It is easier, less painful and ultimately less expensive to take care of your oral health before you have problems than waiting until after issues develop. That is why it is important to visit Dr. Patrick Morrissey at Boones Ferry Dental twice a year!
What Is Preventive Dentistry?
Preventive dentistry includes all forms of dental care that are provided to help you avoid developing dental problems. These treatments are designed to keep your mouth healthy, help you retain your natural teeth, and help you avoid the need for more extensive or invasive care. Preventive dentistry includes:
- Regular dental cleanings and exams
- A good oral hygiene routine at home (brushing and flossing)
- Additional professional preventive treatments such as dental sealants and fluoride treatment
- Checking that any oral appliances or dental restorations you have are in good condition
- Reviewing your diet, habits and lifestyle factors that may affect your oral health
- Recommending oral health products or oral hygiene aids for your use
The more care you take with keeping your mouth, teeth, gums and other oral structures healthy, the greater your chances of maintaining your natural teeth throughout your life.
Our preventive dental services include:
Dental Cleanings & Exams
Coming in to visit Dr. Morrissey for your regular cleaning and exam is the most important step you can take to prevent problems with your teeth and gums. During this exam, a hygienist will give your teeth a thorough cleaning and polishing. We will also make you aware of any areas in your mouth that you may not be brushing and flossing properly. We may also apply fluoride treatments and sealants if necessary.
Once this is complete, Dr. Morrissey will visually examine your mouth and teeth; he will look for any signs of gum disease and make sure your teeth are still positioned correctly relative to your other teeth, your lips and your tongue. Our dentist will also check to make sure your temporomandibular joint is functioning as it should and check for any abnormalities in your head and neck muscles. We will also check for any signs of oral cancer — very often, the dentist is the first one to spot signs of this and other diseases or medical conditions.
This twice-a-year exam is a very important part of preventive care, and of maintaining good oral health. We strongly encourage you to make and keep these regular appointments, as they reduce your risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other problems as well as ensure that any issues which do develop are diagnosed and treated promptly.
What Is Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride is very important for healthy teeth. It builds up tooth enamel and makes it stronger. It protects teeth by making them more resistant to bacteria and sugar. It can even help to reverse tooth decay when it is in its early stages.
Fluoride can be found in water and naturally occurs in many foods. You also get additional fluoride when you use toothpastes and mouthwashes that have fluoride added. However, for some people, this fluoride may not be enough. That is when professional fluoride application may be recommended. This mineral is important for kids as their teeth are growing and developing, but adults can often benefit from fluoride treatments as well.
If Dr. Morrissey thinks that you need extra help keeping your teeth healthy, he may recommend a fluoride treatment. This involves applying a special gel, foam or varnish with a high level of fluoride to your teeth. An alternative is a liquid or tablet kind of fluoride that you can use at home.
What Are Dental Sealants?
Sealants are another treatment that, like fluoride, are easy and painless yet can go a long way in helping to prevent future problems with teeth. Teeth crowns have many pits and grooves that can easily trap debris and food. It can be hard to get teeth completely clean because of these pits, but sealants cover the teeth and protect them.
Sealants are simply a liquid plastic coating that Dr. Morrissey or one of his hygienists will “paint” on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Once this coating hardens, it can protect teeth for months and make it easy to keep them clean. It is often recommended that children get sealants, but adults can benefit from them as well. Dr. Morrissey may suggest you get sealants if you are at high risk for cavities even though you may practice good oral hygiene habits.
Make Your Appointment Today!
An important part of keeping your teeth healthy is visiting our dentist and team for preventive care in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Call Boones Ferry Dental at 503-699-6699 and make your appointment today!