can also cause mouth cancer and if you smoke and drink you’re more at risk. Some alcoholic drinks contain high sugar levels and some mixed drinks may contain acids. So you can cause decay or erosion if you drink them often and in large amounts.
What can I do at home?
It is very important that you keep up a good routine to keep your teeth and gums healthy at home.
We recommend that you:
- 1. Brush your teeth twice a day with flouride toothpaste-this will mean brushing as you have been shown
- 2. Floss your teeth-brushing alone only cleans up to about 60% of the surface of your teeth. There are other products you can buy to clean between your teeth (interdental brushes)
- 3. Use a mouthwash-this can help to freshen breath. It can also help to dislodge any food debris.
- 4. Cut down on how often you have sugary snacks and drinks
- 5. Use a straw when you have fizzy drinks-this helps the drink to go to the back of your mouth and reduces the acid attacks on the teeth
- 6. Chew sugar-free gum-it stimulates saliva and stops your mouth dying out, and can help to prevent dental decay and erosion.
- 7. Visit us once every 6 months