Preventive Dentistry

HomePreventive Dentistry

Preventive dentistry is a proactive measure to protect the health of your teeth, gums, and overall health. Your dental health is worth protecting, and preventive dentistry can also reduce overall pain and protect your ability to function effectively and have a high quality of life.

Gum disease has been linked to serious health conditions. These include: 

Heart disease:

Research suggests that the inflammation caused by gum disease may contribute to the development of heart disease and increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes

Diabetes:

Gum disease can make it more difficult for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels, and uncontrolled diabetes can worsen gum disease

Respiratory infections:

The bacteria associated with gum disease can be inhaled into the lungs, potentially leading to respiratory infections such as pneumonia.

Dementia:

Some studies have found a link between gum disease and an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults.

Pregnancy complications:

Pregnant women with gum disease may be at higher risk of preterm birth and low birth weight babies.

Rheumatoid arthritis:

Research suggests that the inflammation associated with gum disease may exacerbate rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Preventive dentistry can catch any risks and address the issue before it becomes gum disease or other negative dental outcomes.

Proper preventive dental care protects your oral and general health.

Detect problems early with proper care so you can access more treatment options.

We treat oral health proactively, to offer you the best path to good dental and overall health. The dentists at Bettendorf Family Dental recommend that you are seen every six months for a checkup and dental cleaning. 

Prevent Tooth Damage and Decay 

To prevent tooth damage and decay, consider the following tips:

Brush regularly:

Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque and bacteria that can lead to decay

Eat a balanced diet:

Limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks, as they can contribute to tooth decay. Instead, focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains

Visit your dentist regularly:

Schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings to detect any early signs of tooth decay or damage and to remove hardened plaque (tartar) that brushing and flossing may miss.

Floss daily:

Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between teeth and along the gumline, where toothbrushes can’t reach effectively.

Drink water:

Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially after meals, to help rinse away food particles and neutralize acids in the mouth.

Consider dental sealants:

Dental sealants are thin, protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to help prevent decay in the deep grooves and pits where bacteria can accumulate.

Use mouthwash:

Rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash to help reduce bacteria and prevent plaque buildup.

Avoid tobacco:

Tobacco use, whether smoking or chewing, increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Quitting tobacco can improve your oral health and overall well-being.

Protect your teeth:

Wear a mouthguard when participating in contact sports or activities that could risk tooth injury, and avoid using your teeth as tools to open packages or bottles.

By following these preventive measures and maintaining good oral hygiene practices, you can help protect your teeth from damage and decay. 

Dental Exams & Cleanings

Dental exams are a crucial aspect of oral care. During these exams, dentists comprehensively evaluate your oral health, checking for signs of decay, gum disease, and other potential issues. This proactive approach helps in identifying problems early, and ensuring timely treatment. 

Cleanings complement dental exams by thoroughly cleaning your teeth. This process involves removing plaque and tartar buildup, common causes of cavities and gum disease. Professional cleanings also include polishing teeth to remove surface stains. Bettendorf Family Dental recommends that patients undergo routine cleanings and exams every six months; conveniently, both can be done in a single visit. If you have significant gum disease, your team at Bettendorf Family Dental will want to see you more frequently to ensure optimum health of your bone and gums. 

Removable Appliances (Sleep Guards, Sports Mouthguards)

Removable appliances like sleep guards and sports mouthguards play a vital role in preventive dentistry.

Sleep Guards 

Sleep guards are specially designed to mitigate the effects of nighttime teeth grinding, known as bruxism. This condition can lead to tooth damage, such as chipping and wear, jaw pain, and other TMJ disorders. Sleep guards provide a cushioning layer between the teeth, protecting them from the excessive force of grinding. They are custom-made to fit comfortably and securely, ensuring effective protection while sleeping. 

Sports Mouthguards

Sports mouthguards serve a purpose like sleep guards, focusing on minimizing wear and tear from grinding and clenching during sport activities. They act as a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth, reducing stress and potential damage to the tooth enamel. Sports mouthguards are particularly beneficial for those with a habit of clenching their jaw, a common stress response that can lead to headaches, tooth sensitivity, and other oral health issues. 

These appliances are not only preventive but also help reduce discomfort. Bettendorf Family Dental offers these custom-fitted solutions as part of their comprehensive dental care services. 

Why Preventive Dentistry

Preventive dentistry is a key part of taking care of your dental health. Our approach focuses on maintaining good oral health to prevent problems before they arise. Regular dental check-ups, cleanings, and the use of protective appliances like sleep and sports mouthguards help in prevention of dental issues. This approach reduces the risk of cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems, ultimately saving time, discomfort, and expense in the long run.

Our preventive approach allows us to make each visit an enjoyable experience rather than a visit you avoid. Schedule your first appointment today. 

What is the difference between preventive and restorative dentistry?

Preventive dentistry focuses on practices and procedures that help prevent dental problems before they occur. This includes regular dental check-ups, cleanings, and patient education about oral hygiene. Preventive care aims to maintain healthy teeth and gums, thus reducing the future need for dental treatments. On the other hand, restorative dentistry involves diagnosing and treating existing dental issues. It includes procedures like fillings, crowns, bridges, and implants to restore the function and aesthetics of teeth that are damaged or missing. The goal is to repair and rehabilitate oral health and functionality. Our team offers both of these approaches to treatment and strives to prevent unnecessary complications. Schedule your first visit today.

Can I do both the dental cleaning and an exam in the same visit?

Our team of dentists and dental professionals allow you to complete both in the same visit. While your first visit may be unique, subsequent visits will include both an exam and a cleaning every six months. This approach is convenient for patients and allows dentists to perform a comprehensive check-up and cleaning in one appointment. It ensures that any issues are identified and addressed promptly and that your oral hygiene is maintained efficiently. In some cases, you may be recommended for follow-up appointments. You can trust that our dentists will take care of you.