Preventive care simply means keeping your smile healthy by taking proactive measures to prevent dental decay, periodontal disease, tooth loss, and other oral health conditions. While your dentist plays a vital role in your preventive care routine, at-home care techniques are equally important. A combination of regular cleanings to remove buildup that gets trapped in hard-to-reach places, dental exams every six months to check for oral health problems, and excellent home care including daily brushing and flossing is the secret to maintaining a bright and healthy smile for years to come. No matter your age, it’s never too late to begin forming healthy habits that can positively affect your oral health!
Our team at Balaci Dental Group strives to make your routine exams and cleanings as comfortable as possible — we want you to know that a dental visit does not need to be a scary process! Keeping up with your proactive dental routine at home and through routine dental visits increases the likelihood that you will keep severe dental problems at bay, avoiding more invasive or uncomfortable procedures in the future. This is not only good for your oral health but also good for your budget!
Routine Dental Visits & Cleanings
Prevention is what professional dental exams are all about. During your exam, any existing or potential problems will be identified so that they can be treated early, circumventing the need for more treatment later. Your dental exam will begin with an examination of your mouth, during which your hygienist will look for indications of tooth decay or gum disease such as plaque, tartar, cavities, gum puffiness, or discoloration of the teeth and gums. Most of these symptoms can be avoided with daily brushing and flossing and prevented from becoming more severe if caught early during regular exams.
Next, you will receive a cleaning. No matter how often you brush and floss, plaque and tartar deposits can still build up on your teeth, and there are places in the mouth that are simply too hard to reach with self-care alone. A professional teeth cleaning is the single most effective way to remove these deposits and prevent them from causing more serious problems in the future. While a traditional teeth cleaning involves manually scraping away these deposits with special dental tools, advances in dental technologies now give you more options for teeth cleanings.
- A laser teeth cleaning, also known as an ultrasonic cleaning, is an extremely effective alternative to traditional teeth cleanings. With a laser teeth cleaning, an ultrasonic scaler (rather than a manual probe) is used to remove deposits, kill harmful microbes, and eliminate bacteria around the teeth and gums through high-frequency sound waves. Many patients find laser teeth cleanings more comfortable than traditional teeth cleanings because they are quicker, quieter, and pain-free.
- A deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, may be recommended if excessive plaque and tartar deposits have developed below the gum line or if you are suffering from bone loss or other symptoms of gum disease (periodontal disease). Deep cleanings involve a two-part process: first, the stubborn deposits are removed, and then the root surfaces are smoothed to keep further deposits and bacteria from getting a foothold. A deep cleaning treats periodontal disease and helps to prevent its progression.
Genetics, pre-existing conditions, and other factors can make it harder for some people to fight oral infections without the help of professional cleanings. If you are already dealing with early stages of gum disease or dental decay, more frequent cleanings may be recommended. Other preventive treatments such as fluoride treatments and sealants may also be recommended. Your dentist at Balaci Dental Group can help you form a treatment plan to keep existing infections from worsening and prevent future problems from occurring. Our highest goal is to help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful — and prevention is the key!
Developing and sticking to a proactive oral hygiene routine are critical for your oral health and your overall health — most dental diseases are preventable! Our team of experienced dental professionals are dedicated to sharing their knowledge so that you can maintain a self-care routine that is right for you. We know all the best tips and tricks to help you fit these healthy habits into your busy day, every day. Here are a couple of the basics that you can get started on right away:
- Brushing and flossing. It sounds so simple to spare a couple of minutes twice a day to brush and floss, and yet many people have not integrated regular brushing and flossing into their daily routines. Flossing often gets the run around because people may think that brushing is enough; however, roughly 40% of your teeth’s surface area is between the teeth, completely unreachable by a toothbrush. If you’re more likely to floss on the go, embrace it and carry some floss picks in your car or purse so that you can floss whenever you think of it or between meals. It’s been said that it takes about a month to turn something into a habit, so give yourself some time to adjust, and remember, this is an investment in your health. There’s nothing more important!
- Eating for a healthy mouth. Big lifestyle changes can be intimidating and difficult to keep up, but luckily, when it comes to being mindful of your dental health, there are some very simple adjustments you can make that will have a positive effect. The act of drinking fluoridated water throughout the day is one change you can start today that is proven to help prevent decay. To help make this a routine, buy a reusable bottle to take with you on the go or to keep on your desk at work. And then there’s the obvious: limit your intake of sugary snacks. If you have something sweet, choose to eat it during a meal — your mouth creates more saliva during meals, which reduces the effect of acid production and helps to rinse bits of food from the teeth and gums.
From scheduling your regular dental exams and cleanings to keeping on top of your home care, maintaining your healthy smile is ultimately in your hands. Remember, no matter how long it has been since your last visit, it’s not too late to come in to see us for a checkup and a cleaning to make sure your teeth continue to stay healthy for a lifetime.
X-Rays and Imaging Services
Digital dental X-rays are a critical component in preventive dentistry. The maximum accuracy and detail provided by digital images allows us to detect, diagnose, and treat oral health problems earlier for the very best result. We use the most advanced digital X-rays available so that our doctors and patients can have instant results with up to 90% less radiation than traditional X-rays. Digital images are also easier and faster to share with consulting doctors on your care team for extra efficiency in your treatment planning. Intraoral photography is another alternative to traditional dental X-rays. With intraoral photography, problems such as cavities, fractures, and discolorations in the teeth are captured through clear and sharp photographic images that are taken with a 35 mm or digital camera. These high-quality images can help with efficient treatment planning because they are easily reviewed and compared with the patient’s other images and records.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer affects nearly 35,000 Americans every year. The key to surviving oral cancer is early detection. This starts with the regular oral cancer screening that takes place during your routine dental exams — one of many reasons why dental exams should ideally be performed at least once every six months. An oral cancer screening takes just minutes and is pain-free. If you are male, a regular oral cancer screening is especially critical: oral cancer is more than twice as common in men as it is in women. Other people at high risk for oral cancer include people over the age of 60, tobacco smokers, and heavy drinkers. If your dentist detects oral cancer, a detailed plan of action will be developed for you by our experienced doctors so that you can begin treatment as soon as possible.
Preventive Dentistry in Annville, PA
If you have not visited the dentists in the past six months, we recommend scheduling an appointment with our office for your next checkup. Our team of friendly and skilled hygienists and dentists will ensure that your dental health and smile are protected for many years to come. For more information, please contact our office where one of our knowledgeable staff members will be happy to assist you.