Prevention is defined as an action that stops something from happening.
Salata Dental would like to help you take the proper and appropriate action to prevent dental disease, health problems and disruption of your daily routine in many different ways:
My Role is to Help You:
1. Basics of Prevention
Dental Disease - Like all diseases, people have different susceptibility to cavities, gum disease, oral cancer or other diseases of the mouth. We can help prevent or control these diseases based on action we take on a regular basis. The first step in preventing dental disease is a complete examination of your teeth, gums and mouth. At that time, we will also evaluate how well you are taking care of your teeth and gums on a daily basis and instruct you on how to improve. We will determine if a dental cleaning is sufficient or if you need additional treatment for your gums. You should have your teeth examined and cleaned on a regular basis, usually every six months.
Oral Hygiene - Proper brushing and flossing done at least once a day and especially at night before bedtime, will help you control the disease of your teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing removes plaque that builds up on teeth. Plaque contains bacteria which gives off an acid that softens enamel or injures the gum tissue. Many children and adults do not know the proper way to brush and floss their teeth. We will be happy to show you how to clean your teeth the right way and monitor your progress over time. You can obtain additional detailed instruction on how to clean your teeth at the American Dental Association's website
Diet - Excessive amounts of sugar, soda pop or foods with a lot of acid can cause devastating effects on your teeth. The acid weakens the enamel of your teeth. A proper diet along with good hygiene will help you maintain your teeth.
Tobacco - Smoking or chewing tobacco will stain, injure and/or weaken your teeth and gums and can lead to cancer of the mouth. Avoiding tobacco use will lead to a healthier mouth, healthier body, fresher breath, and nicer appearing teeth.
2. Prevention for Different Age Groups
Toddlers - Parents need to brush the teeth of toddlers and not allow them to sleep with bottles.
Children - Parents need to help or monitor the brushing of teeth and control diet and intake of sweets. Along with cavities we need to check for crowding or poorly aligned teeth. We can help prevent cavities by giving fluoride treatments and placing dental sealants on teeth.
Teenagers - Parents need to continue to monitor the brushing of teeth, keep an eye on diet, and be especially aware of consumption of soda pop or other drinks high in acid. Along with cavities, we need to evaluate the alignment and appearance of teeth, and if wisdom teeth are an issue. We also need to prevent sports injuries.
Young Adults - As you juggle the demands of work or college, you need to follow the basics of prevention mentioned above. Some issues of concern may be gum disease, use of tobacco, wisdom teeth, and issues of appearance.
Mid Aged & Mature Adults - Along with the basics of prevention, many adults need to focus on periodontal health, appearance, and the durability of existing teeth. Many adults have teeth with large fillings that may be cracking and in need of strong restorations. Missing teeth should be replaced to avoid excessive forces on the remaining teeth. Adults need healthy teeth and gums to help avoid general health problems.
Senior Adults - As time passes, you know you may face greater challenges with your health and bodies. Your teeth might be the one thing you can restore and take care of. I have heard many times from our wonderful senior patients, "I'm so glad I took care of my teeth, I can chew and eat whatever I want". Take care of your teeth now, eat comfortably in the days to come.
3. Helping You in the Long Run
Prevention of Injury - Children & adults active in contact sports should wear a mouth guard. A retail store boil and bite mouth guard is okay. We can make a professional custom fit mouth guard. I have seen and treated several tooth injuries from basketball and baseball. Very few from football.
Another Injury to the Teeth is Excessive Grinding - Many times this occurs during sleep or during stressful times. A hard plastic mouth guard can prevent tooth wear, sensitivity, broken teeth and the need for extensive restorative work. (see jaw pain)
Prevention of Prolonged Discomfort & Disruption of Life - Patients who have regular examinations and complete the needed treatment are much less likely to experience pain and disruption of their daily routine. In addition, patients who remain active in the practice (regular examinations within six months) have the opportunity to contact the office staff or myself seven days a week, for advice or help should a dental emergency arise.
Prevention of a more Complicated Painful or Expensive Problem from Occurring - We often identify a very obvious problem of your teeth that you are not aware of or do not have any symptoms. This includes cavities, abscesses, cracked teeth, or bone loss. If left untreated, these problems will get worse. This can lead to greater loss of tooth structure, increased discomfort, and even loss of teeth. (see cracked, broken, weak or overfilled teeth)
Prevention of Health Problems - Medical research has shown that dental disease may contribute to serious health problems such as heart and respiratory problems. Obtaining the best possible dental health will help you prevent health problems.
Prevention of a Disappointment or a Missed Opportunity - You never know when an opportunity might arise to impress someone whether it is work related or a personal relationship. If you have some obvious concerns with the appearance of your teeth, you might miss your opportunity. In our society, appearance does matter!