Caring for teeth and gums is integral to maintaining overall health and wellness. Many people neglect their dental health until they experience discomfort or pain, but our preventative dentistry in Herndon, VA, can help avoid serious problems.
At Mark Jefferies Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we believe that preventative dentistry is the foundation of good oral health. By practicing effective oral hygiene habits at home and scheduling regular check-ups with Dr. Mark Jefferies, you can prevent decay, gum disease, and other dental issues from developing. We are also happy to provide helpful tips for maintaining a healthy smile.
What Are the Benefits of Preventative Dentistry?
The benefits of preventative dentistry are many, including the following.
Regular Dental Check-Ups
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that adults visit the dentist at least once a year for a routine check-up and cleaning. During these visits, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums for signs of decay or disease, take x-rays if necessary, and thoroughly clean to remove plaque and tartar buildup.
Regular dental check-ups help catch any dental issues early on but also help prevent more severe problems from developing. For example, if Dr. Jefferies detects early signs of gum disease, he can create a treatment plan to help prevent it from progressing and potentially causing tooth loss.
Daily Oral Hygiene Habits
In addition to regular dental check-ups, practicing effective oral hygiene habits at home is crucial to maintaining good dental health. This includes:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time
- Flossing daily to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth
- Using fluoridated toothpaste to help strengthen your tooth enamel
- Limiting sugary and acidic foods and drinks, which can erode enamel and cause decay
- Drinking plenty of water helps wash away harmful bacteria and promote saliva production, which helps neutralize acid in the mouth.
Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevent decay. While most public water systems in the U.S. have fluoride, some people may benefit from additional fluoride treatments. This includes children and teens, who may need supplemental fluoride to help protect newly formed teeth, as well as adults with receding gum lines or a history of frequent cavities.
Dr. Jefferies can provide fluoride treatments in the form of gels, foams, or varnishes, which are applied directly to your teeth during a routine check-up.
Dental sealants are a preventive treatment that can help protect the chewing surfaces of your back teeth (molars) from decay. A sealant is a thin, plastic coating that we can apply to the grooves and pits of the molars, where food particles and bacteria can easily get trapped and lead to decay.
We typically recommend sealants for children and teens, but adults can also benefit from this treatment if they have an increased risk of decay.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer is a serious but treatable disease that affects thousands of people each year. Early detection is crucial for successful treatment, so oral cancer screenings are essential to preventative dentistry.
During a routine check-up, Dr. Jefferies will examine your lips, tongue, throat, and other parts of your mouth for signs of abnormal growths or lesions. He may refer you to a specialist for further testing if anything suspicious is found.
Preventative Dentistry in Herndon, VA
Preventative dentistry is a lifelong commitment that requires regular dental visits, daily oral hygiene habits, and sometimes additional treatments such as fluoride or sealants. By taking proactive steps to care for your teeth and gums, you can avoid painful and costly dental issues down the road and enjoy a beautiful, healthy smile for life.
At Mark Jefferies Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re committed to providing our patients with the highest quality of dental care in a comfortable and welcoming environment. If you’re due for a routine check-up or have concerns about your dental health, contact us today to schedule an appointment.