When it comes to avoiding uncomfortable oral problems, long hours in the dental chair, and high dental costs, the best thing you can do to avoid all of these issues is stay committed to preventive dentistry. This includes your routine checkups, cleanings, X-rays, and additional treatments designed to protect your tooth enamel for life. Remember, once tooth enamel is lost, it’s gone for good. With preventive dentistry, you can make it last and reduce you and your family’s risk for dental disease. To experience truly one-on-one dental care, schedule an appointment with the dentists at Fromuth & Langlois Dental of Manchester today!
Your long-term oral health relies on at-home oral care most of the year, but that doesn’t mean you should skip routine visits. Two days out of the year, our dental office recommends that you complete a checkup and cleaning, ideally once every six months. These visits give our dental office the chance to catch the early signs of tooth decay, gum disease or other conditions as well as confirm that your at-home oral care is sufficient. Our comprehensive cleanings will work to remove any plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums, leaving you with a clean and fresh mouth!
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While dental sealants are ideal for younger patients, anyone can benefit from their use. We often recommend them for our youngest patients since they are more likely to develop decay. To protect teeth, our team applies a thin layer of composite resin to their chewing surface, typically on molars and premolars because of their deep pits and fissures. Since these teeth are the most susceptible to decay and breakdown, they have the most to gain from this treatment. Dental sealants usually last about 10 years before requiring retreatment.
Both children and adults can suffer from a little-known condition called bruxism. Also referred to as chronic teeth grinding, this habit can cause permanent damage to tooth enamel as well as chronic pain in the mouth and jaw if left untreated. The best way to counter potential damage to your teeth is via a custom-made nightguard. With our digital impression scanner, we can capture an incredibly precise image of your teeth and use it to design and fabricate a nightguard that fits comfortably and offers long-term protection.
When you head in for your regular dental checkups, it’s about more than just keeping your pearly whites looking beautiful. In addition to cleaning your teeth and checking your smile for gum disease, we always perform an oral cancer screening. This way, we can detect problem areas so you can receive the necessary treatment as early as possible. When abnormalities are caught early, this increases the chances of a successful treatment. To learn more about the importance of oral cancer screenings, contact our office!
While it is strongly recommended that you seek regular dental care and have an oral cancer screening performed, even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms, here are some of the signs that you should constantly be on the lookout for:
During your checkups, you can expect us to look for abnormalities that may appear in the oral cavity. We will also check your face, neck, lips, throat, and other facial structures for abnormalities. We may also feel around your head, cheeks, jaw, and neck for any lumps that could be an indication of oral cancer.
The screening process will only take a couple minutes and is completely painless. If there is any cause for concern, we will refer you to a specialist who will examine your oral cavity more extensively and determine if a formal diagnosis and further action needs to take place. Fortunately, with an early diagnoses, the chances of successfully treating oral cancer are significantly improved.
Once your checkup and cleaning are completed, it’s important that you have additional protection after your appointment as well. That’s why we perform a brief fluoride varnish after your cleaning, especially for younger patients with developing mouths. Fluoride is a key ingredient for strengthening tooth enamel, which is also why it’s found in your oral care products. Not only can fluoride varnish protect and strengthen current tooth enamel, but it also fights the early stages of tooth decay!
Fluoride can be found in the many toothpastes and oral rinses in your local grocery store or pharmacy, but did you know it’s actually a natural-occurring mineral found in the foods we eat and most public water sources? It’s been known since the early 20th century to carry anti-cavity properties, which is why it’s often put in oral care products. When applied to tooth enamel, or the outermost layer of teeth, it strengthens and protects it.
Fluoride application is often recommended for children whose tooth enamel is still developing. Since tooth enamel cannot be replaced once it has been lost (either due to decay or physical injury), it is vital to protect the enamel you and your child have. With the help of fluoride, whether it’s in toothpastes or professional-grade solutions, you can protect your child’s teeth even more effectively compared to brushing and using mouthwash alone.
Applying fluoride to teeth is relatively straightforward. All we need to do is simply paint it directly onto the teeth, then wait a few minutes for it to seep inside of the thick layer of your tooth’s enamel. This is performed immediately after the cleaning. It is a painless process and starts working as soon as it’s applied. You won’t even need to worry about the mixture combining with your saliva since the varnish dries so quickly! With that said, you will be advised to avoid very hot, sticky, or crunchy foods and beverages for the next few hours.
Think of fluoride application as an added layer of insurance against tooth decay. In the event your child misses their oral care routine or ends up consuming more sweets than they should, they’ll at least have some protection from tooth decay as they make adjustments to their habits.
One study showed that children and adolescents treated with fluoride therapy experienced a 43% lower risk for developing cavities, making it much easier for them to get a head start on protecting their oral health. This is sure to save you money on treatments intended to restore teeth after they’ve already been damaged (i.e. dental fillings and crowns).
While a fluoride treatment every six months will certainly help prevent cavity development, you’ll still need to practice daily oral hygiene. This should include:
For additional protection, you can also use a fluoridated mouth wash that does not contain alcohol. However, you should not give your child mouthwash if you are not confident they can use it without swallowing it accidentally.
Fromuth & Langlois Dental of Manchester wants to help patients of all ages get the dental care they need to maintain positive, long-term oral health. Whether you’re bringing your child or your entire family to get their treatments done, our team will do everything we can to make sure everyone’s needs are met. Your youngest can benefit from dental sealants and fluoride varnishes, while your oldest can receive a new denture or begin a treatment plan for dental implants! Regardless of your needs, we always make room for families.
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Since 363 days out of the year you and your family are going to be practicing at-home oral care, it’s important that you’re informed on the best habits and techniques to maintain between your routine cleanings and checkups. Our dental office can recommend several options for flouridated toothpaste that fit your needs. If you need additional help honing your flossing technique or finding a floss that fits comfortably between your teeth, our team of dentists and hygienists can provide recommendations and point you in the right direction.