You know why we call them permanent teeth? Because they're supposed to last you a lifetime! The good news is that with regular preventive dentistry and timely repairs there's a good chance they will.
It starts with an ounce of prevention, taking just a few minutes each day to brush twice and floss once - then by taking just 30 minutes or so twice a year to have your teeth professionally cleaned and checked.
Here are some of the basic techniques we use to keep your permanent teeth strong and healthy - for a lifetime of smiles!
Dental Exams and Cleanings
Your regular six month exam is where little problems can be detected and corrected before they can become costly, complicated procedures. In addition to checking for tooth decay, we also perform an oral cancer screening and check for early signs of periodontal disease.
Even if you are a meticulous brusher, regular cleanings by your dental hygienist will remove the hard to reach or stubborn plaque and calculus even electric toothbrushes leave behind - before it can create tooth decay and gum disease.
Another essential tool in our early detection arsenal is today's high speed digital x-ray. Many critical oral conditions would go undiscovered without the precise imagery they provide. And if you are concerned about radiation exposure, you'll be pleased to know that advances in high-speed digital technology have reduced the radiation emitted by a dental x-ray by an incredible 90%! This means diagnosing serious dental problems that can only be detected by x-ray is safer than ever.
For many, the fluoride in over-the-counter toothpastes and mouthwashes does not offer enough protection. This is why I typically recommend professional fluoride treatment for all children and adult patients at higher risk for tooth decay.
This stronger concentration of fluoride, approved by the American Dental Association, provides maximum protection. The treatment takes just a few minutes and can be repeated every 3, 6 or 12 months as needed.
As a dad and a grandpa, I know thorough, regular brushing is not a top priority for most children. That's why dental sealants are such an important part of our war against tooth decay. This clear plastic resin bonds to each tooth and fills in the grooves where plaque can collect. The smoother surface makes brushing easier and more effective--even in those hard-to-reach places. And because there is no drilling, application is fast, easy and totally painless.
Sealants are usually applied to children's permanent molars for extra protection during the years when they are at highest risk for tooth decay, but adults' teeth can also be sealed. Sealants usually last three to five years, but amazingly, I've seen adults with their childhood sealants still intact!
Custom Fitted Athletic Mouth Guards
Just as pads and helmets protect young athletes from bodily injury, custom mouth guards help protect their teeth from breaking, splintering or loosening. I tell all my athletic patients not to take the field or hit the ice without them! For some of my patients I even recommend mouth guards for poker club...if you get my drift.