An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to your teeth, regular preventive dental care can mean keeping your smile healthy for your entire lifetime. Many people take the approach to dental care that if their parents lost their teeth at a young age, they will as well…without putting any effort into saving their smile. The truth is, with proper education, action, and preventive care, most people could keep their teeth forever.
What does preventive care do for your smile? Instead of waiting until gum disease or decay is very active, it keeps bacteria, tartar and gum infections to a minimum. Regular prophylactic cleanings with a dental hygienist help remove calcified bacteria deposits from your teeth, that otherwise cause inflammation, bleeding, and bone loss. If allowed to exist, these areas would cause so much bone loss that teeth become mobile and eventually fall out. Your hygienist can alert you to specific areas of infection in your mouth, so that you can take the necessary steps to reverse and eliminate them. With proper oral care, mild to moderate gingivitis can be completely reversed within about 2 weeks. If severe infections exist, a customized care plan can eliminate the disease and prevent progression of bone loss.
Routine screenings at your appointments also help to identify areas of decay while they are still very small. Treating cavities in the beginning stages not only keeps your treatment expenses to a minimum, it also preserves as much healthy tooth enamel as possible. Otherwise, decay will always continue to spread and will become more invasive, risking complications like abscesses, pain, or even tooth loss.
The American Dental Association and Summit Family & Cosmetic Dentistry recommend that patients with healthy smiles see their dentist for preventive care every 6 months. Patients that have active gum disease or bone loss may need to be seen more often for effective preventive dental care. If it’s been a while since your preventive care visit, don’t worry; we’ll help you catch up on any dental care that you need to get your smile back to where it needs to be. No matter if your needs are few or many, Summit Family & Cosmetic Dentistry believes a preventive care approach is in the best interest of our patients, and their dental health.