Preventive dentistry aims to preserve healthy teeth and gums and prevent the development of cavities and other dental and oral diseases. The dentists in Apex NC at Alliance Dentistry offer several preventive procedures to lower the risk of oral health problems.
Fluoride’s primary benefit is that it helps prevent tooth decay. It can also reverse erosion that has already taken place. If plaque forms on the teeth and eats away at the enamel, fluoride treatments can replace the minerals in the enamel that have eroded. This allows teeth to remain healthy. Fluoride treatments are especially important for children. Fluoride treatments can also prevent bacteria build-up around the gums, fight gingivitis, and help establish long-term dental health.
At our Cary NC dentist office, we employ two types of topical fluoride application. In one instance, fluoride foam is placed in trays and patients bite into these trays for one minute. The other application involves “painting” fluoride varnish on the teeth.
Sealants are thin plastic coatings placed on the biting surfaces of molars to prevent cavities. Because molars have deep pits and fissures, they need extra protection to fight cavities. Sealants cover the deep grooves, preventing cavity causing plaque and food from getting stuck. Sealing teeth early can save time and money in the long run by avoiding fillings or crowns to fix decayed teeth.
Night guards and Athletic Mouthguards
Night guards are acrylic appliances worn while sleeping to prevent wear and tear on teeth. Many people clench or grind their teeth at night without being aware they are doing so. Known as bruxism, this grinding can lead to multiple tooth problems. Teeth can become flattened, and if the grinding persists, the teeth can become temperature sensitive leading to nerve pain. Grinding can also cause cracks in teeth, receding gums and eventually lost teeth. To treat these problems, patients may need crowns, bridges, root canals or implants. Grinding can also cause migraine headaches and pain in the shoulders, neck and back.
There are three types of night guards: a stock night guard, a mouth-formed “boil and bite,” and a custom made night guard. The first two types are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at the drugstore. However, they can be bulky, unattractive and poorly fitting. A custom night guard made at our Apex dentist office will fit intimately to your teeth and thus be more comfortable and offer better protection.
Athletic mouthguards help to buffer blows to the mouth that could otherwise damage teeth, injure the jaw or cut the lips, tongue or face. They may also reduce the incidence of concussions. Traditionally, mouthguards have been used in contact sports, such as football, hockey and lacrosse, but they have been shown to be beneficial in noncontact sports as well. Like nightguards, they can be stock, “boil and bite,” or custom fitted. At Alliance Dentistry, we make impressions of your teeth and fabricate custom mouthguards that by design fit better and offer superior protection. As part of our Alliance Athletic Community Project, our dentists in Apex regularly make complimentary mouthguards for student athletes at Apex High School in school colors.
Contact our Apex dentist office to learn more about preventative dentistry in your area.