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Preventive Dentistry

Dental 4 You Clinic - Cosmetic Dentistry and Dental Implants
by Chiangmai Dental Professionals in Thailand
Services > Preventive Dentistry

"Prevention Is Better Than Cure" is the motto adapted. Your teeth can and should last a lifetime. Prevention and early detection are key in avoiding costly and painful dental treatment. Prevention begins with the control of plaque and calculus, the main cause of decay and gum disease.
The most important steps in maintaining oral health and preventing tooth decay are regular brushing and a balanced diet. Additional methods also exist:

  • Sealant protect for your teeth and your child’s teeth with resin
  • Preventive resin restoration
  • Fluoride treatment to help teeth build resistance to decay
  • Caries risk assessment
  • Diet counseling
  • Oral hygiene instruction 

Sealant

Dental sealants are a clear and protective coating that is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant protects the tooth from getting a cavity by shielding against bacteria and plaque. Sealants are most commonly placed on children's permanent back teeth because they are more prone to cavities.

A sealant is a thin plastic coating, which is placed in the grooves on the chewing surface of the back teeth. Sealants keep food and bacteria from packing into the grooves of teeth. Sealants protect the enamel from plaque and acids.
Your teeth are covered with a sticky film of bacteria, called plaque. When you don’t clean your teeth after eating, plaque bacteria use sugar and starch in food as a source of energy. The bacteria change the sugar or starch into harmful acids that attack tooth enamel. Repeated attacks may cause the enamel to break down, resulting in cavities.

Preventive resin restoration

Preventive resin restoration may require minimal tooth preparation of deep pits and fissures. The prepare area is restored with composite resin prior to the application of the sealant material. Deep pits and fissures with incipient caries and/or developmental defects in primary and permanent teeth are indication for preventive resins.

 

 


Fluoride treatment to help teeth build resistance to decay

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Every day, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth's enamel layer through two processes, demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost (demineralization) from a tooth's enamel layer when acids - formed from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth - attack the enamel. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer from the foods and waters consumed. Too much demineralization without enough remineralization to repair the enamel layer leads to tooth decay.

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under six years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.

Moreover, Dentist has a new opportunity to help prevent tooth decay. Dentist can provide a valuable service by performing an oral health risk assessment and oral screening, assuring adequate use of fluorides (including prescribing dietary fluoride supplements if indicated), demonstrating brushing, providing anticipatory guidance and referring children for dental examinations and care.

Fluorides have been used for many years to help prevent dental decay. Today, most dental professionals apply fluoride in their offices as a foam, gel or varnish. Fluoride varnish (5% sodium fluoride) has been widely used in Europe for several decades and its use is increasing in the United States. Varnish comes in tubes for multiple applications using a cotton swab or as prepackaged single doses with a small disposable applicator brush.

Fluoride varnish offers several advantages over other professionally applied fluorides:

  1. Varnish now comes in child-friendly flavors and is easily tolerated, especially by infants, toddlers and developmentally disabled children.
  2. Providers find it easy to use and fast to apply. Fluoride varnish can be swabbed directly on the teeth in less than 3 minutes and sets within a minute of contact with saliva. Gels and foams require use of suction, air-drying the teeth, trays that may trigger gag reflexes and several minutes of contact with the teeth.
  3. Fluoride varnish is safe and poses less risk of an adverse reaction because only a small amount is used and less is swallowed.
  4. It can be applied in any setting and does not require the use of dental equipment or instruments

Caries risk assessment

Assessment of a person’s risk for dental caries relies on a number of factors. These factors could include caries history, preventive practices, nutritional habits and medical conditions.

Caries risk is not stagnant in a patient and can vary from one point of time in his or her life to another. Such variation in susceptibility requires ongoing monitoring by the oral health care professional, since changes in health status, use of medications and other lifetime events can increase risk.

Based on the clinical evaluation and information derived from a patient’s medical and dental history, he or she can be classified as being at low, moderate or high risk In addition, inadequately restored surfaces, poor oral hygiene, exposed root surfaces, orthodontic treatment and elevated Streptococcus mutans levels could be factors.
The most practical method to find the approximate pH level of the saliva is using salivary pH test kits. Since your body pH varies with what you eat. The pH can effect to a person’s risk for dental caries. pH test kit which includes ph test strips and a chart along with info on alkaline and acidic foods.

The pH test strips come in plentiful roll secured in an easy-to-use plastic container making it easy to remove only one strip at a time. The chart is a handy way to record saliva pH making it easier for you to see pH averages and help you select the right pH balanced foods and correct proportions of alkaline and acidic food choices base on your individual pH.

Diet counseling

Diet and nutrition have a direct influence on the progression of tooth decay, a preventable oral infectious disease. Major components of a preventive dental regimen include nutrition counseling. Nutrition education by dental professionals address dietary risk factors associated with dental disease. The primary factors to consider in determining the cariogenic, cariostatic, and anticariogenic properties of the diet are food form (liquid, solid and sticky, long lasting), frequency of consumption of sugar and other fermentable carbohydrates, nutrient composition, sequence of food intake, and combinations of foods.

A focus on the importance of improved dietary habits supports good oral health as well as good general health and will be included with counseling. Nutrition counseling for caries prevention and control will be done by a dental professional as a component of a patient's comprehensive dental care.

Oral hygiene instruction 

This combined procedure's primary purpose is to educate and train the patient with a hands-on approach in order to develop excellent oral hygiene skills for a better controlling the cause of periodontal disease (bacterial plaque). A prophylaxis (regular dental cleaning and polishing) is done simultaneously to remove deposits of plaque, calculus, stain from the surfaces of the teeth that are above the gum to facilitate development of better home care techniques.
Here are some additional resources you may like to visit for oral care instructions:

  • Dental Hygiene from Floss.com
  • Proper Brushing Techniques from GUM
  • Proper Flossing Techniques from GUM
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