Preventative dental care involves strategies to prevent the development of dental disease or stop the progression of dental disease by diagnosing problems early on. Preventative strategies used by dentists include dental cleanings every six months and dental exams at least yearly. Dental exams consist of x-rays, and oral cancer screening, and a general dental check up. Your dentist may also suggest additional preventative procedures based on your individual risk factors for dental cavities.
- One type of preventative procedure is known as a sealant. Sealants are a protective covering placed over teeth to prevent bacteria from reaching the tooth surface and causing cavities. Sealants are often recommended for teeth that have a high risk for cavities due to pits and grooves. Most insurances cover sealants for children, but this procedure can be beneficial for adult patients as well.
- Another preventative procedure is the application of a fluoride varnish. A fluoride varnish treatment involves the topical application of a high concentration of fluoride to the teeth. Fluoride is a mineral that can strengthen the teeth by remineralizing weak spots and by preventing bacteria in the mouth from causing cavities. The professionally applied fluoride varnish is a quick and pain free procedure that offers a great benefit to patients.
Be sure to ask your dentist about measures that can be taken to reduce your risk factors and prevent dental disease. Preventative dental care is the key to a healthy smile.