The Importance of Preventive Dentistry
Prevention is at the center of dentistry.
One of the most important parts of a dentist's job is to prevent problems before they happen. Not only does this keep your teeth in good health, but many systemic problems are related to dental problems that we want to help protect you from!
Gum disease, for example, is an infection in the gums that releases harmful germs directly into your body’s circulation. Gum disease has been shown to increase the risk of heart attack by two or three times. You can significantly lower your risk of developing cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis, and other dental issues if you maintain a healthy oral routine and partner with your dentist in your dental care.
Preventive dentistry is aimed at identifying and stopping dental issues before they cause problems as well as reducing the risk of systemic issues. While this is especially important for kids who are just getting their adult teeth, it’s an essential practice for everyone.
Dental Evaluations & Cleanings
Dental evaluations are one type of preventive care.
The sooner we can detect and treat a problem, the more we increase our chances of preventing a larger problem. This helps you avoid more intense, expensive treatments. Dental evaluations include X-rays and oral evaluations for tooth decay and gum disease.
Even if we do a spectacular job with our dental hygiene at home, millions of bacteria are left behind. We also need cleanings to help remove stubborn plaque and tartar buildup. Doctor Garcia recommends dental cleanings every six months.
Dr. Lucinda Garcia's skill, attention to detail, and professionalism are top notch! The staff are all very friendly, the technicians are great, and everyone makes you feel like you're part of the family. I highly recommend Parmer Lane Family Dentristry.
Digital X-rays use the latest technology to produce enhanced images of oral structures and conditions.
The most cutting-edge X-ray technology produces 80% to 90% less radiation than old traditional X-rays.
X-rays are an essential part of preventive dentistry, as they can help detect problems early on and make painless dental decay visible. Some things that will show up on an X-ray include areas that could be abscessing, decay and dental caries, and oral cancer.
Digital X-rays are also unique in that they allow the technician to view the images on a large screen.
Our Philosophy of Care is Built on
Fluoride is a mineral that makes teeth stronger and more resistant to acids.
Demineralization happens when there is a loss of minerals from the enamel in the teeth. When too much of this happens without enough remineralization, tooth decay happens. The good news is that fluoride protects the enamel and assists in reversing tooth decay.
There are two ways we can get fluoride. Systemic fluoride is naturally found in food sources and is added to water, while topical fluoride is added to toothpaste and gels, which can be applied directly to the teeth. It can also be applied professionally during regular dental cleanings.
How to Properly Brush & Floss
The importance of oral hygiene starts at home.
It's no secret that brushing and flossing are essential for good oral health! While regular cleanings and dental exams are crucial, a lot of the work in cavity and gum disease prevention is done at home.
The American Dental Association recommends using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste on your toothbrush. Start at the gum line, holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Make sure to brush on the inside surfaces of your teeth as well as the outside and chewing surfaces, and to use gentle circular motions.
It is important to brush for two minutes twice a day. Be sure to also brush your tongue (or use a tongue scraper) to remove bacteria and plaque.
When you are finished, spit, but don’t rinse with water as that removes the protective fluoride. If you feel the need to rinse, use mouthwash afterward instead.
Flossing is something that is often overlooked, however, it is a major part of maintaining oral health. Like with brushing, there is a technique to it. Wind about 18 inches of floss around the middle fingers of each hand. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers. The surfaces of your teeth are curved, so be sure to get around the sides of each tooth when flossing, using a gentle back-and-forth motion. Go below the gum line and move the floss from side to side. Flossing should be done once a day before brushing.
75% of cavities begin at the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.
The surface of our molars are covered with tiny grooves—the perfect place for food debris to lodge. Because these spaces are hard to clean, most cavities start here. Sealants can be used for people of all ages, and are typically used for people who are cavity-prone due to medical conditions and for children whose adult teeth have just come through.
Is your dental health connected to your quality of sleep?
If you’re like a lot of people, your day starts off with an alarm sounding in the morning and your mouth feeling dry. The first thing you do is reach for that bottle of water on your nightstand, but it never seems to be enough.
It might not even occur to you that there could be a connection between your lack of sleep and dental health until you read this. But according to experts, it’s true—when we don’t get enough sleep, our saliva production slows down considerably. And without adequate saliva flow (or any at all), our teeth can become more susceptible to cavities and decay as well as tartar buildup, which leads to gum disease.
Sleep apnea doesn't just cause dry mouth. It is a serious condition that causes a person to stop breathing up to hundreds of times in the night, disrupting your sleep cycles and putting your body at risk for all kinds of health problems. Anyone can suffer from sleep apnea: children and adults alike.
Your dentist may be able to tell if you are suffering from sleep apnea, as people with sleep apnea often have dental crowding and high narrow palates. People with sleep apnea are often mouth breathers, which dries out the oral tissues and changes the pH levels in our mouth, causing higher levels of acids. These higher levels of acids can burn through tooth enamel faster than normal, which causes cavities.
Signs of sleep apnea include:
- Snoring loudly.
- Choking or gasping during sleep.
- Feeling tired throughout the day.
- Waking up frequently during the night.
- Headaches in the morning.
Sleep apnea is a condition that is treatable. Parmer Lane Family Dentistry has sleep apnea testing kits available for patients who show any signs of sleep apnea. We can help you get your best night’s sleep and breathe the way nature intended!
Insurance & Financing
Financial options from membership plans to CareCredit, you have payment options.
We don't want anything to get in the way of you being able to schedule treatment and care! We offer several financing options so that financial considerations will be less of an obstacle to obtaining the care you deserve.
We’re happy to process your insurance claims to maximize your benefits, and if you want a general estimate ahead of treatment, we’d be glad to talk to you about that. We also offer affordable membership plans and CareCredit.
Please check out our in-office membership plan for all of our patients who are without insurance. Our membership plans help patients plan for their family's dental care, and also makes dental care more affordable.
Let us help you afford your care!
A quick glance at membership plan benefits.
By providing this plan directly to you, we help you avoid expenses like copays and deductibles. Furthermore, there is no dealing with denial of claims, pre-approvals, or yearly maximums. Best of all, there is no waiting involved.
Our basic plan for children and adults includes:
- Professional cleanings and checkups.
- Fluoride treatments.
- Routine X-rays.
- One emergency evaluation.
Our perio plan gives you all of the basic plan plus three periodontal maintenance procedures. And no matter which membership plan you choose, you get discounts on a wide variety of other procedures as well.