Preventive Dentistry ON THE Gold Coast
Prevention is always better than cure.
The saying “prevention is better than cure” couldn’t be more true in the world of dental health. Letting dental problems fester can result in toothaches, swelling, tooth loss, and other conditions that are hard to ignore and only worsen over time. On top of that, you might find yourself needing expensive or ongoing treatments. Keeping your teeth for the rest of your life with minimal intervention is very important.
Because of this, Robina Town Dental aims to help you reduce your risk of decay and gum disease as much as possible. There are two main steps in preventing problems: proper dental care on your own, and regular check-ups with a professional. Get to know our friendly team through a new patient consultation for $75 (valued at $100).
What we’re fighting: tooth decay and gum disease
To best explain how to prevent a problem, sometimes it’s necessary to examine the cause of it.
Tooth decay is damage caused by bacteria – this bacteria creates acids that erode the tooth. When enough of the tooth is eaten away, cracks and holes can form. These holes are called cavities or caries. There are three main layers of a tooth:
1. Enamel: the hard, outside layer of the tooth
2. Dentin: the middle layer
3. Pulp: the centre, containing blood vessels and nerves
As decay eats through these layers, the damage becomes more and more serious. If left untreated, it can lead to symptoms like pain, swelling, or losing the tooth entirely.
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is infection of the bones and tissues that support your teeth. Affected areas include both the surface tissues that are visible to the naked eye, as well as the deeper tissues found in the bone and ligaments that connect your teeth to your jawbone.
There are two major stages of gum disease:
Gingivitis: this is the milder form and generally affects a large percentage of the population. This stage doesn’t involve a lot of pain, but will sometimes cause gums to look swollen or red. Gums may also bleed easily at this stage.
Periodontitis: If gingivitis goes untreated, the infection may advance into periodontitis. At this stage, the gum margin can begin to recede and cause something called “periodontal pockets.” These pockets are spaces between the gum and tooth, and will trap bacteria more easily. This can aggravate the gums even further and can result in pain, tooth sensitivity, bad breath, receding gums, and tooth loss.
How can I prevent tooth decay and gum disease at home?
Oral hygiene works best as part of a daily routine. If you already do these steps each day, then you’re doing great! If not, it’s easy to incorporate a few extra steps to prevent serious problems down the road.
- Brush your teeth: This one might seem obvious, but it’s a crucial step. Brushing after meals will remove a lot of debris and bacteria on the surface of your teeth. Important tip: Take care to (gently) brush in a circular motion. Rough scrubbing from side to side can damage your gums. It’s also a good idea to use a brush with soft bristles, and be sure to include your tongue (bacteria often hides here!). This step should take about two minutes.
- Flossing: This step removes bacteria and pieces of food from between your gums and teeth, usually the parts of your mouth that your toothbrush can’t reach. Since bacteria often gets trapped in these areas, it’s important to floss once a day minimum.
- Mouthwash: You can minimise remaining plaque and bacteria by swishing with mouthwash. Talk to our friendly team to find out the best type of mouthwash to use for your oral needs!
Preventing decay and disease through professional care: why is it important?
Good hygiene at home is important, but it’s not enough on its own. You should also consult with a professional once or twice a year. A professional clean will ensure that you haven’t missed any hard-to-reach plaque or bacteria, not to mention you will receive fluoride treatment that can protect against future damage. Also, plaque may turn into tartar, which will need to be removed professionally.
Moreover, the team at Robina Town Dental can spot any potential issues or risk factors before they turn into full-blown problems. During your regular exam, we’ll carefully inspect your teeth and gums for any signals of decay. We may also need to use X-rays to diagnose any problems. These are all things that are a little hard to do yourself!
Furthermore, based on what we see in your exam, we can help you ensure your flossing and brushing techniques are correct, and speak to you about any possible risks that might be specific to your teeth and gums.
To schedule your exam and professional clean, simply give us a call or contact us online!
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