At Palmetto Family Dentistry we believe that prevention of future dental problems is very important. In addition to brushing and flossing regularly at home, we have many ways in our office to help our patients prevent cavities and other dental issues.
One recommendation is to see your dentist for a prophylaxis or ‘prophy’. This is a routine dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar that may build up on your teeth. Plaque is a film that forms constantly on your teeth and hardens to become tartar. It is important for you to see your hygienist regularly to have this removed because tartar and plaque are the main causes of tooth decay and gum disease. If the build -up becomes excessive, a procedure call a debridement may become necessary. A debridement is just a deeper cleaning than the prophy.
Another service that we recommend and provide is fluoride to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride has several benefits for all patients of all ages. The teeth of children are still forming and the fluoride actually bonds to the tooth and allows the enamel surface to be harder and more resistant to decay. In adults, fluoride can help repair a cavity that is in the early stages by rebuilding the enamel layer of the tooth. Fluoride can also help to treat decay on tooth roots and to minimize root sensitivity.
Sealants are another great way to prevent tooth decay. A sealant is a clear or white coating that is placed on pits and grooves of the biting surface of a back tooth. The sealant helps prevent plaque and acid forming in those pits and grooves, thus discouraging cavities.