Preventive dentistry is a type of dental care that focuses on preventing dental problems and maintaining good oral health. Some common preventive dentistry procedures include exams, cleanings, sealants, fluoride application, and the use of night guards and sport mouth guards.
A preventive dentistry exam is a routine checkup that is performed by a dentist. During the exam, the dentist will look for signs of dental problems, such as cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. They may also take X-rays to check for problems that are not visible during the exam.
A cleaning is a procedure in which a dental professional removes plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth, and if it is not removed, it can lead to cavities and gum disease. A cleaning is usually done every six months to a year, depending on the individual’s oral health needs.
Sealants are thin coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars and premolars). They are used to help prevent cavities in these areas, which are difficult to clean and are prone to developing cavities. Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth, but they can also be used in adults.
Fluoride application involves applying a fluoride gel, foam, or varnish to the teeth. Fluoride is a mineral that helps to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Fluoride application is often done in a dental office, but it can also be done at home with over-the-counter products.
A night guard is a device that is worn over the teeth while sleeping. It is used to address clenching and grinding (bruxism), which can cause damage to the teeth and jaw joint. Night guards are made of soft or hard material and are customized to fit the individual’s mouth.
A sport mouth guard is a device that is worn over the teeth while participating in sports. It is used to protect the teeth and mouth from injury, such as being hit by a ball or another player. Sport mouth guards are typically made of a flexible material and are customized to fit the individual’s mouth.