Studies have established connections between oral health and your general well being, and dental cleanings may help to decrease the risk of serious medical conditions such as lung infections, cancer, stroke, heart disease and diabetes.
Cleanings are crucial in preventing tooth loss and gum disease (periodontitis). A leading cause of decay leading to tooth loss is plaque that hardens into tartar (calculus), which can only be removed with special dental instruments. The bacteria in plaque can also attack your gums and damage the supporting bone in your jaw. Cleanings greatly reduce the risk of gum disease.
Cleanings also include teeth polishing to remove plaque and unsightly stains and leave you with fresh-feeling shiny teeth.
Besides cleanings, other preventive dental measures at your Waterloo dentist include:
Dental check-ups are imperative to keep your gums and teeth healthy. In the initial stages, dental issues may be painless and symptom-free. Dental check-ups allow your Waterloo dentist to spot problems early, when treatment is likely to be simpler, more effective and less costly. Dental exams can also prevent many potential issues from developing in the first place and detect other medical conditions you may not be aware of.
X-rays enable your Waterloo dentist to spot any issues not visible to the naked eye – below the surface of the gums and teeth. X-rays are essential to detect problems such as gum infections and jaw and tooth root issues. Diagnosis of these issues at an early stage is key to effective treatment.
Thanks to modern technology, dental X-rays are safer than ever. Digital X-rays have largely replaced the old film versions in many dental offices. They emit 80 to 90 per cent less radiation than traditional film X-ray equipment.
Fluoride is a mineral naturally present in water, soil and many foods, and it helps to prevent cavities. Fluoride is made synthetically and added to water supplies, mouthwashes, toothpaste and dental floss. Unlike over-the-counter fluoridated products, fluoride treatments available from your Waterloo dentist involve stronger concentrations of the mineral, applied directly to your teeth.
Dental sealants prevent decay by forming a barrier against bacteria and food debris that can lead to plaque and tartar. Sealants are most commonly applied to the back teeth, which are more at risk of cavities because they have deep furrows that a toothbrush cannot reach. While fluoride treatment works on the smooth surfaces of teeth, it cannot address problems with teeth fissures, which require sealants.
Although professional cleanings and other preventive dentistry measures are essential, avoiding dental ailments begins at home with a sound routine of oral hygiene and a healthy, nutritional diet. Your Waterloo dentist can advise you on:
- How to brush and floss properly.
- Cutting down on sugary snacks.
- Maintaining a balanced diet.