You may not notice the preventive dentistry that our dentists Wimbledon carry out, much in the same way that you don’t notice the foundations of a house. But still they are both important, with preventive dental care being the most effective way of maintaining a healthy and long-lasting smile.
We understand the importance of preventive dentistry at our dentist Wimbledon. This takes many forms, but the most important aspect of preventive dentistry is carried out at home, which makes the guidance given in our clinic important to put into practice. At the very centre of this philosophy is regularly attending dental check-ups. We recommend you come to see us every 6 months, even if you have no symptoms. This allows us to perform a thorough examination of your teeth and catch any issues early, long before they would give you any real discomfort.
What you choose to eat and even how you choose to consume it can make a significant difference to your teeth. In the distant past, where hard, gritty food would grind down the enamel on our teeth, modern sweet foods and beverages present a constant challenge as they tend to be soft. Commensal bacteria in the mouth break down any residual sugars they find and produce acidic waste products. These acidic waste products can easily attack surrounding enamel due to the presence of crystalline calcium compounds which are particularly vulnerable to low pHs. This is how cavities form.
Smoking has several impacts on our teeth beyond the obvious staining. There is a strong correlation between smoking patients presenting with severe gum disease and gum recession. This seems to be due to a reduction in blood flow to the gums that occurs when smoking. This also increases the likelihood of severe infection while simultaneously reducing the gum’s chance of recovery from injury or wear and tear. It also greatly increases the chances of oral cancers. During your biannual check-up, we always do a thorough examination of the oral cavity for any suspicious tissue or precancerous patches. If any are noted, then we would strongly suggest you follow this up with your regular physician.
Paradoxically, there are preventive treatments; these are treatments designed to make any future damage or decay to your teeth less likely. The most common of these is the fluoride sealant. We use a very high concentration of fluoride which is impregnated into a type of tooth polish. This coating is applied to the teeth and allowed to sit, not only forming a barrier between the enamel and the surrounding environment, but also providing a source of fluoride directly in contact with the teeth, which strengthens the enamel over time. It not only makes cavities less likely, but also makes the tooth surface smoother giving less of an opportunity for bacteria to form a biofilm.
Education is by far the greatest form of prevention we practise at our dentist Wimbledon. Teaching general dental hygiene is mainly focused on our younger patients by establishing good routines of regular and thorough brushing. A lot of future conditions can be entirely mitigated against using this method.