Posts for tag: preventative dentistry
Preventive dentistry focuses on keeping your smile as healthy as possible. Dr. Mary Gregory, your dentist in Arlington, VA, emphasizes this important oral care by ensuring that your at-home hygiene works and that your in-office services are timely and thorough. She likes to see most patients every six months for cleanings and check-ups. You see, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.
Maintaining your best smile
It starts at home as you and your loved ones brush twice daily and floss every day to remove soft plaque and avoid the formation of hard tartar. Both substances contain harmful oral bacteria which lead to tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, your healthy diet, low in carbs and high in fiber and calcium, reduces the chances of serious dental problems.
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research says that tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among people ages 20 to 64 but that it can be controlled or prevented altogether. That's where good dental care from your Arlington dentist comes in.
Preventive care in the office complements your at-home routine. When Dr. Gregory examines your teeth and gums, she looks:
- For signs of tooth decay
- At the depth of your gum pockets (a painless process called periodontal probing which checks for gum disease)
- At your existing crowns and fillings and how your teeth bite together
- For signs of oral cancer
Your Arlington dentist assesses every patient for oral cancer because it is one of today's most deadly malignancies. However, says the Oral Cancer Foundation, cure rates improve significantly when oral cancer is detected early. As such, Dr. Gregory uses the innovative Velscope VX detection system. Handheld and wireless, this small probe assesses possible cancer lesions and other pathologies of the mouth in just minutes.
Keeping it clean
At your six-month appointment, your friendly hygienist carefully scales your teeth, including interdental spaces and the gum line to remove the tartar and plaque you miss at home. Also, she takes digital X-rays as needed. Finally, she'll suggest ways to improve your daily routine.
Other preventive services
Plastic sealants coat the deeply grooved chewing surfaces of selected teeth--usually molars. Painted on and cured with a special light, sealants ward off decay. Appropriate for children, teens, and adults, sealants are simple dental insurance which lasts about ten years.
So be diligent about your personal dental hygiene, and come to see Dr. Gregory every six months. Your smile and your overall health will benefit. Call the office today to arrange your routine exam and cleaning: (703) 527-6495.
Mary Gregory D.D.S. Family Dentistry offers premiere preventive services. Of course, staving off dental problems starts early. Parents provide their children's first prophylactic care at home when they teach proper brushing and flossing. For Dr. Gregory's part, she supplies the in-office exams and cleanings that spot problems early and remove harmful tartar and plaque. Additionally, your Arlington, VA, dentist often advises children receive dental sealants, plastic coatings that shield molars from decay.
The problem of tooth decay
The National Children's Oral Health Foundation says that 40 percent of children have tooth decay by the time they are old enough for kindergarten. It's a scary statistic, but what can parents do besides brushing, flossing, offering a healthy diet and getting their kids their Arlington, VA, dentist every six months?
Well, don't worry. Dr. Gregory and her staff are experts in pediatric dentistry. They use the gentlest, but most thorough, of diagnostics and prophylactic cleanings to keep young teeth and gums bright and shining.
You see, decay starts when oral bacteria multiply in the plaque and tartar on and between teeth. This bacteria, secretes powerful acids that literally eat away at tooth enamel, causing holes we call cavities.
At-home oral hygiene and in-office cleanings combat plaque, tartar and those destructive bacteria, but most children (and some adults) benefit from a little extra help. That's where plastic sealants come into play.
What are plastic sealants?
Plastic sealants are thin coatings painted or dripped onto the deeply grooved chewing surfaces of molars. Most children receive molars between the ages of six and twelve, and because of their position and craggy structure, these teeth trap more food residues, develop more plaque and tartar and then, tend to decay.
The American Dental Association says that plastic sealants definitely help prevent cavities in children. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control agrees, stating that youngsters without sealants on their back teeth have three times the amount of decay than youngsters who have had their teeth protected.
So how do sealants work? Dr. Gregory cleans and dries the molars and applies a mild etching liquid. This liquid prepares the teeth so the sealant bonds well to them. Then, she paints on the plastic sealant, allowing it to cover the deep grooves. Next, comes a quick hardening with a blue ultraviolet light.
The whole treatment takes just a few minutes per tooth and lasts several years.
Find out more
The next time you bring the children to Mary Gregory D.D.S. Family Dentistry in Arlington, VA, ask the doctor about plastic sealants. After all, they are another effective weapon in the fight against tooth decay. Call for your routine appointments today: (703) 527-6495.