Preventive dental care is important throughout your life, no matter your age. Practicing good oral hygiene at home and scheduling regular checkups with your dentist can help keep your smile bright and healthy for many years to come. At Fusion Dental and Braces, we provide general dentistry services to ensure patients maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Proper Oral Hygiene
Here are a few simple ways that you can prevent the build-up of plaque and cavities:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque from the tooth surfaces. Also, be sure to brush the top surface of your tongue; this will remove any extra plaque-causing food particles and help keep your breath fresh!
- Clean between your teeth by flossing at least once a day. You can also use a mouthwash to help kill bacteria and freshen your breath. Decay-causing bacteria can linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Floss and mouthwash will help remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
- Eat a balanced diet, and try to avoid extra-sugary treats. Nutritious foods such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese, or fruit can help keep your smile healthy.
- Remember to schedule regular checkups with your dentist every six months for professional teeth cleaning.
- Ask your dentist about dental sealants and protective plastic coatings that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, where decay often starts.
- If you play sports, be sure to ask your dentist about special mouthguards designed to protect your smile.
- If it’s been six months since your last dental checkup, then it’s time to contact our practice and schedule your next appointment!
- Step 1: Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum.
- Step 2: Brush gently in a circular motion.
- Step 3: Brush each tooth’s outer, inner, and chewing surfaces.
- Step 4: Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth.
- Step 1:Wind about 18 inches of floss around your fingers as shown. Most of it should be wrapped around one finger, and the other finger takes it up as the floss is used.
- Step 2: Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide about one inch of floss between your teeth.
- Step 3: Holding the floss tightly, gently saw it between your teeth. Then curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and gently slide it beneath your gums.
- Step 4: Slide the floss up and down, repeating each tooth.
Traditional dental restoratives, or fillings, are most often made of silver amalgam. The strength and durability of this traditional dental material make it useful for situations where restored teeth must withstand extreme forces that result from chewing, often in the back of the mouth.
Newer dental fillings include ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are usually used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important, but they can also be used on the back teeth depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay.
There are two different kinds of fillings: direct and indirect. Direct fillings are fillings placed into a prepared cavity in a single visit. They include silver amalgam, glass ionomers, resin ionomers, and composite (resin) fillings. Indirect fillings generally require two or more visits. They include inlays, onlays, and veneers. They are used when a tooth has too much damage to support a filling but not enough to necessitate a crown.
Fluoride effectively prevents cavities, tooth decay, and plaque from building up and hardening on the tooth’s surface. A fluoride treatment in your dentist’s office takes just a few minutes. After the treatment, patients may be asked not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on your oral health or your doctor’s recommendation, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months.
Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially regarding those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth. It is difficult for your toothbrush to get in between the small cracks and grooves on your teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Sealants give your teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities.
Dental sealants are plastic resins that bond and harden in the deep grooves on your tooth’s surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing your teeth becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.
Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth as a preventive measure against decay after permanent teeth erupt. However, adults can also receive sealants on healthy teeth. It is more common to seal “permanent” teeth than “baby” ones, but every patient has unique needs, and your dentist will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.
Sealants last from three to five years, but it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact, so if your sealants come off, let your dentist know and schedule an appointment for your teeth to be re-sealed.
We have four convenient locations in Bellmead, Killeen, Harker Heights, and the Hewitt office in Waco. Please visit our most convenient location for you.