At Beadnell Family Dentistry, our dedicated team of dental care professionals strives to provide every patient with the very best oral health care possible. Your dentist in Hillsdale, Dr. Melissa Beadnell, offers a variety of comprehensive preventative dental care treatments designed to help keep your smile looking and feeling its best for a lifetime.
Of course, to enjoy a great looking smile, it’s important to practice quality oral hygiene at home. By taking the following steps, you can successfully lower your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, the two biggest threats to your long-term oral health:
- Brush at least twice a day. Brushing helps to remove plaque from the surface of your teeth and along the gum line, and ranks as the most important habit you can practice to improve your long-term oral health. It’s important to spend enough time brushing to ensure that you remove plaque from all of the hard to clean areas of your mouth, so the American Dental Association recommends spending at least two minutes brushing each time you pick up your toothbrush.
- Floss daily. Flossing plays a vital role in protecting your long-term oral health by removing plaque from areas of your mouth a toothbrush cannot adequately clean, such as between your teeth and below the gum line. If you decide to skip flossing, know that you’re failing to clean over 30 percent of your mouth. Considering flossing unique role in eliminating plaque, it’s not surprising that the most common place for cavities to develop is actually between teeth. This just helps to underscore why you should always find time to floss.
- Rinse with a alcohol-free mouthwash. Rinsing with a mouthwash after brushing adds another layer of protection for your oral health. Just make sure the brand of mouthwash you choose is alcohol-free. While you might think that an alcohol-based mouthwash would help eliminate harmful oral bacteria, these types of brands often cause more damage to your oral health than they prevent. That’s because alcohol can actually dry out your mouth, making the potential damage caused by plaque even worse.
While practicing these daily oral hygiene habits will help to dramatically improve your oral and overall health, enjoying a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums also means scheduling regular dental exams and x-rays with your dentist in Hillsdale.
Dental Exam and X-Rays
Regular dental exams and X-rays rank as a fundamental part of maintaining and protecting your oral health. Dental exams provide Dr. Beadnell with the opportunity to spot any signs of dental disease early on while the conditions is still easily treatable. Early detection allows Dr. Beadnell to treat any oral health problems more effectively, so any damage can be repaired and future problems prevented.
For most patients, Dr. Beadnell recommends visiting our office every six months for regular checkups and x-rays. For patients with special treatment needs, or who suffer from disease like diabetes or heart disease, the recommended schedule for office visits may be more frequent to ensure optimal oral health.
Professional Dental Hygiene
Your regularly scheduled visits to Beadnell Family Dentistry are an important part of your dental health to prevent gum disease and keep your smile healthy!
Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental plaque and calculus to a minimum, but a professional cleaning by our registered dental hygienist will remove calculus in places your toothbrush and floss may have missed.
When plaque is allowed to remain in place, it hardens into a yellowish substance known as tartar. Not only does tartar buildup discolor the surface of your teeth, it also irritates gum tissue, increasing your risk of gum disease and permanent tooth loss. Once plaque hardens into tartar it can only be removed during a professional cleaning by one of our trained dental hygienists.
At-Home Dental Hygiene Instruction
Adults over 35 years of age lose more teeth to gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their lives by periodontal disease.
The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good teeth brushing and flossing techniques performed daily and regular visits to our office for a thorough teeth cleaning.
As an important part of our dental practice, we believe that instructing patients in proper at-home dental hygiene is critical to maintaining optimal oral health and a healthy smile for life. Dr. Beadnell’s team will help guide you in all aspects of at-home dental hygiene, including proper brushing and flossing techniques.
Fluoride Treatment From Your Hillsdale Dentist
As part of your overall care, you may benefit from a fluoride treatment, which helps prevent tooth decay by making your teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque, bacteria, and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride will also re-mineralize teeth that have been affected by decay, stopping cavities from developing further.
Dr. Beadnell may recommend additional fluoride treatment to patients who:
- Experience frequent bouts of dry mouth. Your mouth requires a steady flow of saliva to wash away harmful oral bacteria and food particles that linger in the mouth after eating. Without saliva to help neutralize harmful oral bacteria, you have a higher risk of suffering from tooth decay and gum disease. Patients who take certain prescription medications that cause dry mouth as a symptom may require additional fluoride treatments to strengthen their tooth enamel from repeated plaque attacks.
- Suffer from receding gums. The delicate roots of your teeth become exposed when gum tissue starts to recede away from the base of your teeth. Additional fluoride treatments can help strengthen your teeth to offset this risk.
- Wear braces. Orthodontic appliances can trap food and bacteria in the mouth if not cleaned properly. This buildup of harmful material increases your risk of tooth decay and cavities.
Sealants protect the depressions and grooves of your teeth from food particles and plaque that brushing and flossing can’t reach. Dr. Beadnell can perform this simple procedure in which a tooth-colored acrylic “coating” is painted onto the surface of the tooth during just one visit to our Hillsdale family dentist office. This effectively “seals” the deep grooves, acting as a barrier and protecting enamel from plaque and acids to prevent decay.
Easy to apply, sealants take only a few minutes to seal each tooth, and hold up well under the force of normal chewing. They tend to last several years before a reapplication is needed, and are completely safe for both children and adults. Sealants make a great choice for parents looking to protect their child’s teeth from the impact of cavities and decay.
Periodontal Disease, Scaling and Root Planing
Periodontal disease, also referred to as periodontitis or gum disease, occurs when the bone and gums around the teeth are compromised by localized infections. Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell, and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progresses, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.
Scaling and root planning of the compromised teeth is the most common and conservative form of treatment for periodontal disease, allowing Dr. Beadnell and a registered dental hygienist to do a deeper cleaning between the teeth and gums to prevent the disease from progressing.
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can cause a variety of dental problems. Symptoms related to teeth grinding include jaw pain, earaches, neck aches, headaches, and sensitive teeth. Teeth grinding can have serious effects, causing broken, chipped or cracked teeth.
If you become aware that you grind your teeth while asleep, Dr. Beadnell can help you find out if there’s another medical condition that may be contributing to this habit or construct a custom fitting night guard for your teeth.
A simple impression of your top and bottom teeth will be needed, and we will take special care to ensure that your night guard fits perfectly and is adjusted for maximum protection.