As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Tooth problems are inevitable because people use their teeth all the time. But if you maintain proper oral hygiene habits and regularly go for preventive dental treatments, you’ll be able to keep gum diseases, cavities and enamel erosion at bay. Studies show that sustainable quality oral healthcare and preventative measures are highly correlated. Below we list down some of the treatments you should consider when visiting a Canberra dentist to maintain a quality set of teeth:
1) Comprehensive Oral Examination
After booking an appointment, your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth for emerging problems. The examination process usually covers any or all of the following:
- Dental x-rays – Not only do they help dentists locate teeth and roots during surgeries, they also detect underlying conditions that affect dental health. These may include tumours, resorption, cyts and other serious causes.
- Disease check – During a comprehensive oral examination, dentists include the gums and bones around the teeth for signs of periodontal diseases or the beginnings thereof.
- Examination for potential restoration – Patients with existing crowns, fillings or dental implants require routine maintenance. Dentist will assess the status of your teeth and check for potential defects (e.g. chipped fillings, improperly positioned crown, loose implants).
- Oral cancer test – Oral cavity cancer affects 4 in every 3,000 people. That is why dental professionals are keen to include this test during an examination, which extends to related body parts (face, lips, neck, and throat) plus the parts of your mouth (tongue, gums and tissues).
2) Oral Hygiene and Cleaning
Preventative oral care places an important emphasis on good hygiene. When you visit your dentist for a hygiene session, they conduct any of these procedures:
- Remove plaque – Plaque, a bacteria-filled starchy or sugary food residue around your teeth, can develop into cavities and inflame the gums. Your dentist will have to remove these harmful deposits so you can eat and drink comfortably.
- Clean your teeth’s surface – Special dental tools free up teeth from hardened plaques sticking to the enamel. Often found near the gum line, dentists also apply different techniques to get rid of tartar buildups, leaving your teeth cleaner and refreshed.
- Polish teeth – Expert dental professionals have the ability to make your teeth look smooth and clean and your smile brighter with some polishing. Be careful with your eating habits as teeth and gums are extra sensitive following a polishing procedure.
3) Using Dental Sealants
Dentists place a dental sealant, a thin plastic sheet that aids in chewing, usually on the grooves of your back teeth for more or less an hour. It effectively wards off unwanted residue and cavity-causing bacteria. Proper application also ensures protection from decay. Stains will be removed from the surface via air abrasion so the sealant can bond well with your tooth enamel. As soon as the surface dries, the sealant will be applied and fused using UV light or laser. Your dentist will conclude the procedure only after the sealant hardened properly.
4) Oral Healthcare at Home
Besides routine dental check-ups, consistent home dental care prevents serious teeth and gum diseases. Maintaining your oral health at home is just as important as appointments with your dentist. To get the most of oral hygiene, practice oral hygiene in your own simple way. Use a mouthwash, floss and brush your teeth twice a day. Before starting your home dental care routine, be sure to consult with your dentist and listen to their advice.
5) Fluoride Treatment
If you feel like your teeth are no longer as strong as they used to be, go for a fluoride treatment. This type of treatment focuses on remineralisation, a process that involves fusing minerals with deteriorated sections of your tooth enamel. It also prevents further decay by stopping bacteria from producing acid. Dentists administer fluoride treatment at least once a month. Supplement this with a toothpaste and mouthwash that are both rich in fluoride for maximum protection.
All the dental treatments above were designed to make your oral health journey easier and more manageable. Due to constant use, teeth naturally wear and tear. However, if you pay attention to and are consistent with your preventative treatments, you are likely to avoid serious problems and enjoy healthy teeth for a long time.