Dr. Travis Barr, Lakewood Dentist
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incline family dentistry

Preventative dentistry

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At Incline Family Dentistry, we provide believe in providing preventive dentistry.

Preventive dentistry is all about helping you maintain a healthy mouth. We educate you in how to take care of your teeth and be proactive in your care.  This helps you to keep your teeth, which means you need to have less dental treatment. The two main causes of tooth loss are decay and gum disease. The better you prevent or deal with these two problems, the more chance you will have of keeping your teeth for life. When the dental team and patient work together, this can help to prevent the need for treatment - especially fillings and extractions. Your dental team may recommend a course of treatment to get your mouth into good condition, and then work out a ‘maintenance plan' to help you keep it that way.

Can everybody benefit from preventive dentistry?

Yes. Preventive dentistry will benefit anyone with some of their own teeth. People who don't have any teeth can also benefit, because conditions such as mouth cancer and denture stomatitis can be spotted during regular visits to the dental team and then treated. It is excellent for children and young people, but it is never too late to start.

What is involved?

Your dental team will first check your teeth and gums, and talk to you about any treatment you need. The main aim is to help you get your mouth really healthy. In a healthy mouth, it is unlikely that decay or gum disease will continue to be a problem. A hygienist will thoroughly remove all plaque and tartar from your teeth. This is often called a ‘scale and polish' and is what you know to be a cleaning. They will show you the best ways to brush, and how to clean in between your teeth using interdental brushes or floss.  You will be educated on which oral care products are the best ones for you to use to maintain your oral hygiene at home.

A ‘preventive dentist' will often recommend treatment to strengthen a tooth to make sure it does not break. Dr. Barr will do a thorough exam to check your teeth, gums, and soft tissue for issues or concerns, making sure that existing fillings, crowns, and more are in good condition. For example, if Dr. Barr sees that a tooth is cracked, or is weak and in danger of breaking, they may advise a new filling or perhaps a crown or ‘onlay' to protect it. This is always better than waiting until the tooth breaks, and then dealing with it as an emergency.

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What can I do at home?

It is very important that you keep up a good routine at home to keep your teeth and gums healthy. We recommend that you:

  • Brush your teeth in the morning and last thing at night, and ideally, at least one other time during the day, with fluoride toothpaste. Use the brushing technique your hygienist shows you.

  • Clean in between your teeth with ‘interdental' brushes or floss - brushing alone only cleans up to about 60 percent of the surface of your teeth.

  • Use a mouthwash. Many mouthwashes contain antibacterial ingredients to help prevent gum disease, and fluoride to help prevent decay. Ask your hygienist or Dr. Barr which one they recommend for you.

  • Use an electric toothbrush. They have been proven to be far more effective at removing plaque than manual brushing. 

We look forward to helping you prevent tooth decay and gum disease and having a healthy mouth!

Questions? Contact us today!

(If you would like more information on preventative dentistry click here)