Preventive dentistry in Roanoke

Preventive Dentistry In Roanoke

Cavities are the single most common preventable childhood disease in America. If you want to keep your family’s mouth healthy, preventive dentistry is absolutely essential. Along with good at-home oral hygiene, regular six-month visits with Dr. Benjamin Burkitt at We Care Dental Care will help your family’s teeth stay healthy and strong as they grow. Contact us now to schedule your next preventive appointment.

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Family holding tooth brushes

What Is Preventive Dentistry?

As the name suggests, preventive dentistry is focused on preventing dental problems before they happen. That’s one of Dr. Burkitt’s specialties at We Care Dental Care. With routine six-month cleanings and exams at our office, you can make sure your family’s mouth is healthy.

Preventive dentistry includes more than just in-office dental care, though. It’s also the responsibility of parents and kids to maintain good oral hygiene and make healthy lifestyle choices. Make sure you brush and floss properly and regularly, and eat a healthy diet low in sugar to prevent cavities.
If you take all of these steps, you can virtually eliminate the risk of common oral health issues like cavities. Preventive dentistry saves you time and money, keeps your family’s teeth healthy, and helps them build great oral habits that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Teeth Cleanings

Teeth cleanings do more than just make your teeth look bright and shiny. They’re an essential part of keeping your mouth healthy. To begin the teeth cleaning process, your hygienist will gently scrape away bacteria-filled plaque and tartar buildup from their teeth. This helps reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease.

After this, they will buff your teeth with a special toothbrush and floss them to remove any remaining debris, leaving them with a beautiful, clean-feeling smile. 

That’s not all, though. During your initial cleaning, their hygienist at We Care Dental Care can look for signs of cavities and other areas of concern, which they will bring up with Dr. Burkitt during your oral exam.

Oral Exams

As an experienced dentist for the whole family, Dr. Benjamin Burkitt makes oral exams fun, and can explain complex dental concepts in kid-friendly ways, which helps your family learn more about dentistry and the importance of good dental care.

During your oral exam, Dr. Burkitt will examine your teeth and gums closely to look for signs of tooth decay, gingivitis, and any other oral health issues that may be affecting you.

Before your oral exam, X-rays may be recommended, if they are determined to be necessary. X-rays are a valuable diagnostic tool and are safe to use. They allow Dr. Burkitt to look below the surface of the teeth and gums, and identify potential oral health and development issues.

Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride treatments can be done as part of your six-month visit to We Care Dental Care, if recommended by Dr. Burkitt. This simply involves painting a special fluoride-rich solution onto your teeth.

The fluoride in this solution attracts minerals to your teeth, strengthening them and reducing the risk of tooth decay. Fluoride treatments are very affordable, and pediatric fluoride treatments are typically covered by most dental insurance plans.

How Often Should I See the Dentist?

The ADA recommends visiting the dentist once every 6 months. This is the best way to reduce your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. While everyone should visit the dentist at least twice a year, some people may need to go more often. 

If you are prone to cavities and other oral health problems because you’re pregnant, diabetic, a smoker, or have a weakened immune system, your dentist may recommend that you return every 3-4 months. You should also always go to the dentist when you notice an active problem such as tooth pain, dental trauma, signs of infection, or impacted wisdom teeth.

At your regular preventative dental visit, we’ll perform an oral exam, may take some x-rays, and perform a dental cleaning. Checkups enable us to detect problems such as gum disease, decay, or oral cancer early enough to reverse them. 

Cleanings remove plaque and tartar buildup from along your gumline so it doesn’t develop into worsening decay or gum disease. Plus, we’ll apply a fluoride varnish to provide additional cavity protection to your teeth until your next visit.

Is Preventive Care Covered By Insurance?

Preventive care is often covered by dental insurance because your oral health is connected to your overall health. Gum disease increases your risk of many serious conditions such as heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Prevention is always better than the cure. 

That being said, to know exactly what your policy covers, you will need to contact your provider. Typically dental insurance will cover some percentage or dollar amount of preventative treatments such as dental cleanings, checkups, x-rays, and fluoride treatments.

How Often Should I Brush and Floss My Teeth?

You should be brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day. When you brush your teeth, brush for at least two minutes with ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste. You should brush all surfaces of your teeth, holding the brush at a 45-degree angle. 

Don’t forget to brush your tongue! Your tongue harbors a lot of bacteria too and is the most neglected part of the mouth when it comes to oral hygiene. By brushing your tongue, you reduce your risk of cavities and rid your mouth of foul-smelling odor.

What Is the Best Toothbrush to Use?

As long as you are brushing adequately and often, the toothbrush you use is ultimately up to personal preference. The most important aspect of your toothbrush is the softness of the bristles. 

You should only use a soft-bristled toothbrush because stiff bristles can cause enamel erosion. You do not need to brush your teeth aggressively or apply too much pressure to remove food particles and bacteria. 

However, rotating-oscillating electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque than manual toothbrushes. Using an electric toothbrush may make brushing your teeth easier and require less work. Ultimately, however, as long as you brush long enough with the proper technique, manual toothbrushes work just as well.

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