Why is Preventive Dentistry so important?
We recommend that you get a routine dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of food and bacteria that forms constantly on your teeth.
Even when you brush and floss properly every day, some plaque remains on your teeth and hardens to become tarter. Tarter can be removed effectively only with a professional cleaning. It is important to remove plaque and tarter because they are the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease.
One of the greatest breakthroughs in preventive dentistry is the use of fluoride. Almost all water naturally contains some fluoride, but in sufficient quantity to protect teeth. Many American cities add some fluoride to the water supply to bring it up to the levels that help prevent tooth decay.
Fluoride treatments are sometimes prescribed to help eliminate the bacteria that cause gum disease. Fluoride treatments for older adults help to treat decay on tooth roots and to minimize root sensitivity.
For this reason we recommend fluoride toothpaste for all of our patients. We may also recommend additional sources of fluoride for you to use at home.
A sealant is a clear or white plastic coating that is placed on the biting surfaces of back teeth to help prevent tooth decay.
Back teeth have deep grooves and pits that are very difficult to keep clean. Plaque, which is a sticky, colorless film of food and bacteria, collects in these grooves. Plaque is nearly invisible, so to see it, we may stain the plaque with harmless red dye.
Every time you eat, the bacteria in plaque forms acid. Without a protective sealant, this acid attacks the enamel that protects your teeth and causes the enamel to break down. Then, you get a cavity.