Preventive Dentistry vs. General Dentistry
Your smile is important which is why taking proper care of your oral health is essential. The best way to take care of your smile is with preventive dentistry. This ensures a beautiful, healthy smile for years to come.
There is a key difference between general dentistry and preventive dentistry.
General Dentistry is about diagnosing, evaluating, and treating oral diseases.
Preventive Dentistry combines regular dentist visits, advanced technology, and at home dental care in order to prevent the onset of oral diseases. Preventive dentistry can help patients avoid the pain, lost time, and expenses of dealing with oral diseases.
Methods of Preventive Dentistry
At Mid-Valley Dental Care, we offer preventive dentistry services including:
- Dental Cleanings
- Dental Exams
- Oral Cancer Screenings
- Dental Sealants
Dental Cleanings and Exams
Routine dental exams involve a discussion about your medical history, a professional dental cleaning, and taking X-rays of your teeth and jaw. These measures help us gauge your oral health and detect any problems.
From there, we can decide whether you require any treatment going forward. Make time for dental exams twice a year so we can accurately track your oral health and dental treatment needs
Dental sealants are barriers made of plastic or dental composites. They’re painted onto teeth, usually the molars, to help prevent cavities and decay. Sealants might also be placed over teeth that have already experienced decay to prevent further deterioration.
According to the CDC in 2019, children who don’t have sealants applied to their back molars had almost three times as many molar cavities as those that did. Adults can also benefit from dental sealants and reduce their long term risk of cavities.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer screenings are usually conducted during routine dental exams. During your screening, Dr. Lau will examine the inside of your mouth, neck, and throat for abnormalities. Some common signs of possible cancer include:
- Red and white patches
Additional tests, such as oral cancer screening dye tests or light, might be used to help deliver an accurate diagnosis.
At Home Preventive Dental Care
Preventive dentistry doesn’t stop at the dentist’s office. Dental exams, sealants, cleanings, and oral cancer screenings are no substitute for proper oral hygiene. This is where at home preventive dental care comes in. Your at-home oral hygiene care should include:
- Brushing twice a day for 2 minutes
- Flossing once a day
- Limiting sugary and acidic foods
We’ll happily provide you with additional information and instructions on how to maintain the health of your teeth, gums, and jaw at home. Practicing at home preventive dental care will help you guard against oral diseases and allow you to take care of your teeth in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions
Brushing at least twice a day, preferably after you wake up and before you go to bed, helps prevent plaque from building up in your gums while you’re awake and asleep.
Plaque can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities. If plaque isn’t removed, it can harden into tartar. Tartar can make it harder to clean your teeth and may lead to gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease.
Brushing for two minutes also helps ensure that you reach all the areas of your mouth that need attention. If you’re prone to cavities or frequently ingest sugary or acidic foods and drinks, brushing more often for longer periods of time is recommended.
Flossing allows you to clean those tight spaces where your toothbrush can’t reach, removing food and bacteria buildup before it turns to plaque. Failure to remove plaque from between your teeth can lead to gingivitis, cavities, and other dental issues.
We recommend choosing an electric toothbrush due to the many advantages it presents over manual ones, including:
- Built in timers
- More effective against plaque
- Less waste
- More effective for dental prosthetics
- Helps you focus on brushing
If you can’t get an electric toothbrush, try to find a toothbrush with an ADA approval seal and brush your teeth in circular motions for two minutes. This will clean your mouth just as well as an electric toothbrush.
Don’t Miss Out on the Benefits of Preventive Dentistry
Preventive dentistry isn’t just about your oral health. Stopping oral disease before it develops will help ensure you stay comfortable and confident when you eat, speak, laugh, and smile. Learn more about the benefits of preventive dentistry today! Schedule an appointment with us by calling our office in Northridge, Ca at (818) 886-3500.