Ask the Doctor: Preventive dentistry - Ahwatukee Foothills News: News

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Ask the Doctor: Preventive dentistry

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Posted: Monday, November 25, 2013 9:04 am

What is preventive dentistry?

Preventive dentistry provides simple ways for our patients to have the best oral hygiene in order to prevent problems. The prevention begins at your home. Having a healthy diet and good, daily oral hygiene is important – such as brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day.

When should I start flossing?

Now. We have preschoolers who are flossing. Basically, if you have teeth contacting each other than you should be flossing. For preschoolers their parents help them and we have flossing tools that are shaped like triangles that are much easier to use. Flossing is important at any age because it removes the food that the toothbrush cannot reach.

How often should I visit the dentist?

The American Dental Association recommends a cleaning and dental exam every six months. The average decay starts within six months. Decay is caused by bacteria waste product that accumulates acidic, which is what actually causes the decay. A professional cleaning removes the hard calculus on the teeth, which then prevents decay from forming. What’s important to realize though is that the preventive dentistry starts at home. We are here to help educate and take care of the problems our patients encounter, but our patients need to be diligent to take care of their own teeth as well.

Does your office offer classes or seminars for educating about good oral hygiene?

We have schools come here for field trips, mainly younger children. We want to get them excited about dentistry. We also go to elementary schools and provide classes for preschoolers that help educate them on the importance of oral hygiene and why it’s important for them to clean their teeth.

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