Preventative Dentistry in Frederick
Frederick Dentist Serving Buckeystown, Braddock Heights, Adamstown, Jefferson, Point of Rocks, Tuscarora, Middletown, Ijamsville, Brunswick, Burkittsville, New Market, and Barnesville.
What is preventive dentistry?
Preventive dentistry consists of the efforts of both the patient and the dental practice combined when it comes to oral health. This form of dentistry focuses on preventing gum disease as well as dental decay with the goal of helping the patient keep their natural teeth for the duration of their life. Another important part of preventive dentistry is education.
Without adequate preventative dentistry, patients are at a much higher risk of developing cavities, toothaches, decay, and much more. At Lee Family Dentistry, Dr. Lee and Dr. Ronald Levine guide patients down the path of excellent dental care. Practicing good dental care can prevent a variety of long-term problems while also saving patients money on expensive restoration procedures due to dental disease. In early stages, periodontal disease, dental decay, and even oral cancer can be averted when patients visit their dentist regularly.
At Lee Family Dentistry, we help our patients understand the importance of good oral hygiene and how to practice it at home. The education and care provided by our dentists and dental hygienists will get you on the right track to a healthy mouth and teeth that can last you for years to come.
Following educational instructions goes a long way when it comes to improving your oral health and continuing to keep teeth and gums healthy.
Preventative Dentistry at Home Treatment
The most important person in preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss is you. You’re the first line of defense. In order to enjoy the long-term benefits of healthy teeth and gums, follow these five simple steps.
- Brush your teeth twice a day.
Brushing your teeth twice a day creates a foundation for a healthy mouth. It helps remove sticky plaque on teeth that forms because of bacteria and debris. Eliminating this plaque early helps prevent plaque build-up which can ultimately lead to tooth decay and gum disease. For added protection, brush after every meal.
- Floss your teeth often.
Flossing is another vital tool in the fight for better dental health. Flossing daily helps remove food stuck in hard-to-reach places before it has the opportunity to turn into plaque.
- Eat a balanced healthy diet, avoiding sugar.
In addition to caring for your teeth, what you eat plays an important role in oral health. While carbohydrates and sugar are important for a balanced diet, too much of either can lead to bacterial growth which then leads to increased plaque. Opting for natural sweeteners can help prevent tooth decay and improve oral health.
In addition to being mindful of sugars and carbs, you should also make sure you’re incorporating healthy foods including calcium-rich dairy, leafy greens, and fruit. Too little calcium can weaken teeth and put you at risk for periodontal diseases and jawbone deterioration. If you are unable to consume dairy products, your health care provider or dentist may have suggestions for supplements.
- Limit snacks between meals.
Snacks matter. The snacks you munch on or drink between meals can make a huge difference when it comes to dental health. It’s best to avoid drinks and foods high in acids including soda, fruit juice, and citrus fruits, as well as carbohydrates such as baked goods and candy. Opting for more nutritious snacks such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, cheese, and yogurt are better for both your dental health and overall health.
- See your dentist twice a year.
Seeing your dentist twice a year is a great way to make sure you’re on track with your at-home dental routine. These general check-ups and cleanings are great for finding those hard-to-reach areas that are easily missed. Dentists also are experts when it comes to spotting problems early. This early detection is vital to prevent bigger and more expensive problems.
Preventive Dentistry | Dental Office Treatment
Routine dental exams benefit your overall oral health. They reduce your risk of developing cavities, tooth decay, periodontal disease, gum disease, bone loss, and other substantial dental problems.
After your dentist examines your teeth, they’ll discuss your oral health with you and recommend treatments to correct any issues that have surfaced since your previous visit. This includes:
- Analyzing x-rays for evidence of hidden cavities.
- Check gums for evidence of a receding gum line and gum disease.
- Check for signs of oral cancer.
- Recommend procedures to correct or prevent dental problems.
If you’re in need of a dentist to provide preventative dental care, Lee Family Dentistry of Frederick, MD looks forward to meeting you. Please schedule a visit online or call our office at (301) 662-0300 and a helpful member of our team will advise you of the next available appointment.
Our dentists serve patients from Frederick, Buckeystown, Braddock Heights, Adamstown, Jefferson, Point of Rocks, Tuscarora, Middletown, Ijamsville, Brunswick, Burkittsville, New Market, and Barnesville, as well as the surrounding Maryland areas.
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While fillings themselves are not considered preventive, many preventive dentists do have the capability to do them. Fillings actually fall under “basic restorative” dental services along with tooth extractions, root canals, and more.
Most dental plans do cover preventive dental services. However, when shopping for a plan, it’s a good idea to look for coverage for both diagnostic and preventive services. You should also take the time to understand what your insurance covers. Your dental plan may only cover a certain type or number of procedures. For example:
- Some plans only cover two teeth cleanings per year (once every six months).
- Fluoride treatments may only be covered for children of a certain age.
- Bitewing x-rays are typically covered as preventive or routine but only for a set number of views.
