Our most important goal at Lysaght Dental is to help our patients keep their own teeth for life. The easiest way to reduce the risk of decay, pain and serious infections is with a good preventative dentistry plan.
Preventative dentistry is a combined effort. Regular check-ups and proper dental hygiene both in the surgery and at home mean that you and your dentist work together to maintain the health of your teeth.
Preventative dentistry aims to avoid more complex treatment by providing the appropriate maintenance and oral hygiene. At Lysaght Dental we emphasise the benefits of prevention for several reasons:
- Prevention is easier, cheaper and more comfortable than treatment;
- Poor oral health impacts your overall health, with links to cardiac disease;
- Gum disease leads to tooth loss.
Patients who attend regularly for check-ups have the lowest overall dental bills. This is because small areas of decay or gum disease are treated before they lead to root canals, abscesses or teeth requiring extraction. Advice and preventative treatments as well as modifying dietary habits and implementing good oral hygiene procedures can then prevent the recurrence of disease almost completely.
Don't put off having regular check-ups
If more than six months have passed since you last saw a dentist, contact us to make an appointment today. A routine examination can help detect any potential problems before they become more serious and more expensive to fix.
During the check up, your dentist will carefully examine all parts of your mouth and face.
- Teeth will be checked for such things as cracks, wear, decay and faulty fillings.
- Gums will be checked to see if they have a healthy colour and shape. If they bleed, that is an early sign of disease
- Bones, cheeks, tongue and other parts of the mouth and face will be examined for any unusual swellings or surface changes.
- X-rays will be taken if they are necessary and appropriate.
The most important part of the check-up is the discussion that you and your dentist can have after the examination.
This may include:
- An explanation of what has been seen in your mouth.
- Recommendations on how to treat any problems that are present.
- Advice on your diet and the best way to clean your teeth.
- Recommendations on how to overcome any destructive habits that cause harm.
- Monitoring the development of the teeth and jaws in growing children.
Your expectations, needs and – importantly – any anxiety that you may have should be brought up so that your dentist can understand you better.
Oral Hygiene Advice
Simple steps taken every day make a big difference
- Brush twice a day. Time this brushing for 2 minutes every time
- When you finish brushing your teeth, spit the toothpaste out but don’t rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash, just leave the remaining toothpaste in your mouth. This will help to continue strengthen your teeth after you have finished brushing.
- Floss once a day, straight after brushing. Use an up and down motion between the teeth, this will remove the plaque and introduce the fluoride from the toothpaste to the hard to reach bits in between your teeth.
- Use a fluoride mouthwash at a different time of day to brushing, such as after lunch.
Decay is caused by sugar. The more often you have sugar in your mouth (regardless of how much at a time) the more likely you will be to get decay.
- Don’t take sugar in your tea or coffee.
- Just drink water between meals.
- Limit sweet drinks such as diluting juice or fizzy drinks to meal times only.
- Try to limit snacks to sugar free foods such as toast, crackers, nuts and cheese.
Remember – grapes can cause as much decay as chocolate (it doesn’t matter where the sugar comes from, it can still cause damage to your teeth)
Cleaning – Regularly seeing your dentist or hygienist to remove hardened plaque and calculus (tartar) prevents build up of infected deposits on the teeth. If these deposits are allowed to build up the bacteria that live in the plaque produce chemicals that damage the gums, leading to gingivitis and over a longer period, periodontitis. Regular professional cleaning every 6 months makes it easier for you to keep your teeth clean at home, keeps your mouth healthy and your breath fresh.
Fissure sealants – molar and premolar teeth (teeth at the back of the mouth) naturally possess bumps and grooves that form the surface on which food is chewed. These grooves are called fissures. Sometimes these fissures go very deep into the middle of the tooth and can be a very high risk area for decay to start. Food and plaque can get caught deep in the groove and can be very difficult to clean out. A safe and pain free way to protect these areas is to flow a thin layer of filling material into the grooves to block them up. This sealant forms a hard smooth shield that prevents bacteria and food from entering the fissures.
No drilling or injections are involved so it is especially appropriate for prevention of decay in children.
Fluoride Treatment – Fluoride is the strongest weapon we have to fight decay and strengthen teeth. The surfaces of teeth are softened by acid (from plaque bacteria of from foods we eat). Given time this is repaired by calcium in our saliva and by fluoride. Softened enamel becomes stronger if it is repaired with fluoride compared with calcium. Using fluoride varnishes or fluoride trays we can locate high strength fluoride safely on the tooth surface to target high risk areas and high risk patients. This is a standard part of our prevention protocol for children.