Preventive care can do wonders for your dental health. A few simple homecare practices, paired with regular visits to your dental professional will go a long way toward maintaining the best oral health.
Daily preventive procedures share the common goal of removing bacteria from the mouth. If allowed to build-up, plaque bacteria adheres to the teeth, tongue and soft tissue which, over time, can mineralize into a hard substance called calculus (tartar). Only professional cleanings can remove this bacterial substance once it hardens.
Inadequate plaque control is the primary cause of gingivitis (inflamed gums), periodontitis (bacterial gum disease), and oral malodor (bad breath). Patients can minimize bacteria accumulation through regular brushing, flossing, tongue scraping, and periodic dental appointments as recommended by their dentist and hygienist. Our office can also do a simple saliva test to evaluate for harmful bacteria that can cause dental problems. This is a service that can further improve your dental health as well as your overall health. Please give us a call today at 317-839-5500 to schedule an appointment
The Hygiene Appointment
Professional cleanings and assessments enable dental professionals to remain abreast of your oral health status and they can provide guidance on steps to take to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Regular preventive dental visits, such as a professional dental cleaning, allow problems to be identified early when they can be fixed easily, painlessly, and often with less cost
What Should You Expect?
During a standard appointment, a dental hygienist uses instruments to remove the build-up of plaque bacteria and calculus from the teeth and soft tissue. Our hygienists and dentist also:
- Screen for oral cancer and other diseases
- Evaluate supporting gum and bone structures for possible disease
- Check for cavities
- Assess the integrity of existing dental restorations
- Take x-rays to examine the teeth and bone structures (which can’t be seen with an exam only)
- Apply a Fluoride treatment
- Evaluate aesthetic (cosmetic) options
Like fluoride, dental sealants can give today’s children a head start on good oral health. A sealant is either a white or clear acrylic material that is applied directly to cavity-prone chewing surfaces and grooves of the back teeth. The sealant fills in the grooves in the teeth, keeping food out and providing protection against decay.
Sealants are most beneficial when applied to the permanent teeth as soon as they grow in. The sealant material is simply placed on the teeth, and a special light is used to harden the material so that it adheres to the tooth. It is important to note that sealants do not eliminate the need for daily home care. Children should still be instructed to brush with a fluoride toothpaste and floss.
Professional Fluoride Therapy
Fluoride therapy has been proven beneficial in maintaining optimal oral health, particularly in the prevention of tooth decay and hypersensitivity to hot or cold substances. However, many people choose to drink bottled water without fluoride. Professional fluoride treatments, combined with daily home therapy, can improve the dental health of your teeth. Since the introduction of fluoride into public water supplies more than 50 years ago, the incidence of cavities has declined dramatically by strengthening developing permanent teeth. Treatment options vary according to a patient’s susceptibility to decay, level of tooth sensitivity, periodontal (gum) condition and the number of restorations present in the mouth.
Professional Take-Home Fluoride
If you’ve ever had a questionable area of decay, tooth sensitivity, or bleeding gums within the last year, a professional take-home fluoride may be necessary. Your dental professional will recommend the most appropriate fluoride based on your oral condition. Daily fluoride therapy may also be helpful for patients with orthodontic appliances, or patients with a dryer mouth due to side effects of some medications. All of these conditions can put a person at a higher risk for getting tooth decay.
Professional In-Office Fluoride
A professional fluoride treatment is an important part of your dental cleaning. The Fluoride treatment will enhance the ability of your tooth surface to resist acid attacks and decay and replenish the minerals removed during tooth scaling and polishing. General dentistry covers all types of exams and screenings to keep you and your smile happy and healthy for longer. Every dental procedure starts with a proper exam and screening. Reach out to our office by calling 317-839-5500 at your earliest convenience!