Preventative Dentistry

Bellevue Dental Group - patient practicing preventative dentistry

Preventative Dentistry at BDG

Our preventative maintenance visits begin with a checkup. This means that your dentist will take time to visually scan the areas of your mouth that can be seen with the naked eye. They will note changes in tissue texture or colour, the quality of your bite and whether you have visible decay taking place. Gum recession, sensitivity and signs of harmful nighttime teeth grinding will also be assessed and addressed. This is your opportunity to ask questions, express concerns and make plans to restore any of your teeth. Be sure to update your dentist regarding any changes to medications or to your medical profile.

Your dentist will also complete a set of digital X-rays which will be reviewed to tell a deeper story. These modern X-rays are very low in radiation exposure for the patient and allows the dentist to view and understand the health of the teeth where they are concealed. These images can provide information about the health of the inside of the tooth, the health of the root system of each tooth, abscesses, cancerous and non cancerous tumors, other problems below the gum line not visible to the naked eye, and makes cavities between the teeth detectable. 

Checkups

Many of us think of dental procedures (complete with numbing and noisy tools) when we think about the dentist. Although procedures are a necessary reality for some of our patients, many patients see us regularly without requiring intervention because they keep their teeth clean and healthy.

When dentists refer to preventative maintenance, you can think of it as a regular physical exam with your doctor – but for your teeth. Seeing your doctor for regular checkups, even if you don’t have any concerns, makes it less likely that you’ll need to be seen urgently for concerns that could have been resolved early in their development.

When problems do emerge, your dentist is likely to catch it in its early stages, since your maintenance appointments should occur no more than six months apart.

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Importance of Nutrition

For the ultimate benefit of your teeth and body, a healthy diet is important. Since our oral cavities are inherently warm, dark, and wet, they can be a breeding ground for decay-causing bacteria when paired with a poor diet. That’s because the more simple carbohydrates are in our diet (chips, bread, candy), the more food there is for the bacteria in the mouth to consume. These plaque bacterium feed on the sugar in our food and as they take in sugar, they leave behind an acidic fluid that attacks the teeth and irritates the gums. Limiting the amount of starch and sugars in our diet limits the amount of bacteria produced in our mouth and keeps decay and irritation at bay.

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Sealants

Even though the front and back surfaces of the teeth are generally nice and smooth, the surfaces of the teeth we use to eat with are riddled with deep grooves and pits. These pesky areas are magnets for food and bacteria which can lead to cavities. Sealant is a material which can be flowed into the grooves and pits of teeth making it harder for bacteria to create a home there. It also makes it easier for you to brush!

Lifestyle

The health and appearance of your natural teeth is impacted by lifestyle factors as well as nutrition and maintenance. Smoking tobacco products has a staining and yellowing effect on natural teeth, and drinks like coffee and red wine are also notorious for staining the enamel. Where possible, drink clear fluids and rinse well after consuming sweet drinks.

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