Preventive Care Dentistry in Cary, NC
Professional Care by Cary, NC’s Best Dentists
Preventive dentistry aims to preserve healthy teeth and gums and prevent the development of cavities and other dental and oral diseases. The dentists in Cary, North Carolina at Alliance Dentistry offer several preventive procedures to lower the risk of oral health problems.
Fluoride Treatment in Cary, NC
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 Cary NC dentist office will fit intimately to your teeth and thus be more comfortable and offer better protection.
Contact a Dentist in Cary, NC
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 non-contact 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 Cary NC regularly make complimentary mouthguards for student athletes at Apex High School in school colors.
Seven Things You May Be Doing That Are Bad for Your Teeth
If you brush and floss daily and get dental regular dental cleanings and checkups, pat yourself on the back. At Alliance Dentistry, we believe that kind of commitment to oral hygiene is a significant contribution to healthy teeth and a bright smile. Still, there may be other day-to-day things you are doing that may be risky to your dental health. Learn more at our preventive care dentistry in Cary NC. In the meantime, the following is a brief overview.
Some routine behaviors can cause immediate damages to your teeth, such as cracking and chipping. Other actions can cause damage that occurs over time, including erosion of a tooth’s protective coating (enamel) or receding gums. Let’s take a look seven of those at those behaviors.
- Brushing too often and with too much force: You can damage your teeth and irritate your gums by being too forceful with your toothbrush. A gentle whisking motion is all that is needed to break up and clear bacterial plaque from tooth surfaces. Plus, brushing too often can lead to damage over a period of time. It may be best to stick to once in the morning and once at night.
- Brushing with the wrong toothbrush: If the bristles in your toothbrush are too stiff and hard, it can cause gums to become damaged and recede. An overhard toothbrush can also cause abrasion damage to tooth enamel and root surfaces. The ideal brush? Find one that’s soft-bristled and multi-tufted as the best partner with preventive care dentistry in Cary NC.
- Brushing immediately after eating: It may be best to be cautious if you brush directly after eating. The acidity in certain foods and beverages can weaken your tooth enamel. As part of a Cary NC preventive care dentistry program, it may be advisable to wait to brush until 30 minutes after eating a meal.
- Grinding and clenching the teeth: Both teeth grinding, called bruxing in dental circles, and jaw clenching can cause problems with your teeth. Both actions exert excessive forces that can result in worn teeth, fractures, loosened teeth, jaw pain, and more. These behaviors often happen at night while people sleep. Using a night guard can give you the protection you need against painful and costly damages.
- Using the teeth as tools or nail trimmers: Your teeth are designed for eating, not for biting your nails, unscrewing bottle tops, or tearing open a bag of chips. Misusing them in this way can lead to fractures, cracks, and chips.
- Chewing and cracking ice cubes and other hard objects: The force needed for your teeth and jaws to crunch hard objects like ice is unnatural and far beyond what they’re designed to withstand. Give your teeth a break and let the special blades in your blender crush ice!
- Playing sports without a mouthguard: Mouthguards are one piece of athletic equipment that you can not afford to go without. A mouthguard can protect your teeth and reduce the risk of lost teeth or broken teeth.
How Do Dental Sealants Work for Preventative Care Dentistry in Cary, NC?
Kids may have good intentions about brushing and flossing, but when they’re learning to take care of their teeth, it’s easy to miss the back molars or some of the nooks and crannies where bacteria hides out. Regular dental visits can prevent serious damage to the teeth, but decay can cause small cavities between dental visits. Dental sealants are a safety net for preventative care dentistry in Cary, NC that reduces the risk of decay to teeth.
What Are Sealants?
Sealants are like raincoats for teeth, except that you can’t take them off. Food particles and sugary drinks create acids that cause damage to teeth. The sealant is applied by the dentist to your child’s tooth surfaces. The sealant bonds to the teeth and protects the teeth from the acids that cause cavities. The sealant is clear. No one except the dentist will know that your child’s teeth are protected.
This preventative care dentistry process is not painful. The dentist will want to apply the sealant after a cleaning. First, a gel is applied to the teeth to roughen up the surface, which helps the sealant bond to the teeth. The gel is rinsed off before the sealant is applied. The only known side effect of sealants is an allergy to the sealant, which is rare. Sealants last for several years and can be re-applied when needed. Your dentist can check the condition of the sealant at your child’s regular visits.
Who Can Get Sealants?
Most commonly, sealants are recommended for children as part of preventative care dentistry in Cary, NC, but adults can also get them. It’s recommended to have sealants applied to the child’s teeth when the first permanent molars appear at around age 6, then again when the second molars break through when the child is around 12 years old. Sealants can be applied over mild decay to protect the teeth from future damage, but the dentist will need to check the teeth.
Some dental plans will cover the cost of sealants for children, but not adults. You will need to check with your insurance to know whether it’s covered or not. Keep in mind that sealants can reduce the need for dental treatment, which makes it a good investment in your child’s oral health and an important step in preventative care dentistry in Cary, NC.
Benefits of Sealants
The American Dental Association reports that sealants reduce the risk of decay by up to 80% in molars. The CDC advocates for sealants, stating that school-age children without sealants have three times as many cavities as those children with sealants.Your teeth need to last you a lifetime. That’s why it’s so crucial to refrain from behaviors that put them at risk. At Alliance Dentistry, we can help you keep those pearly whites in tip-top shape. Call us today to schedule an exam in preventive care dentistry Cary NC patients recommend. We want to help you look and feel your best!