Preventing Problems Before They Occur
The best defense against disease is routine preventative dentistry. There are many forms of preventative dentistry, such as daily brushing and dental cleanings. At Otteson Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we care about keeping your smile healthy and gorgeous with dental visits and patient education. We want you to have the best practices for a strong at-home dental routine.
The Benefits of Preventative Dentistry
Preventative dentistry prevents patients from developing costly and uncomfortable dental problems down the line. With good dental hygiene, you can greatly reduce your risk of getting cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis, and other dental problems. This will, in turn, reduce your risk of secondary problems caused by poor oral health.
Along with reducing your risk for other health issues, practicing good preventative health can save you money. Even with dental insurance, the costs associated with poor oral hygiene can add up. While preventative dentistry may not eliminate your need for fillings, root canals, or dental implants altogether, it can go a long way in reducing your need for those expensive treatments.
Premature birth and low birth weight may also be linked to poor oral health. You should continue to practice good preventative oral health if you’re pregnant. You should always visit your dentist for routine checkups during your pregnancy.
Preventative Dental Procedures
To maintain optimal oral health, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends visits to the dentist at regularly scheduled times. These visits are designed to ensure that teeth are clean, strong, and healthy. Dr. Otteson will perform a thorough cleaning as well as a comprehensive exam to check for a number of problems including oral cancer.
Oral Hygiene Tips
The largest factor of your oral health is your at-home routine. It’s the first line of defense against oral disease, cavities, and other problems. Dr. Otteson recommends scheduling just two appointments a year, so developing a strong daily oral hygiene routine will greatly improve your health.
Here are some tips to keep your smile beautiful and healthy at home:
- Using fluoride dental products. This includes both mouthwash and toothpaste. Fluoride protects your teeth and enamel which can prevent cavities. In general, you can use whichever product you prefer, as long as it contains fluoride.
- Brushing your teeth twice a day. In addition to using fluoride toothpaste, Dr. Otteson recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush to ensure a gentle cleaning that does not damage your gums. Keep in mind that brushing your teeth harder does not ensure a deeper cleaning.
- Flossing your teeth at least once a day. We recommend flossing at night to prevent gum bleeding and gingivitis. You may also use another type of interdental cleaner if you prefer but consult Dr. Otteson first. Food can get stuck between your teeth and lead to a build-up of a film of bacteria called plaque. When too much plaque accumulates, it can lead to cavities, gum disease, and a variety of other problems.
- Rinsing regularly with mouthwash. After meals, you may benefit from regularly rinsing your mouth with water or a fluoride mouthwash. This can help prevent leftover food from staying in your mouth too long. It’s a quick and easy way to keep your mouth fresh in between brushing.
Standard Cleaning & Exam
Our team at Otteson Family & Cosmetic Dentistry is here to offer support to you and your family. Along with your own healthy habits, we provide professional cleanings and exams to supplement your care.
No matter how well you clean your teeth, plaque and tartar can’t be cleaned without professional tools, so it’s crucial to visit Dr. Otteson. When plaque and tartar are left alone, they can lead to other serious issues, ranging from cavities to gum disease.
Certain problems are difficult to detect with an untrained eye. Catching early signs of gum disease and oral cancer is vital for your lifelong health and the longevity of your smile.
Oral Cancer Screening
Dr. Otteson will also check for any signs of oral cancer during your exam. The American Cancer Society reported approximately 54,000 new cases of oral cancer and 10,800 deaths as a result of oral cancer this year alone. Regular screening is essential as early detection and treatment can lead to a higher rate of survival.
The process is quick and painless. Dr. Otteson will look for any changes in the lining tissues of your mouth, lips, and tongue that may indicate the early stages of oral cancer. The screening is visual and non-invasive. However, if Dr. Otteson finds anything unusual, a small tissue sample will be taken so we can perform a further examination.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dr. Otteson recommends scheduling biannual visits or at least once every six months. For patients who are at a higher risk for dental infections such as cavities or tooth decay, Dr. Otteson may recommend more frequent visits.
Routine dental visits generally take 30 to 45 minutes. Appointment times may vary depending on the treatment plan or procedure needed.
Most dental plans cover preventative dental care at no additional cost to you. However, we recommend that you check with your carrier to determine the specifics of what’s covered.
Preventative Dentistry With Dr. Otteson
We’re committed to serving the dental needs of our community at our Chandler, AZ practice. Let us help support your healthy oral routine with our preventative dental procedures at Otteson Family & Cosmetic Dentistry!
Call (480) 899-6229 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.