Preventive Dentistry Is Our Passion
Today’s dental patients are lucky to have a whole roster of advanced restorative treatments available to them. That said, the dental gold standard is to avoid these sometimes invasive and costly procedures. And the best way to keep your natural teeth healthy and beautiful? It’s all about preventive dentistry and consistent care at home.
At Dores Dental of Longmeadow, MA, we help our patients maintain their smiles for a lifetime with thorough cleanings and examinations, plus education about how to keep teeth sparkling between visits. Call us at (413) 241-3995 to schedule an appointment for yourself or anyone in your family.
Preventive Dentistry Is Regular Checkups
It’s very important to maintain a schedule of twice-yearly dental visits for you and the entire family. Not only will you receive a more thorough cleaning than is possible at home, but we will be able to spot potential problems before symptoms appear. Here’s what you can expect at your checkups:
- A Thorough Examination: We will carefully inspect your teeth and gums. We will look for indications of tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues.
- An Extensive Cleaning: A dental cleaning is different than what you do at home. We are able to see and remove the damaging plaque and tartar that’s built up on the teeth. We then give them a professional polishing and flossing.
- Digital X-Rays: Your teeth probably will not have to be X-rayed at every visit, but it’s important to have them done periodically. This way, we are able to spot problems not apparent during the initial examination, such as abscesses, impacted teeth, and decay between teeth. At Dores Dental, we use state-of-the-art digital X-rays. These provide much more detail than traditional X-rays, but expose you to less radiation.
- Sealants: Sealants, as the name suggests, literally seal out disease-causing bacteria. Anyone can get them, but they are especially effective when used with children. The process is simple and painless. After the teeth are cleaned and prepared, the sealant is applied and hardened with a special light. The coating will prevent bacteria from getting into the tooth and causing damage. Sealants are no substitute for brushing and flossing, though!
- Fluoride Treatments: Fluoride is a mineral that helps protect the tooth enamel and prevent decay. It can also reverse decay that’s discovered early enough. In young children, it assists in the development of stronger, more decay-resistant permanent teeth. At Dores Dental, we have in-office fluoride treatments available to protect and strengthen your — and especially your kids’ — teeth.
- What About Baby?: You may think that you can wait until your child has at least a few teeth before bringing her to the dentist, but Dr. Dores recommends making that initial appointment early. Bring your baby in when the first tooth comes in or around his or her first birthday. This sets the foundation for a lifetime of good dental habits.
Preventive Care Continues at Home
While regular dental visits are essential, it’s just as important to care for your teeth properly at home. Keeping your pearly whites clean helps prevent decay and unwelcome surprises when you do come in to see us. We know you are busy and things fall through the cracks, so we suggest establishing a daily routine for your and your kids’ dental care.
- Brush your teeth meticulously twice a day. Doing this (and preferably after every meal) removes plaque before it hardens into more stubborn tartar. Brush with a fluoride toothpaste and use circular motions. Also brush your tongue to remove even more bacteria and help prevent bad breath. Remember to replace your toothbrush every few months or when the bristles begin to fray.
- Floss every day. This not only gets out bits of food stuck between your teeth. Flossing helps remove plaque and stimulates the gums.
- Use mouthwash. Mouthwash can help clean hard-to-reach areas of the mouth and is a good way to supplement (but never replace!) brushing and flossing.
- Watch what you eat and drink. Drinking water throughout the day, especially after meals, helps to rinse out your mouth between brushing. Limit sugary foods and chewy treats like fruit snacks, which encourage the growth of damaging bacteria. Chow down on real fruit, crunchy vegetables, and calcium-rich foods so your teeth get the nutrients they need to be strong and healthy.
Follow these preventive dentistry pointers, and you have the best chance of retaining your beautiful, natural smile. And you are teaching your kids good habits that will serve them well for their entire lives. To make an appointment with Dores Dental, call our Longmeadow, MA office at (413) 241-3995. We also have a web form for your convenience.