Preventive Dental Care Ellicott City, MD

Preventive (Oral Disease Prevention)

Ellicott City Dentistry - Oral Disease Prevention

There are several ways to prevent things in life and reasons to prevent things from happening. We have control over very little in our lives but we do have control over plenty of things in our lives. Especially when it comes to our dental health and preventing cavities and other oral health issues that can be prevented with proper oral hygiene and regular check-ups. We will be discussing the different procedures you can have done at your Ellicott City dentist.

Fluoride Treatments

The enamel of the tooth is the strongest substance of the human body. It can be reinforced with regular fluoride treatments. This builds and maintains it's strength thus making it harder to succumb to cavities. Again, we cannot control whether fluoride is supplemented in the public water supply but we can use fluoridated toothpaste, fluoride tablets prescribed by our Ellicott City dentist, and getting concentrated treatments during regular check-ups. Fluoride is very important when teeth are forming in the child's mouth. Between the ages of 2 and 12, the back teeth are in formation. The wisdom teeth come in any time between 13 and 21. Everyone has different growth patterns and eruption cycles. Always ask about when the teeth are coming in or when they can have fluoride treatments.

Protective Sealants

Sealants are designed to fill in the gaps that occur during the formation of the teeth. The back teeth and pre-molars are formed by enamel lobes growing together making a whole tooth. the pre-molars are just two lobes formed together and the back teeth are four lobes that come together making a broader chewing surface for grinding food. Small pinpoint cavities can form where the lobes grow together. Before the cavities get a chance to form, sealants can be placed to fill in the tiny gaps and valleys that are hard to keep clean and brush. The cheek side of the back teeth are also able to get pinpoint cavities where the lobes form together. Sealants are made of resin plastic and are applied by first preparing the tooth with a solution to help it stick mechanically and chemically to the tooth. The tooth must be kept dry during the placement of the sealant material in order for it to stay. Sealants should last about five years. Protective sealants can be reapplied whenever they need to be. Checking them will be part of a regular check-up exam. Typically, sealants are only applied to the back molars but can be applied to premolars. Front teeth don't need sealants unless they have a deep pit on the tongue side.

Teeth Cleaning

Teeth should be professionally cleaned every six months. The dental health professional will use a handpiece that is a slow speed with a special cup designed to scrub the surfaces of the teeth like a squeegee. Mildly abrasive pumice will be used to help remove stains and debris from the tooth and the surrounding tissues. Tartar build-up will be removed as well. When all stains, tartar, and debris have been removed from the teeth, the dentist will do the exam and create a treatment plan if there is any treatment needed to be done at subsequent appointments. At the teeth cleaning appointment, the dental health professional will typically go over some tips and things to focus on for at-home oral hygiene maintenance.

Oral Hygiene Maintenance

Oral hygiene instruction can be discussed at this time as well. Proper flossing and brushing will prevent decay and issues with the gums and surrounding structures. Brushing after each meal is the recommendation from public health dentists. Adding flossing once daily is important to your oral hygiene routine because it will clean in between the teeth and disturb the plaque that forms into tartar. Plaque hardens into tartar after resting on the tooth surface for 24 hours. Sometimes brushing does not disturb the matrix of plaque. After the plaque has hardened into tartar, it is not easily removed. There are kinds of toothpaste on the market now that help to soften it but it still needs to be removed with a dental instrument. Eating crunchy vegetables and fruits helps to remove some of the soft plaque. Nothing is better than proper brushing and flossing. Call your Ellicott City, MD dental health professionals to schedule your next appointment for your preventive dentistry needs.

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