The goal of preventative dentistry is to maintain oral health so that no restorative dental work ever becomes needed. In other words, preventing cavities, gum disease, and enamel wear. Dr. Hammond says, “Brushing your teeth and flossing is a good beginning to preventative dentistry. It is also imperative that you get bi-annual exams and dental cleanings. With little ones, dental sealants might be a good option.”
Dental sealants are a thin plastic covering, commonly used on the very back teeth. These teeth are especially susceptible to trapped food particles, and at the same time tend to be the hardest ones to brush. The goal of a sealant is to safeguard a tooth against decay, which is always preferable to filling a cavity.
Despite efforts to keep children’s teeth healthy, many Provo kids develop several cavities during their childhood years. Since the rate of tooth decay ordinarily declines with age, if teeth remain intact during childhood, there is a better chance that these teeth can stay healthy for decades.
Fillings, inlays/onlays and crowns do a great job at saving teeth from extraction, but they don’t last forever. When a 10-year-old gets a cavity in a brand-new permanent tooth, that tooth will probably need periodic attention throughout his life – even if no additional decay develops. Once the enamel has been eaten away by acids, the tooth is forever weakened.
Sealants act as a barrier between food particles, plaque, and the teeth. The good news is that sealants are easy to apply and last for years. After Dr. Hammond applies the sealants, they will be checked with each visit and re-applied as needed. If you are interested in sealants for your child (or yourself), check your dental insurance policy – they may be a covered benefit. Even if not covered by your dental insurance, sealants are a wise investment.
Brushing, flossing, and regular cleanings help ensure that teeth are strong and clean and will last a lifetime. Changing your toothbrush every few months and using a toothpaste with fluoride are also vital components of proper oral care.
Children should be taught how to properly brush while young. However, parents should still supervise brushing and go over the teeth after the child brushes. If your child struggles with flossing, a water irrigation tool may be useful. Floss picks can also be easier to handle than a string of floss. Traditional flossing done correctly, however, is the most effective way to clean between teeth.
Don’t believe that dentures are inevitable for people when they reach their golden years. We have some patients in their seventies with all teeth intact. Call Hammond Aesthetic & General Dentistry for an appointment. We can help you develop a plan to keep your teeth in top shape. Healthy, white, strong teeth are the foundation for a lifelong, unforgettable smile.
If your teeth and gums are healthy, but you don’t like your smile because of cosmetic issues, call 801-374-0070 to schedule a cosmetic dental consultation. Dr. Hammond offers cosmetic dentistry, along with sedation dentistry and Invisalign. Come learn about revolutionary cosmetic dentistry available at Hammond Aesthetic & General Dentistry.
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