Benjamin Franklin had some wise words about preventive dentistry:
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Okay, so he wasn’t talking about regularly seeing your Falmouth, ME dentist. But it still applies to your oral health!
Dental cleanings and exams require a little bit of your time and money. But not getting them can cost you both, with a lot of pain added in.
Plaque has no regard for your wallet or your watch. If you don’t manage it, you will have tooth decay.
Untreated tooth decay can lead to expensive and painful situations. A simple oral routine that includes visits to A Perfect Smile will save you time, money, and pain.
Preventive Dentistry Prevents Consequences
Okay, so you don’t go to the dentist. What’s the worst that could happen?
Well, the worst that could happen is that the bacteria in your teeth makes its way to other parts of your body and causes an infection. And it kills you.
The more likely and less deadly worst-case scenario is a combination of tooth decay and gum disease.
Don’t Let Cavities Become Abscesses
Tooth decay occurs when the bacteria in your mouth produce acids that eat away at your tooth enamel. Eventually, these acids will create a hole in your tooth – a cavity.
As you may know, cavities can be incredibly painful. Untreated, they can lead to abscessed teeth. When a tooth is abscessed, the pulp — which contains blood vessels, nerves, and tissue — is infected.
Symptoms of an abscessed tooth are hard to ignore:
➢ Constant, throbbing toothache
➢ Swelling in your face, jaw, cheek, or lymph nodes
➢ Sensitivity to temperatures
➢ Sensitivity to chewing
Of course, if you do find yourself with an abscessed tooth, we can treat it with a root canal or extraction and have you feeling good as new. But we’d rather save you time, money, and the pain of an infected tooth!
Regular exams allow us to catch and treat existing decay and fortify your teeth against bacteria.
Beware Of Gum Disease
There are a few stages of gum disease. Regular trips to A Perfect Smile can make sure you never advance past the first one.
Gingivitis, which you may have heard about in mouthwash commercials, occurs when your gums are red and irritated. They may bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. With regular exams, we can spot gingivitis and get you on the right track to reversing it.
If your gingivitis progresses, you may develop periodontitis. At this stage, your gums separate from your teeth, forming small pockets. Inside these pockets are bacteria, acids from bacteria, and toxins produced by your body. These work together to erode your jawbone.
As with tooth decay, we can intervene and provide nonsurgical gum disease treatments that will restore your gums’ good health. And as with tooth decay, it’s much, much easier just to prevent this from ever happening.
Preventive Dentistry Starts With You
Now that you’ve come to believe in the power of prevention, let’s talk about what you can do. A consistent dental hygiene routine will go a long way:
➢ Brush twice every day, taking care to cover the surface of every single tooth with short strokes.
➢ Floss at least once every day, using a C-shape to get along your gumline.
➢ Rinse twice every day with an alcohol-free mouthwash.
➢ Schedule and honor regular exams and cleanings at A Perfect Smile.
What will your biannual visits include?
➢ An exam, during which Dr. Nelson checks your entire mouth for any signs of trouble. If he finds anything problematic, we’ll work with you on a customized treatment plan.
➢ A screening for oral cancer.
➢ A thorough cleaning from one of our hygienists. We use special tools to remove tartar (hardened plaque) from your teeth and gumline
➢ A polish to remove any remaining plaque or tartar. This will also leave your teeth too slick for plaque to immediately stick to them.
➢ A fluoride treatment to strengthen your enamel and protect against acid erosion.
Don’t Gamble With Your Oral Health
Tooth decay and gum disease are a high-risk, low-reward bet. In fact, there’s no reward for skipping out on basic dental care. You may think you’re saving time and money, but the long term consequences are costly.
Exams and cleanings are painless. Rotten teeth and gums? Sometimes excruciating.