Preventive dentistry is a dual effort by you and your Fort Lauderdale dentist. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy requires daily attention on your part, but your dentist can only contribute to the effort if you go to your dental appointments every six months.
1. You can’t care for your teeth alone.
You may be incredibly dedicated to your oral hygiene routine at home. You may brush twice a day and floss once a day. You may minimize your intake of sweets, drink plenty of water, and take excellent care of your teeth. However, these efforts aren’t enough to keep your teeth completely healthy. Your dentist and hygienist have the tools and expertise to remove hard-to-reach plaque and tartar during teeth cleanings and protect your mouth from decay and infection. Together, your efforts can produce a strong, healthy smile for life.
2. Early gum disease is not always apparent.
Gum disease starts small and takes time to grow, but if you have this problem it should not get very far if your Fort Lauderdale dentist’s eyes are on your teeth every six months. Early gum disease – known as gingivitis – may not exhibit any visible symptoms to you, but your dentist will notice swollen or red gums and other signs of infection. She will measure the depth of the pockets around your teeth and identify if periodontal therapy or laser dentistry is needed.
3. Oral cancer is difficult to see.
Every time you see your dentist for a check-up, she will conduct an oral cancer screening, carefully looking at your lips, gums, cheeks, tongue, palate, and lymph nodes for symptoms of cancer. Early signs of oral cancer are difficult for the untrained eye to recognize, but your dentist knows what to look for and can ensure that you get the medical care you need quickly before the disease becomes serious and life-threatening.
4. You could have tooth decay and not know it.
If you don’t have any tooth pain, you may think your teeth are completely healthy. In fact, tooth decay could be lurking in plain sight – but you’ll never know it on your own. Getting regular digital x-rays and allowing your dentist to review the condition of your teeth for soft spots or dark areas will ensure that any trouble spots are noticed and addressed before they have the chance to become worse and require major restorative dentistry.
5. Your dentist has tools you do not.
You can use fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash at home, but it can’t compare to the power of the professional-grade varnish or foam fluoride treatments offered by a dentist. Dentists also offer sealants to protect against cavities on molars, especially in children. If you grind your teeth or play a sport, night guards or athletic mouth guards customized by your dentist will protect your teeth from damage. These preventive dentistry efforts may seem small, but they are huge when it comes to keeping your oral health strong.
If you or a member of your family are due for a dental visit, contact Fort Lauderdale dentist Dr. Charmaine Johnson at Premier Smile Center to schedule an appointment for preventive dentistry.