Preventative Dental Care
The goal of preventative dentistry is to help prevent oral disease. Preventative dentistry should not only include in-office care, but a solid at-home oral regimen as well. As your choice for dentist in Castle Rock, CO, Drs. Ryan and Skinner want to make sure your oral health is both yours and our number one priority!
At-home care should include:
- Brushing your teeth at least two or more times per day. You should also try to brush your teeth right after meals if possible.
- Flossing teeth at least one time per day.
- We recommend that you rinse with an anti-bacterial mouth wash after each brushing.
In-office preventative dentistry includes professional cleanings and exams to remove plaque build-up. We will also inspect your teeth using x-rays and oral cancer screens to ensure the overall health of your mouth, and to determine if there is any oral cancer present.
In recent years, a growing amount of research has found compelling links between tooth decay and gum disease and an increased risk of developing a number of chronic, long-term illnesses that include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and even some forms of cancer. Practicing quality oral care isn’t just about protecting the health of your teeth and gums, but also about protecting your overall health, as well. By scheduling regular check-ups and cleanings with Drs. Ryan and Skinner, you can feel assured that your oral health is being maintained, and that your risk of disease is significantly lowered.
Dental Exams & Digital X-Rays
Receiving regular dental exams and x-rays rank as a fundamentally important part of maintaining and improving your oral health. Dental exams provide our Castle Rock dentists the opportunity to spot an early signs of dental decay or gum disease. Early detection allows Drs. Ryan and Skinner easily treat these types of oral health conditions quicker and more effectively, so any potential damage can be prevented or repaired.
While Drs. Ryan and Skinner recommend that patients schedule exams at least every six months, some patients may need to schedule appointments more frequently depending on the current state of their oral health. More frequent cleanings may be necessary for patients suffering from gum disease, or for those with an underlying medical condition such as diabetes or heart disease. Due to the constant flux of hormones, expectant mothers may also need to receive additional dental care to maintain their oral health during pregnancy.
Drs. Ryan and Skinner may decide that fluoride should be part of your overall treatment. Fluoride treatments re-mineralize teeth, stop developing cavities and make your teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque, bacteria and sugars in the mouth. New research has found that fluoride treatment can benefits patients of all ages. Previously, fluoride was viewed in the oral health community as a tool to help strengthen the still developing teeth of young children. With further study, however, oral health experts now believe that topical fluoride — the kind in toothpastes, mouth rinses and fluoride treatments — can help fight decay in patients of all ages.
You may require fluoride treatment if:
- You take medications that cause dry mouth as a symptom or have an underlying medical condition that causes dry mouth. Without a steady flow of saliva, your teeth have a great risk of suffering the affects of tooth decay.
- You suffer from gum recession. As your gums pull away from the base of your teeth, the delicate roots located below the gum line become further exposed to harmful oral bacteria.
- You wear braces. When not cleaned properly, orthodontic appliances allow oral bacteria to remain trapped, which can result in an increased risk of cavities.
- You’ve received radiation therapy. Radiation therapies such as chemo can damage salivary glands, causing the development of dry mouth.
Dental sealants act as a barrier that helps to prevent the development of cavities. Sealants are made from a plastic material, and are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the patient’s back teeth (such as the molars and premolars) where decay most frequently occurs.
Practicing quality oral hygiene helps to remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot always fully reach into the depressions and grooves of teeth to extract plaque and lingering food particles. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” food and plaque.
Sealants are easy for Drs. Ryan and Skinner to apply. The sealant is applied to the surface of teeth, where it bonds directly to the tooth enamel and begins to harden. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves found along the chewing surfaces of a patient’s back teeth. The sealant becomes a barrier, protecting enamel from harmful acids and plaque. For as long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay.
Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and may last several years before needing a reapplication. The likelihood of developing tooth decay and cavities begins early in life, so dental sealants are a great choice for children and teenagers. However, adults can benefit from sealants, as well.
Teeth grinding, a condition clinically referred to as bruxism, can cause a wide range of oral health concerns if not corrected. Tooth sensitivity, headaches, and jaw, neck and ear pain are all potential signs of teeth grinding. Over time, teeth grinding can cause long-term damage, including broken, chipped, or cracked teeth.
If you suspect that you grind your teeth during sleep, Drs. Skinner and Ryan can help you determine whether or not a medical condition may be contributing to this problem.
Once diagnosed with bruxism, our doctors at Glow, your dentist in Castle Rock, can create custom-fitted mouth guards for you to use during the night while you sleep. Your custom-fitted mouth guards are created from a simple impression of your top and bottom teeth, and made in the lab. Drs. Skinner and Ryan will take great care to ensure that your mouth guard fits perfectly so you can rest easy.
Gum Disease Treatment (Gingivitis/Periodontitis)
Periodontal disease (gum disease) develops when plaque, a sticky biofilm comprised of bacteria and food particles, hardens on the surface of your teeth. The longer plaque remains on teeth, the more harmful it becomes. The bacteria in plaque causes inflammation of the gums, a condition referred to as “gingivitis.” Patients suffering from gingivitis find their gums become swollen, red, and easily bleed. While gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing and by scheduling regular cleanings by our staff of dental hygienists at Glow, when not treated, it can progress into periodontitis which means your bone is deteriorating. Gums will follow the bone resulting in gum loss or recession.