Close up of a young woman having a dentist appointment

Want a Lifetime of Healthy Smiles? Preventive Care is the Key

There’s a well-known saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That’s especially true of dentistry. Preventive care prevents serious oral health problems like cavities and gum disease. Preventative care can also help identify — and correct — many issues in their earliest stages, when treatment is simpler (and less costly).

At Smile Workshop Family Dentistry and Orthodontics, we offer comprehensive preventive care so you can enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and beautiful, confident smiles.

What’s Included in Preventive Dentistry?

Preventative dentistry Texas includes routine dental care, like regular check-ups, cancer screenings, fluoride treatments, sealants and other treatments designed to prevent tooth and gum damage later on.

Preventative care also includes the care you provide at home, including twice-daily brushing and regular flossing. Even the foods you eat can have an effect on your teeth and gums. Following a healthy diet that includes calcium-rich foods and limits sticky sweets is another important part of preventive care, and one that can help improve your overall health, as well.

What Happens During a Routine Dental Exam?

Your exam begins with a thorough cleaning to get rid of plaque and hardened tartar deposits on the tooth surfaces and just below the gum line. Plaque and tartar harbor bacteria that can cause gum disease, the leading cause of adult tooth loss. Plaque and tartar can be difficult (or impossible) to completely remove with brushing and flossing alone.

During your cleaning at Smile Workshop, our friendly hygienists use special tools designed to remove plaque and tartar without harming your tooth’s tough outer layer. When the cleaning is finished, every tooth surface is gently polished using a special abrasive designed to remove superficial stains, so your teeth look clean and bright. We can make them whiter too! Visit our whitening page to learn more.

Next, the dentist will examine your teeth, gums and bite pattern, looking for signs of decay or other issues. An oral cancer screening is also performed at each visit. This screening involves a visual exam of your gums, tongue and cheeks, along with gentle palpations to check for signs of swelling. Finally, your dentist may make recommendations for other treatments or home care options to improve your oral health.

The Importance of Good At-Home Care and Preventive Dentistry Care in Texas

Of course, preventing cavities, gum disease and other oral health problems isn’t just about routine trips to the dentist (although that’s really important). It also means you need to do your part at home, too. Regular brushing and flossing twice a day helps get rid of food particles, harmful bacteria and sticky plaque — all of which increase your risks of cavities, gum disease and even tooth loss.

Brushing and flossing might seem pretty straightforward, but to get the best results, you need to employ the proper techniques. During your checkup, our hygienist will ensure your brushing and flossing techniques are optimized for your oral health needs. Plus, our team can provide you with other important guidance to reduce your risks even further.

When to Come in For a Preventive Dentistry Appointment

When you come in for your dental appointment, your dentist will recommend an approximate return date. Most people come back to the dentist every six months. Waiting longer can lead to a buildup of plaque on your teeth, which in turn can lead to dental problems.

Signs of Dental Trouble

If you’re seeing the signs of dental problems, this is a key indicator that it’s time to go back to the dentist. Some signs to watch out for include:

  • Swollen, red gums
  • Bleeding when you brush
  • Any teeth pain or sensitivity 
  • Jaw pain
  • Swollen face or gums
  • Broken teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Dry mouth

Preventive Care FAQ

At what age should my child go to the dentist?

Bring your child to the dentist for their first preventative care appointment when their first tooth breaks through the gums, or by the time they’re one year old. Then, bring your child to the dentist for subsequent appointments as recommended by the dentist.

Are dental x-rays safe?

Dental x-rays are safe and important for your oral health. To limit your exposure to radiation, your dentist will likely not take x-rays at every appointment. Dental x-rays help your dentist identify unseen problems happening with your teeth.

I feel anxious when I go to the dentist. How to not be nervous at the dentist?

It’s very common for people to feel anxious when they go to the dentist. It’s important to find a dentist that makes you feel comfortable. Be up-front with your dentist about your trouble. Your dentist will have strategies that can help you feel more comfortable while you’re in the dentist’s chair.

How long will my preventative care appointment last?

Most appointments last an hour or less. If your dentist needs a longer time, they should let you know when you make the appointment.

Schedule Your Checkup Today

Since regular check-ups at Smile Workshop only take about an hour, that’s just two hours every year to help ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy for the rest of your life.

As a top-ranked family dentist practice in Texas, our preventive care services and treatments can help you reduce your risks of serious oral health problems, so you can enjoy a lifetime of beautiful smiles. To schedule your check-up and exam at Smile Workshop, give us a call at 1-888-833-8404 and book an appointment today.