Preventive dentistry at Aura in Kingston
At AURA our aim is to prevent the two major causes of tooth loss – decay and gum disease. By preventing or dealing with the damaging effects of both tooth decay and gum disease, the more chance you have of keeping your teeth for life.
With the joint efforts by yourself and AURA we can together help prevent the need for treatment and avoid both fillings and extractions. A recommended course of treatment can get your mouth into a healthy condition and a bespoke prevention plan drawn up to keep it that way. Everyone can benefit with preventive dentistry, even people without teeth. Conditions such as mouth cancer and denture stomatitis can be diagnosed and treated with regular visits.
Prevention also means recommending treatment to reinforce a tooth to protect it and ensure it doesn’t break in the future. For example, if a tooth is cracked or weak and in danger of breaking, a new filling or crown may be advised to protect it. This is always better than waiting until the breakage happens, perhaps even as an emergency. Ensuring that all your fillings and restorations are in good repair also helps reduce rough edges, which can make oral hygiene difficult.
Routine xrays are important and should be taken every 2 years. Your dentist can only assess 3 out of the 5 surfaces of every tooth in your mouth. Decay which has set in between your teeth can only be detected by xray.
Routine xrays by AURA
The black spots between these teeth (tooth decay) is not visible when simply examining your mouth unless the decay is quite severe. Other things can also be detected such as an extra tooth impacted in the bone as in the right xray.
Fluoride helps resist tooth decay and is recommended to help protect vulnerable mouths. Fluoride rinses, tablets or drops act as an extra help against decay for home use.
Fissure sealants are recommended to cover over deep pits and fissures to protect the tooth from decay.
Diet is important. Many foods and drinks contain sugar and make the teeth prone to decay. Cutting down on sugary substances will help reduce your risk considerably. Foods such as cheese, fruit, nuts and vegetables are great substitutes and dairy products are great buffers to acid attack.
Avoiding large quantities of acidic foods and drinks such as citrus fruits juices and all fizzy drinks such as cola will protect against dental erosion (loss of enamel) and sensitivity.
Habits such as smoking causes tooth staining, exacerbates gum disease, tooth loss and mouth cancer. If you smoke, regular and more frequent visits are paramount. Alcohol can also cause mouth cancer and if you both smoke and drink, you are even more at risk. Some alcoholic drinks contain high sugar levels and acids. Decay and erosion can occur if consumed in large quantities.
A good oral hygiene routine is very important to keep your teeth and gums healthy at home.
There are steps to help prevent tooth loss, decay and the need for dental treatment.
- Reduce your consumption of sugary foods and drinks
- Use a straw when you have fizzy drinks to reduce the amount of acid attack on the teeth
- Chew sugarless chewing gum as it stimulates salivary flow and stops your mouth from drying out to prevent decay and erosion
- Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend
There are many specialised formulations of toothpaste to assist with tartar control and sensitivity. Mouthwashes can benefit both the teeth and the gums. Toothbrushes should have small to medium sized heads with soft to medium filaments (bristles). Tests have shown that electric toothbrushes are better than manual brushes at removing dental plaque. Interdental cleaners should be used daily to protect against gum disease. Cleaning your tongue also prevents halitosis (bad breath).