Des Moines Dental Preventive Care

Preventive Care Q & A

As general dental practitioners, we are the preventive care specialists.  We prevent disease and pain from developing.  Everyone wants to have a great smile which is why good oral hygiene is important! Having poor oral hygiene can lead to a variety of dental and medical problems in the future such as gum disease, infection, bone loss, heart disease, strokes and more. Regular checkups and cleanings can prevent disease and pain all while maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

What does preventive care include?

Preventive care starts with a routine teeth cleaning, dental checkup, and current x-rays.  These treatments help us identify a problem in its initial stage while allowing us to educate you on proper brushing and flossing techniques and to give you recommendations to support optimal oral health and wellness.  We recommend routine checkups at least every six months to examine the teeth and gums and look for signs of decay and gum disease, as well as remove built-up plaque and tartar deposits.  We also perform an oral cancer screening to catch any abnormalities that may be found in your mouth.  We may apply fluoride treatments to help teeth rebuild a stronger enamel or place sealants to help teeth resist decay.  We may recommend deep cleaning treatments like scaling and root planning to patients with gum disease in order to prevent bone and tooth loss.

What are the benefits of preventive care?

Preventive care benefits you in many ways.  For kids, it means helping their bodies and mind develop properly.  Your kids are able to eat better, sleep better, and perform better in school. By preventing cavities from forming, you can avoid serious issues such as a tooth abscess.  Routine dental checkups help us detect a problem in its earlier stage, thereby minimizing treatment time, cost, discomfort, and time missed from work.  Studies have shown there is a link between poor oral health and poor systemic (body) health.  Remember, your mouth is the portal to the rest of your body.

What can I do at home to prevent cavities and gum disease?

The most important things you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy is to see your hygienist and dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups and to brush and floss regularly.  We recommend brushing in the morning and at night and flossing at night.  The more you brush and floss, the better, however; it is important to use proper techniques, which we can help with at your checkups.  It is important to limit consumption of foods and drinks that are high in sugar, because they are more likely to cause gum disease and cavities. Avoid eating sticky foods, such as caramel or toffies, because they can get trapped between your teeth and fillings.  It is always a good idea to drink water after your eat to help wash food particles away that would otherwise stick onto your teeth.  Snacking on foods high in calcium such as cheese and yogurt will reduce your cavities risk. 

A final word from Dr. Trung Phan:

Throughout your appointment, you may have questions that are not covered above.  We will make sure to answer all of your questions and make sure you are comfortable during your appointment.  We love getting questions from our patients!  Our goal is to help you preserve your natural smile for a lifetime, because your smile is your best asset!