- An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure...
As cliche as it sounds, prevention really is the basis of good dental health. It's safe to say that most people prefer drinking an extra glass of water to getting a filling. And who wouldn't choose daily flossing over having a tooth pulled? Well, it happens all the time. People are forced to endure costly dental treatment that may have been prevented with a little more education and dedication. That is why prevention is a major factor in Dr. Jones' conservative approach to dental care. Our focus on prevention includes good oral hygiene, routine dental visits, diet/nutrition, and reversing decay.
good oral hygiene
A recent study by the American Dental Association found most American adults are not brushing effectively. The most common mistakes people make when brushing are not spending enough time and brushing incorrectly. Follow these rules for the best results:
- Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes. Bedtime is the most important. Do not drink or eat after brushing at night.
- Hold your brush at a 45 degree angle while aiming for the gums. Make sure the bristles are sliding in the area between gums and teeth to remove food under the gumline.
- Brush GENTLY but thoroughly, using a soft brush. Scrubbing hard and using a stiff brush can damage the enamel and cause gum recession.
- Trade your old brush for a new one every 3-4 months, sooner if you have been sick.
In addition to brushing, patients should floss daily. Mouthwash with fluoride works to keep bacteria levels down.
ROUTINE DENTAL VISITS
The ADA recommends seeing your dentist every 6 month for routine exams, x-rays and cleanings. Approximately 50,000 new cases of oral cancer will be diagnosed this year in America alone. 43% of those cases will not be alive 5 years from now. Our practice utilizes VELSCOPE technology to screen for any abnomalities invisible to the naked eye. This year we added a 3d xray machine for amazingly detailed imaging. Suspicious areas are referred to a specialist for further evaluation. Early detection can mean life or death.
Diet and nutrition
Using sugar as fuel, naturally occuring bacteria in the mouth make an acid that causes tooth decay. Simply stated: more sugar = more bacteria = more tooth decay. That means the key to avoiding decay is lowering amount of sugar in your mouth whenever possible. Obviously, it helps to avoid soda and candy, which are high in sugar and sticky. However, almost any food eventually breaks down into some type of sugar. Crunchy foods such as apples and carrots wash away easily. But the problem is not just what we eat, but how often we eat. Dr Jones recommends 3 meals a day with 2 snacks in between. Eating should only take 10 min per snack and 20-30 min per meal. Other than mealtimes, drink water only. Water helps to clean the teeth and it's sugar free!
cavity reversal and arrested decay
Sometimes, a patient with little or no history of tooth decay will suddenly be diagnosed with several cavities between the teeth. This is usually a red flag that something diet or hygiene related needs to be addressed. However, it doesn't always mean "drilling and filling". There are now products available that can stop, and even reverse the progression of tooth decay. In these cases, Dr. Jones will give the patient 6 months reprieve. At the next check-up, x-rays will reveal any progressive decay. With early detection and diligent home care, some teeth will never need to be restored. The doctor will provide patients with all options at the office visit.