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Preventive Treatment

Macedon Family Dentistry: Family Dentists in the Macedon, Palmyra and Fairport Area

Periodontal disease (also called gum disease and periodontitis) is a leading cause of tooth loss. However, it can be completely preventable in the vast majority of cases. Professional cleanings twice a year combined with daily self-cleaning can remove a high percentage of disease-causing bacteria and plaque. In addition, teeth that are well cared for through preventive treatment can help you maintain a healthy, bright smile.

 

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay. The benefits of fluoride have been well known for over 50 years and are supported by many health and professional organizations. 

Topical fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. Topical fluoride can be found in many dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels. Dentists and dental hygienists generally recommend that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups.

Systemic fluoride strengthens the teeth that have erupted as well as those that are developing under the gums. Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, sometimes it is not enough to help prevent decay. Your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments or supplements if necessary.

Remember, fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay. It is important to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks, and visit your dentist on a regular basis.

 

Oral Hygiene Aids

Regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining excellent oral hygiene and diagnosing potential problems, but they are not a “fix-all” solution. Thorough oral homecare routines should be practiced on a daily basis to avoid future dental problems. Here are some of the most common oral hygiene aids for homecare:

  • Dental Flosses: Dental floss is the most common interdental and subgingival (below the gum) cleaner and comes in a variety of types and flavors. Floss can help remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth. You should floss twice daily after brushing.
  • Interdental Cleaners: These tiny brushes are gentle on the gums and very effective in cleaning the contours of teeth in between the gums. Interdental brushes come in various shapes and sizes.
  • Mouth Rinses: There are two basic types of mouth rinse available: Cosmetic rinses, which are sold over the counter and temporarily suppress bad breath, and therapeutic rinses, which may require a prescription. Talk to us to see which one may be right for you. Mouth rinses should generally be used after brushing.
  • Oral Irrigators: Oral irrigators, like water jets and Waterpiks, can help remove harmful bacteria and food particles. Overall, oral irrigators have proven effective in lowering the risk of gum disease and should not be used instead of brushing and flossing.
  • Rubber Tip Stimulators: The rubber tip stimulator is an excellent tool for removing plaque from around the gum line and also for stimulating blood flow to the gums. The rubber tip stimulator should be traced gently along the outer and inner gum line at least once each day.
  • Tongue Cleaners: Tongue cleaners are special devices which have been designed to remove the buildup of bacteria, fungi and food debris from the tongue surface. The fungi and bacteria that colonize on the tongue have been related to halitosis (bad breath) and a great many systemic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease and stroke.
  • Toothbrushes: There are a great many toothbrush types available. Electric toothbrushes are generally recommended and can be much more effective than manual brushes. The vibrating or rotary motion helps to easily dislodge plaque and remove food particles from around the gums and teeth. Manual toothbrushes should be replaced every three months because worn bristles become ineffective over time. Soft bristle toothbrushes are far less damaging to gum tissue than the medium and hard bristle varieties.
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    Sealants

A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth. More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves. Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay. A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.

There are many reasons for sealants, including:

    • Children and teenagers: As soon as the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear or any time throughout the cavity prone years of 6-16.
    • Adults: Tooth surfaces without decay that have deep grooves or depressions.
    • Baby teeth: Occasionally done if teeth have deep grooves or depressions and child is cavity prone.
    Sealants are easily applied by our dentists and the process takes only a couple of minutes per tooth. Proper home care, a balanced diet and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new sealants.

 

If you have any questions about preventive treatment, fluoride treatment, oral hygiene aids or sealants, or if you need a dentist in the Fairport, Macedon and Palmyra area, call us today for an appointment.