Much of dentistry is focused on monitoring your oral health and acting to treat potential problems before they can develop into severe issues that require invasive, costly treatments. In addition to regular checkups and cleanings (which you should schedule every six months), Dr. Parry can offer plenty of options for preventive dentistry in Summerfield, NC that will keep you and your loved ones smiling for years to come. Schedule your next appointment at Magnolia Shores Family Dental today by calling our dental office.
The primary goal of a dental checkup is to examine the mouth for tooth decay, plaque, tartar, gum disease, and other oral health issues. Digital X-rays may be taken so that we can analyze the areas between your teeth and beneath your gum line. After the checkup, any plaque or tartar that was found will be removed. (You can get rid of plaque by yourself, but once it hardens into tartar, you’ll need Dr. Parry’s help.) As a final touch, we’ll polish your teeth to remove any surface stains, leaving you with a freshly brightened grin.
People who suffer from bruxism grind and clench their teeth at night, often without even realizing it. Over time, you might develop a TMJ disorder, and your teeth may eventually become worn down or fractured. An oral device called a nightguard can protect your teeth from bruxism. Simply place it in your mouth at bedtime, and it will stop your upper and lower teeth from coming into direct contact with each other. Unlike the one-size-fits-all oral appliances you find at the store, our nightguards are custom-made to fit perfectly on your teeth.
You might not have realized that dentists often provide oral cancer screenings alongside regular checkups. Oral cancer may not get as much attention as other forms, but roughly 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with it every year, and only slightly more than half of that group will still be alive 5 years from now. Identifying oral cancer early on greatly improves your chances of survival. During a typical screening, we’ll check for discolored patches and suspicious lumps; if necessary, we can take saliva samples for lab testing.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can often be found in the water that you drink, and it’s an essential ingredient for many kinds of toothpaste. It helps strengthen the enamel protecting your teeth, improving its resistance to decay. During a professional cleaning, we apply fluoride directly to your teeth so that it can be fully absorbed. These treatments are useful for younger guests with still-developing teeth as well as older guests who have a higher-than-average risk for cavities.
Dental sealants –a thin, plastic coating – are most often applied to the chewing surfaces of the premolars and molars. The sealant bonds into the various grooves of the teeth so that it acts as a barrier against food particles and bacteria. Children are often given sealants because they have trouble brushing and flossing their back teeth. It only takes a few minutes to place a sealant; once the tooth is cleaned and prepared, the material is painted onto the enamel and hardened with a special light.
We do everything we can to provide the best care available when you visit our dental office, but at home, it’s up to you to take care of your smile with well-chosen oral hygiene products. Of course, choosing between different brands can be tricky, so we’re more than happy to make recommendations if you need them. For example, when it comes to toothpaste, we rely on CariFree, which helps neutralize the acids in your mouth that contribute to tooth decay.
Xerostomia (which is another name for dry mouth) occurs when your salivary glands are unable to make enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. Without saliva, you’ll have a much harder time chewing and swallowing your food, and you may even find it difficult to speak. Your risk of decay will also rise without saliva to wash away bacteria and harmful debris. Talk to us if you notice a strange dry feeling in your mouth, and we can help you find a way to start managing it.
Having good experiences with the dentist while your children are still young will help them grow up with healthy smiles and good oral care habits. Our goal will be to make your child’s visits as stress-free as possible while we ensure that their teeth and gums are developing properly. Also, we can help teach you, the parent, strategies for dealing with prematurely lost teeth or thumb-sucking habits that could lead to orthodontic problems down the line.