Preventative dentistry is concerned with stopping problems before they start. One of the most important factors is daily brushing and flossing at home, keeping plaque from forming. Plaque is the primary cause of cavities and gum disease. In addition, regular appointments with your dentist can help check for developing concerns and stop them before they become complex.
Dr. Gruita makes several preventative care treatments available to her patients. These include sealants, fluoride treatments, and prophylaxis.
By placing a coating of plastic material – called a sealant – on the biting surfaces of your back teeth, a barrier against bacteria is built up. This bacteria creates a sticky film called plaque that can eat away at your teeth, causing tooth decay.
It is often harder to keep the teeth in the back as well maintained as those in the front, especially for younger patients. The grooves on the top of these teeth make ideal hiding places for the bacteria, and reaching all the way back while brushing is sometimes difficult. A sealant offers extra protection and prevents the need for more painful and expensive treatments later on in life.
Fluoride treatments help teeth to re-mineralize and grow strong. A fluoride paste is either painted on or held in a tray over the teeth for a short period of time. This helps to strengthen the teeth and make them less vulnerable to acid erosion. Anyone who is at risk for tooth decay is a good candidate for fluoride treatments.
Hygiene and Prophylaxis
Regular dental visits include a cleaning, or prophylaxis. This involves the removal of tartar from the surface of the teeth both above and below the gum line. This is an important step in preventing gum diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis. Prophylaxis will also make your teeth cleaner and whiter, improving your appearance. This also involves a thorough investigation of your mouth, and any potential health issues can be spotted during this examination.