Cost tends to depend on your dental coverage and how much work is being done during your visit. Routine cleanings are usually covered, but it’s best to check your dental plan to be sure. Your dental plan may also require a copay.
If the dentist recommends additional work, they’ll provide you with a cost estimate ahead of time. Many dental procedures are at least partially covered by dental plans. To minimize costs, check your plan documents ahead of time to know what is covered and what isn’t.
The cost of dental care depends largely on the type of dental plan you choose. It’s possible that preventive dentistry is covered 100%. This typically includes services such as an oral exam, routine x-rays, and teeth cleaning.
However, it’s not uncommon for there to be restrictions on how many you can experience each year. After that point, once you go over the limits you may be required to pay out of pocket. This is why it’s important to review your dental plan materials and ensure you have the coverage you need.
It’s recommended that you visit your dentist every six months but no less than once a year. Going longer without a regular check-up and cleaning could result in tartar buildup that has the potential to cause long-term issues. Also, if cavities are left unchecked, they may evolve into bigger problems that require more extensive work that is also more expensive. Going to your regularly scheduled check-ups often saves money in the long run.
Regular dental exams help keep you on track regarding your oral health. In addition, to ensure you’re brushing and flossing properly; preventive dentistry provides the following benefits:
- Lowered risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental problems.
- Promotion of good oral hygiene habits including brushing and flossing.
- Identifying dental problems early to help minimize treatment and associated costs.
- Assistance in reducing dental problems related to various chronic medical conditions including osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, and eating disorders.
Preventive dentistry can begin as soon as a baby gets their first tooth. Regular dental visits help identify problems early on in life before the issues become worse and more costly. Pediatric preventive dentistry focuses on:
- Promoting good dental habits such as brushing and flossing.
- Offering advice and guidance on thumb sucking and eating habits.
- Regular teeth cleanings and exams every six months.
- Fluoride applications.
- Dental sealants.
- X-rays for the purpose of tracking jaw and tooth development.
- Custom fitting athletic mouth guards.
- Providing orthodontist referrals or other dental specialists as needed.
- Helping identify the connection between health issues and dental health.
First, you’ll be greeted by the receptionist when you arrive. You’ll check-in and you may be asked to fill out a questionnaire about your dental and health history. After that, you’ll wait until they call you back to the exam room. There you’ll meet the dental hygienist who will talk to you and clean your teeth. They may also take x-rays at this time. During the cleaning the dental hygienist will:
- Use various tools and instruments to remove and scrape tartar and plaque from the surface of your teeth and around your gum line.
- Polish your teeth similar to how you would brush them.
- Take any needed x-rays.
- Report their findings to the dentist.
When the cleaning is done, you’ll meet with the dentist. The dentist will talk to you about the dental hygienist’s findings. They may ask you if you have any questions or have been having any problems. From there, the dentist will:
- Perform a quick teeth check-up.
- Examine your soft palette, gums, throat, and neck to check for abnormalities.
- Review any x-rays that were taken.
- Recommend any dental work you may need.
- Discuss your overall oral health and habits.
If the dentist notices anything unusual or has any concerns, then they may recommend additional dental procedures or refer you to a specialist. For example, if you’re interested in straightening your teeth, your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist.
When it comes to dentists, there are a variety of dental specialties. Some dentists may even have more than one specialty. The types of dentists who provide preventive dentistry include:
- General Dentists
A general dentist is also commonly called a family dentist. They’re the go-to dentist when you need routine care including cleanings, check-ups, exams, and x-rays. They also provide basic dental care including fillings. General dentists also guide patients in the practice of proper dental care while building healthier habits and referring patients to dental specialists for further care.
- Pediatric Dentists
A pediatric dentist specializes in providing dental care to children. Most children begin dental care as early as the appearance of their first tooth. Often pediatric dentists will see patients through their teenage years. They provide preventive dentistry as well as more specialized care including fillings, extractions, and even limited cases of oral surgery.
There isn’t really a difference. In fact, most dental practices use the terms interchangeably. However, some people say that the hygienist handles the check-up while the dentist handles the exam.
Dental care begins with you. It’s important to develop healthy dental care habits early on in life to prevent cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Here are the basics of great oral care:
- Brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day, typically morning and night. Use a soft-bristled brush as well as fluoride toothpaste. Your dentist can recommend the best toothbrush and toothpaste for you. They can also demonstrate proper brushing techniques.
- Floss at least once daily to remove food that becomes stuck between teeth.
- Use a fluoride mouthwash to help rinse food particles away after flossing.
- Limit acidic foods that can be harmful to tooth enamel.
- Be careful with hard foods that could damage or chip teeth such as foods with bones, some hard candies, or seeds. In addition, don’t use your teeth to open things.
- Avoid smoking and using tobacco products or other products that may lead to oral cancer or other dental problems.
- Use a properly fitting mouthguard when participating in sports that have a possibility of injuring your teeth.
- If you grind your teeth in your sleep, ask your dentist for a nighttime mouthguard to reduce damage from grinding as well as gum recession.