Preventive dental care offers ways to keep your teeth healthy. Although many dental services are designed to restore the teeth, preventive applications help you avoid tooth damage. Many preventive procedures are performed during routine visits.
Here are a few preventive services that your dentist may provide during your regular.six-month appointments.
There are scaling procedures that are designed to treat periodontal disease. However, those services often extend well below the gumline.
The scaling services that your dentist performs during a routine visit simply involve the scraping away of tartar from the dental crowns. Even if a patient regularly brushes and flosses, they are likely to incur some tartar accumulations.
Tartar is plaque that has hardened as it has remained in the same position on the teeth for a period. Plaque is quite soft in its original state. However, if it is not removed promptly, it can start to calcify, forming tartar. Often, tartar builds up along the gum line and between the teeth, where the patient may have missed a plaque-filled area during brushing and flossing sessions.
The tartar, unlike plaque, is hard and chalky. Thus, once it forms, it cannot be easily brushed from the enamel surface with a toothbrush. Instead, it must be scraped away.
The dentist uses a scraping tool, called a scaler, as they clean the teeth. The scaler can safely remove the tartar while allowing the dentist to avoid damage to the soft tissues of the mouth.
Since tartar can harbor large amounts of oral bacteria in its pores, the removal of tartar can help keep the teeth healthy.
To help the patient avoid decay, the dentist may also apply sealants. A dental sealant is a plastic coating that may be added to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The dentist places the coating while the sealing product is still a liquid. They then apply a bright light to the sealant to harden it into position.
The teeth decay when the tooth material is subjected to acid, which dissolves the minerals in the teeth. Oral bacteria produce much of the acid in the mouth as a digestive waste product. As they feed on the simple carbohydrates left in the mouth from meals and snacks, they digest their food and release demineralizing acid. The demineralization causes weak spots and holes to develop in the enamel.
The sealants form a barrier between the enamel and the acid, protecting the teeth from decay.
To learn more about the preventive treatments that dentists offer, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.