Even with a good oral hygiene routine, most people will experience tooth decay or gum disease at some point in their lives. However, there are certain steps you can take to reduce your chances. At Palisade Family Dental, we recommend a professional cleaning and checkup exam about every six months. This, of course, is just a rule of thumb. Patients at a greater risk for dental diseases may need to schedule more frequent appointments. 

Comprehensive Exams

During your routine appointment, we will perform a comprehensive examination of teeth, gums, and other oral tissues including an oral cancer screening. Besides a physical and visual exam, we may also utilize tools such as x-rays and intra oral photographs.

Tooth decay and gum disease are preventable with good oral hygiene, professional cleanings, and regular exams. An exam allows us to prevent or catch minor problems before they develop into major complications. Your treatment will be less invasive and costly if we catch the problem earlier.


Professional Cleanings

Professional cleaning is an important part of your oral health. The biggest threat to your teeth and gums is the harmful bacteria found in plaque. Plaque is a thin biofilm that constantly forms on and around your teeth. If plaque is allowed to build up, it will eventually calcify into a substance called tartar, which is much more difficult to remove. During your professional cleaning, our dental hygienist will remove all instances of plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth. Once your teeth are clean, we will apply polish to restore the sheen of your smile. 

Dental Sealants

Because of the physical structure of the molars, they are more prone to cavities than your other teeth. It just may not be possible for the bristles of your toothbrush to reach to the bottom of the crevices, meaning that bacteria and debris are left behind. Sealants are a plastic coating that is painted on the tops of your molars and premolars, sealing crevices on these vulnerable teeth to keep out the unwanted accumulation and providing additional protection against cavities.    

Fluoride Treatment  

Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent caries and can repair teeth in the very early, microscopic stages of the disease. Professional fluoride treatments generally take just a few minutes. The fluoride may be in the form of a solution, gel, foam or varnish. Typically, it is applied with a cotton swab or brush, or it is used as a rinse or placed in a tray that is held in the mouth for several minutes. After the treatment, you may be asked not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride and help repair microscopic carious areas.F

Some factors that may increase a person’s risk of developing caries include the following: 

Poor oral hygiene

Eating disorders

Drug or alcohol abuse

Lack of regular professional dental care

Active orthodontic treatment combined with poor oral hygiene

Exposed root surfaces of teeth

Decreased salivary flow, resulting in dry mouth

Poor diet

Existing restorations (fillings)

Tooth enamel defects

Undergoing head and neck radiation therapy.

Call us at (703)404-9111 to schedule your appointment!!