Preventative Dentistry in St. Charles, MO

What is Preventive Dentistry?

Preventative dentistry is the regular practice of oral care that will keep your teeth healthy and potential problems at bay. Taking preventative measures to ensure you’re caring for your mouth correctly can help fight issues like cavities, gum disease, increased sensitivity, enamel wear, and more. At Donahue Dental in St. Charles, MO, we strive to provide comprehensive oral health care to our customers. From simple teeth cleanings to quality care tailored to your you and your family. We have the services you need!

Common Dental Problems

As mentioned, preventive dentistry is the act of caring for your mouth to avoid potential problems down the road. Though the idea is to take these precautions to ensure optimal oral health, implementing preventative dentistry can improve the overall health of your body as well. Choosing to ignore your oral health will inevitably have consequences, some being more severe than others. Common problems surrounding improper preventive dentistry practices include:

  • Cavities – Also known as tooth decay, cavities are the result of bacteria buildup in the mouth that breaks down the enamel and causes a little hole in the tooth.
  • Tooth Loss – Plaque buildup can contribute to decay, which inflames gums and destroys supporting tissue such as ligaments and bones that result in the loosening of teeth.
  • Bad breath – Commonly caused by an accumulation of food particles or bacterial waste in the mouth but can also point to more serious medical disorders surrounding lack of oral hygiene.
  • Increased sensitivity – This usually has to do with enamel breaking down and wearing away, which in turn exposes nerve endings that can cause an increase in pain or tenderness.
  • Gum disease – Also referred to as Periodontitis, this is an infection that damages soft tissue in your mouth and destroys the bones that support your teeth.
  • Enamel wear – This happens when the acids from sugars and starches settle in the sticky plaque on your teeth and begin the eat away at the thin outer covering of the tooth.
  • Oral cancer – Swollen gums, missing teeth, and pretty much any opening in the mouth can be affected by inadequate oral hygiene which can lead to extreme issues like oral cancer.

Additionally, there is a clear connection between a lack of oral hygiene and more severe conditions like heart disease, pneumonia, arthritis, and diabetes. At Donahue Dental, we stress preventive care because we understand how seemingly small oral hygiene problems can grow into more significant health issues down the road.

Forms of Preventive Dentistry

When it comes to oral care, prevention is key. Preventive dentistry can be described as all the procedures modern general dentistry has made to ensure smooth and relatively inexpensive procedures that halt tooth decay and other diseases at their earliest stages. These forms of preventive procedures include:

  • Teeth cleaning – This is the very core of dental health. Physically removing disease-causing plaque from your teeth is detrimental to proper oral hygiene, which is why regular teeth cleaning is so vital to oral health.
  • Dental sealants – Sealants are thin composite coatings that fill the grooves in the back of the teeth so they do not become a breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to cavities.
  • Fluoride – We incorporate fluoride into the teeth’s mineral structure to make them stronger and more decay-resistant. Fluoride can also reverse small cavities.
  • Laser Decay Diagnosis – By using laser light, we can detect early tooth decay before cavities become severe.
  • Mouthguards – We make custom mouthguards as a way to protect both the hard and soft tissue of the mouth. Mouthguards are typically made for those who play impact sports or grind their teeth while sleeping.
  • X-rays – We use X-rays to reveal signs of decay and disease that are not yet visible to the naked eye.
  • Oral Cancer Screenings – Your best bet at avoiding oral cancers? Prevention. Donahue Dental will provide early detection screenings as a routine part of every regular dental exam.

What You Can do at Home

With all that being said, one of the most critical components to preventive dentistry is you! The procedures we offer at Donahue Dental can only be useful if you come to see us regularly, as well as maintain an exceptional oral hygiene routine in your own time. Some essential preventive dentistry steps that can be taken outside the dental office include:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. We recommend brushing in gentle, circular motions, after each meal, and especially before bed.
  • Clean between your teeth daily with dental floss, interdental brushes, and “water-picks.”
  • Rinse with mouthwash daily, specifically those with fluoride or antiseptic ingredients that help kill plaque-causing bacteria.
  • Making sure you brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth. Plaque can also build up on your tongue, so make sure you’re cleaning your tongue every time you brush your teeth.
  • Cut down on sugary foods or drinks that convert into acid in the mouth and stick to the tooth’s surface, eroding enamel.
  • Avoid smoking to significantly decrease your risk of gum disease and other oral issues.

Get a Dentist’s Opinion

The very best way to maintain proper oral care? Contact us at least twice a year to ensure you are taking a proactive, preventative dentistry stance towards your oral health. Not only do regular teeth cleanings and exams help you have a sparkling smile, but it’s also the ideal way for us to keep an eye out for any areas of concern that might come up down the road. We look forward to working with you!

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