Preventative Dentistry in Clearwater & Seminole
Keeping Your Smile Fresh and Healthy
It has been well documented that preventative care is the best way to ensure great dental health in the short and long-term. We believe that the best way to ensure this is through providing education to our patients on why regular dental health screenings are important not only for the health of your mouth but for the health of your entire body. It is never too late to start seeing our team for preventative cleanings and exams to ensure your future oral health will be as ideal as possible! When you come into our office, we will review your medical history with you and review how this might impact your dental health. We will also provide you with a schedule for future visits so that you can maintain that bright, healthy smile year-round.
Periodontal cleanings are very important for proper oral health. The primary purpose of periodontal cleanings is to preserve the health of the gums. Without proper cleanings, the teeth might be healthy, but over time the gums might deteriorate and lead to tooth loss.
Even those with good oral hygiene at home, plaque will accumulate in one’s mouth. Brushing and flossing, as well as regularly performing mouth rinses, will reduce the plaque quantity but will never eradicate them completely. When plaque rests on the root surfaces for even a small amount of time, it can mix with the minerals within the saliva and harden to form calculus. This calculus, with its complex mix of different bacteria and toxins, will upset the gums causing gingivitis. This inflammatory response, if left untreated, will stimulate a chronic inflammatory response around the teeth, resulting in the destruction of the bone and gums. This periodontal destruction is irreversible without surgical intervention.
Regular periodontal cleanings ensure the surfaces of the roots are clean and prevent the periodontal destruction. Many people can stick to a six-month schedule to maintain gum health. However, in more vulnerable situations or when calculus accumulates more quickly, a more frequent recall schedule might be warranted.
Your dentist and hygienist will evaluate your gums in several ways to determine the overall periodontal health and decide the degree of cleaning that is needed. But, the ultimate goal is to reach a clean state for the teeth to prevent gum breakdown. Proper oral hygiene at home along with proper periodontal cleanings should preserve the teeth for a lifetime of smiles.
Generally speaking, children are more vulnerable to teeth decay than adults for several reasons.
These reasons include:
- Children have not had the same amount of time to develop good oral hygiene habits
- Children often lack the motivation to brush, floss, and rinse their teeth after eating sticky foods
- Children tend to gravitate towards sweet and sugary foods and then fall asleep before cleaning their mouth
For these reasons and more, sealants are an excellent preventative procedure for children in order to reduce their risk of developing tooth decay.
Dental sealants are applied to the grooves of the patient’s teeth and they are thin plastic coatings. Sealants protect the back teeth’s chewing surfaces, which is where a vast majority of childhood tooth decay occurs. These plastic coatings prevent plaque and food from penetrating and getting stuck in the back teeth. This procedure is quick and efficient, with no drilling involved! In total, the entire procedure takes mere minutes.
At around six years of age, a patient’s first adult molar will appear. Around 12 years of age, their second molar will pop up. Sealants are typically placed on these adult molars, especially so if there are deep grooves between them when they first appear.
Dental sealants are extremely durable and are capable of lasting for years on end. However, they are intended to only be used for a couple years, while the patient develops more mature dental hygiene habits. If the sealants fall off unexpectedly, that’s no problem. They can be reapplied virtually immediately.
Custom night guards are plastic covers for your teeth that are molded to precisely fit your specific teeth. They are recommended to protect the teeth and jaw joint, called the TMJ. They can be needed for a variety of reasons. Night guards will help prevent excessive wear and cracking of teeth and protect dental work from fracturing or breaking if the patient clenches or grinds their teeth at night. The bite will be professionally positioned by the appliance to remove excessive pressures on the TMJ to relieve joint pain and prevent joint pathologies from progressing. Only professionally fabricated night guards will ensure your bite is even and ideal to prevent further damage to the TMJ.
Sports Mouth Guards
Sports mouth guards are very important for protecting one’s teeth from physical activity. They are flexible appliances made of plastic and they shield the teeth from trauma. Sports such as football, lacrosse, hockey, and sports on wheels are all activities where the teeth should be protected.
Mouth guards also can help prevent severe injuries, including jaw fractures and neck injuries and reduce the severity and incidence of concussions by avoiding situations where the lower jaw gets forced into the upper jaw. The mouth guards will also minimize lacerations in the mouth and are essential for protecting the lips when wearing orthodontic appliances during sports.
A professionally fabricated mouth guard is always preferred because the jaws can be positioned in the ideal alignment to prevent injury.
Our dentists provide a variety of effective treatment options for patients suffering from sleep-related dental issues. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you probably suffer from snoring while you’re asleep. Patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea experience snoring because their tongue and throat muscles collapse into the backs of their throats, thereby blocking their airways. If you snore and want to know if you have obstructive sleep apnea, ask one of our skilled dentists. We can accurately diagnose your condition and provide you with an effective device that will work to treat your obstructive sleep apnea. Whether through a plastic oral appliance or through a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, we will do everything we can to help you sleep comfortably and quietly.