Anyone who has ever had a toothache knows how unpleasant the experience is. Unlike other ailments, tooth decay will not resolve on its own. Restorative care is necessary, which could be costly, depending on the required procedures. Fortunately, dentists offer preventative dental care to help you keep tooth decay at bay. Here are four preventative dental care services that you should take advantage of.
1. Oral Exams
Oral exams are an integral part of preventative dental care. Most adults and children should see their dentist for a checkup at least twice a year. People who are prone to developing cavities may be better off seeing their dentist three or even four times a year. Your dentist will help you decide on an oral exam schedule that best meets your needs. During an oral exam, your dentist will visually inspect your mouth, ask about changes to your dental health, and examine any new x-rays.
X-rays are indispensable when it comes to safeguarding your oral health. Dentists are trained to spot areas of decay in teeth, but some decay cannot be seen with the naked eye. X-rays allow dentists to see the inside of your teeth. These images can help dentists find small cavities and those located in hard-to-reach areas, such as between your teeth. X-rays should be taken annually for preventative care.
Tooth cleanings are also important in the prevention of tooth disease. You should brush and floss your teeth at home, but home care cannot fully remove tartar from your teeth. Tartar is a type of calcified plaque. It's white in color and difficult to remove without the aid of scaling tools. During your biannual cleaning, a dental hygienist will use a metal hook to carefully scrape tartar off the surface of your teeth. Your hygienist will also polish your teeth with a device similar to an electric toothbrush before flossing between each of your teeth.
4. Gum Care Services
Your teeth are very important, but good oral health is impossible unless your gums are healthy too. Dentists can provide gum care services as part of their preventative care offerings. Your dentist will check your gums for signs of periodontal disease during your exam. They may use a small plastic tool to measure the depth of your gums, checking for gum erosion. If signs of gum disease are found, your dentist may recommend a more extensive scaling procedure to remove bacteria from below the surface of your gums.
Reach out to a dental professional for preventative dental care services.