Preventive Dentistry in Warrensburg, Oak Grove, and Windsor, MO
Healthy Smiles for a Lifetime
At Ridgeview Family Dental, we want all our patients to achieve a lifetime of healthy smiles. That’s why we offer preventive dentistry services to help patients understand the importance of properly caring for their oral health. A vital component in preventing unwanted dental issues is maintaining an at-home oral hygiene routine and scheduling biannual dental checkups with Dr. Young at one of our three office locations.
Learn more about what preventive dentistry can do for your oral health with our helpful guide below.
Preventive dentistry focuses on helping patients avoid developing dental conditions that are costly and invasive. This consists of a combination of regular dental checkups along with maintaining good oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing. At Ridgeview Family Dental, we’ll always help our patients understand the importance of maintaining good dental health to help patients look and feel their best while achieving great overall health.
Teeth Cleanings, Dental Exams, & X-Rays
One of the most important components of keeping your teeth healthy is to prevent tartar and plaque buildup, which can be accomplished by regularly visiting the dentist. The Amerian Dental Association recommends patients visit the dentist for regular cleanings and dental exams once every six months or twice a year. Even if you feel like your teeth are in excellent condition, checkups are still necessary. These checkups allow us to thoroughly clean your teeth and detect any potential problems.
At your regular dental appointments, our dental hygienists will ensure that every tooth is squeaky clean, and plaque-free. After your professional cleaning, Dr. Young will check your x-rays and visually examine your teeth for any signs of decay and other dental problems.
You may notice that you have grooves and crevices on the chewing surfaces of your molars, which is normal. However, if bacteria and food debris accumulate in these areas, it can lead to cavities and tooth decay. We’ll examine your teeth for any large grooves and if we find any, we may recommend dental sealants.
Dental sealants are clear, plastic coatings that we apply over the targeted area to protect against cavities and tooth decay. This treatment gives patients an added layer of protection for their smiles.
Oral cancer screenings involve a visual examination done by Dr. Young during your biannual dental appointments. He’ll check your cheeks, throat, neck, and face for any abnormalities. The goal of oral cancer screenings is to identify oral cancer early on, which leads to a better chance of a cure.
Our Preventive Dentistry Tips
A healthy mouth starts with good brushing habits. The American Dental Association encourages children and adults to:
- Brush two times a day for two minutes.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that comfortably fits your mouth.
- Replace toothbrushes every two to three months.
- Use fluoride toothpaste.
The way you brush your teeth is important as well. Try doing the following when brushing:
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle rather than using straight force.
- Use short strokes when moving the toothbrush across the teeth. Press gently because brushing too hard causes abrasion to the gums – leading to possible inflammation and gum recession.
- Touch the inner and outer surfaces with several strokes, and then the chewing surface.
- To brush the inner surfaces of the front teeth, turn the brush vertical and use very short-up-and-down strokes.
The second step in your oral care routine is easy but important to the success of disease prevention. Flossing removes the biofilm that adheres to the surfaces in between the teeth and just under the gums.
When plaque builds up in hidden places, it can cause inflammation and infection that affects the mouth as well as the body. Here are some guidelines to follow when flossing:
- Use a string of floss about 18 inches long and wrap each end loosely around a finger.
- Slide a tight string of floss between two teeth, sliding it up gently to remove pesky invisible plaque. As you slide the floss, curve it slightly around the base of the tooth as you go. Make sure that you allow the floss to flow beneath the edge of the gums to reach areas that are susceptible to bacteria.
- As you move from one tooth to the next, move your hands to reveal clean sections of floss for use.
If you have any questions about your flossing technique, ask your dental hygienist at your next appointment.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Studies have shown that sugary foods and beverages can negatively impact oral health. A balanced diet that includes foods high in calcium (milk, yogurt, and spinach) as well as crunchy vegetables, fruits, and nuts naturally cleanse and fortifies your enamel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is prevention important in dentistry?
Preventive dentistry is the modern way of helping you keep your smile and oral health in great condition. By practicing preventive dentistry, we’re able to prevent unwanted disease as well as catch problems early on, allowing for less invasive treatments in the future.
How often should I get dental cleanings?
We recommend getting professional dental cleanings once every six months. Even if you take proper care of your teeth, there are still hard-to-reach areas in the mouth that may not get cleaned as often as they need. Eventually, plaque and tartar can build up and lead to cavities and oral disease.
At your dental cleaning, our team will make sure all areas of your mouth are clean and taken care of. We may also take x-rays of your teeth to see any areas of decay that aren’t visible to the human eye. This allows us to provide treatment as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
Achieve Excellent Oral Health
Preventive dentistry is important to your overall health. By maintaining an excellent oral hygiene routine and regularly visiting Dr. Young for biannual dental checkups, you can help avoid future dental issues. To learn more about preventive dental services, contact one of our three dental offices in Warrensburg, Oak Grove, or Windsor MO.