An Ounce of Oral Health Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure

At Serenity Dental in Lutz and Wesley Chapel, Florida, we focus on helping patients gain and maintain optimal oral health for a lifetime of comfort, function, and beautiful appearance. In turn, optimal oral health supports whole body wellness. Finding problems early means we can address them early and treatment will be less extensive than waiting as problems become worse.

Never become lax about your home oral hygiene. Brushing after meals and at bedtime… and flossing once a day with dental floss or a water flosser are also important for maintaining your oral health.

At least every six months, you should see the dentist for a comprehensive periodontal and dental exam, and prophylactic dental cleaning. This is the recommended standard of care. Even if you have had treatment to restore the health of your mouth, keep up with regular six-month checkups. If you have had restorative treatment (for example, fillings, a crown or crown and bridge treatment, or dental implants), those restorations should be examined every six months to identify problems that might be emerging around and under those restorations. Remember the goal is to find any emerging problem early in order to treat it early and avoid dental emergencies or more costly treatment.

A full array of dental x-rays is an essential part of preventive care, in order to discover problems early. Typically, they are recommended every 12 months. In addition to these x-rays, there are circumstances when a specific image is indicated at the onset of a problem, such as a painful tooth. So even if you have had annual x-rays, additional images may be helpful at another dental visit. It depends on your oral health circumstances and more.

Oral cancer screening is part of your semi-annual checkups. It cannot be stressed enough that early detection of any signs of oral cancer leads to early diagnosis and treatment that minimizes the discomfort of oral cancer treatment and saves lives.

As we age, our adult oral health changes. Wear and tear on teeth and erosion of dental enamel can occur even if we have the best brushing and flossing habits… and have our teeth cleaned and checked every six months. There are many factors that affect the health of your teeth and the soft tissue of your mouth, even the periodontal bone that holds your teeth, and the jaw joints and muscles that allow you to function. These factors include systemic disease… diet… genetics… occlusal biting forces… medications… accidental injury and more. An adult who has been stable for three decades without need for a filling or crown may suddenly reach the tipping point of enamel erosion and find they have sensitive teeth. An adult whose large filling “held their tooth together” for over a decade, may suddenly have a large crack in the tooth due to normal chewing forces. Regular visits to the dentist will disclose the potential for this occurring as soon as possible and allow for the most conservative and least costly treatment.

As we age, our oral health becomes even more important to our whole-body wellness. The connections between periodontal health and multiple disease conditions is well known. For example, periodontal disease (gum disease) contributes to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Finding and treating gum disease early lowers the risk of developing inflammatory diseases of many kinds. Maintaining optimal oral health may do more to reduce healthcare expenditures throughout your lifespan than any other health measure.

Adults benefit from fluoride treatments, too. Fluoride treatment is not just for children. Don’t be surprised if your hygienist informs you about this low-cost preventive treatment the next time your teeth are thoroughly examined and cleaned. Fluoride treatment is safe. It makes your enamel stronger. Not only does remineralization of the enamel fight tooth decay, it reduces and can sometimes eliminate tooth sensitivity.

You are invited to call Serenity Dental for personalized appointments that are all about you. When you visit Serenity Dental in Lutz or Wesley Chapel, the Drs. Patel and our hygienists will provide you with the finest oral health care, take time to fully inform you, and happily answer your questions. Give us a call today!