A healthy smile is truly the gateway to a healthy body, so patients should make preventive dental care a priority. You should be sure to schedule dental exams and cleanings as recommended, typically every six months.
Some patients may need additional preventive treatments if they are at increased risk for specific oral diseases or engage in certain activities, like playing contact sports.
Being diligent about your home oral hygiene habits is also an essential element of protecting your oral health and, by extension, your overall well-being.
To learn more about the preventive services offered at Smile Naples or to schedule your next checkup, call our office and speak to one of our friendly staff members.
Oral Health And Whole Body Health
Many patients aren’t aware that poor oral health doesn’t just jeopardize their smile’s appearance or their ability to chew. Research has demonstrated some correlation between oral health issues such as gum disease and the following systemic conditions, among others:
- Heart Disease
- Some types of cancer
- Pregnancy complications (preeclampsia, low birth weight, etc.)
- Alzheimer's disease
The precise mechanism underlying the connection between your oral health and your whole-body health is not yet fully understood, but taking care of your smile is important to promoting whole-body health. Patients should be sure that they do everything possible to prevent oral diseases.
Preventive Oral Health Care: Professional Care And Home Oral Hygiene
Smile Naples is an important partner in your efforts to prevent oral diseases. Our routine checkups help to keep your smile clean and healthy, thanks to professional dental cleanings and thorough dental exams.
As important as professional preventive care is, your home oral hygiene habits are the foundation of your healthy smile. You should be brushing twice a day and flossing daily.
Some patients might also benefit from adding certain elements to their oral hygiene routine to address other issues. For example, antibacterial mouthwash can benefit patients who accumulate plaque quickly, while fluoride treatments make teeth stronger and more resistant to decay.
Specialized Preventive Treatments
Certain specialized preventive treatments may be beneficial in some cases. Here are a few of the ones offered at Smile Naples.
The Perio Tray® by Perio Protect: Non-Invasive Therapy for Gum Disease
Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection that is hidden below your gums. Dental cleanings can effectively treat the bacteria, but when you return home the cycle often continues. Bacterial cells grow back in just hours after a cleaning, and toothbrush, rinse and floss can’t reach deep enough to address the infection at home.
The Perio Tray by Perio Protect gently applies medication deep under the gums to fight infections. You use it at home for just minutes each day. The Tray is comfortable, flexible, and custom-fit precisely for your mouth.
With Perio Tray therapy, you have a new chance against infections. In addition to healthier gums, patients commonly report whiter teeth and fresher breath. If you’ve been told that you have gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis), ask our team if Perio Trays are right for you.
Patients experiencing symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, like pain or locking of the jaw, can benefit from periodically wearing mouthguards that hold the jaw in a certain position. This repositioning of the jaw can eliminate TMD symptoms.
Athletic mouthguards offer protection against facial trauma for patients who play contact sports or engage in other activities that present a risk of facial trauma.
Why should I go to the dentist regularly?
Patients who see their dentists at least twice a year for exams and cleanings gain several benefits from doing so. The professional cleanings at these appointments remove any plaque and tartar buildup that may have developed even if the patient is conscientious about his or her home oral hygiene practices. Furthermore, when Dr. Dennis inspects your teeth and gums every six months, it’s much more likely that any issues will be identified in their earliest, most treatable stages. If you wait to seek dental care until you have an urgent problem, you are likely to face more serious consequences.
How often should I brush and floss?
Patients should brush twice each day, for two minutes each time, and floss once per day. Make sure that you are using the proper technique to get the maximum benefit from your oral hygiene routine.
What if I have a dental emergency?
Getting prompt treatment when you experience a dental emergency is crucial for limiting potential long-term damage to your smile. Call our office for guidance on what to do if you have an urgent dental issue unless it’s severe enough that you feel that you need to go to your local emergency room. It also can be helpful to keep a dental emergency kit handy at home so that you have the supplies you need to manage the situation until we can see you at Smile Naples.
Dental emergencies can happen, even if you are someone who does everything possible to take good care of your smile. Keep our contact info handy so that you can reach out to us immediately if you experience a dental emergency, even if it is after our standard business hours.
While we can accommodate same-day appointments in our schedule, you may need to wait for some time before you can be seen in our office. There are some steps that you can take at home to protect your oral health in the interim.
It can be helpful to keep a dental emergency kit on hand at home, too. Stock it with some of the following items:
- Dental cement
- Sterile guaze
- Oral analgesic gel, such as Orajel
- Clove oil