Preventive care is the branch of dentistry that focuses on preserving healthy teeth, gums and mouth through the practice of good hygiene. Brushing and flossing your teeth are important to fighting off plaque and tartar, but coming in for a checkup and cleaning twice a year is highly recommended in order to detect early signs of dental health issues. In addition, Dr. Choi encourages his patients to learn how they can maintain dental health and avoid possible problems in the future.
The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, eating a balanced diet, and making regular visits to your dentist. Poor dental hygiene can result in Periodontal (or gum) disease. A common form of gum disease is Gingivitis, which comes from long-term plaque build-up in your mouth. Brushing and flossing improperly or infrequently can cause the build-up of plaque and tartar that will eventually inflame and infect the gums until deterioration of the tissue surrounding the teeth occurs.
Bruxism, or grinding of the teeth, is extremely common among many individuals. While we sleep, we may subconsciously grind our teeth and clench our jaw. Some explanations for this involuntary behavior are stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, or abnormal teeth structure. If left untreated, bruxism can lead to problems such as headaches, chipping and wearing of the teeth, and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder in which movement of the jaw becomes difficult and painful. A dental mouth guard is simply a plastic, retainer-like device that is fitted to your teeth and when worn at night, can stop bruxism, preventing the resulting problems.
The goal of a dental sealant is to prevent cavities and tooth decay. The sealant is a thin plastic coating that is painted on the grooves of the larger, harder to reach teeth after they’ve been cleaned. While this service benefits patients of all ages, it is more commonly used on children and teenagers. The sealant works by blocking out food particles and bacteria, eliminating the chance for plaque and gingivitis to cover the tooth.