Preventive Dentistry Kirkland, WA

Preventive dentistry is the area of dentistry aimed to help people prevent oral disease and its further development. Preventive dentistry includes not just in-office dental care, but at-home treatments as well.

Some examples of at-home treatments include:

  • Regular brushing– the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing two times a day and directly after meals, when possible
  • Regular flossing– the ADA recommends flossing at least once a day
  • Rinsing with anti-bacterial mouth wash– recommended after each brushing

Proper brushing is essential in preventative dentistry. The proper way to brush your teeth is to use a soft nylon toothbrush with round-ended bristles. Next both the tooth surface and the gum line should be brushed by placing the brush at a 45-degree angle along the gum line and brushing gently in a rolling back-and-forth motion on the surface of the teeth. When brushing you should cover the inner surfaces of your teeth and then tilt the brush in order to brush the front teeth. The ideal brushing technique also involves the brushing of the tongue. Brushing should last until all teeth and gum lines have been thoroughly brushed.

A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. Cleanings should be performed every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup. In between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems.

A sealant is a clear coating that is painted into the grooves on the chewing surfaces of a tooth and prevents decay from forming on that surface. It is usually done for children. It is put on molars and pre-molars that have never had a cavity, to protect the tooth from decay.

When applied to the chewing surfaces of molars, sealants act as a barrier between the tooth and harmful bacteria. They are most effective when applied to decay-susceptible surfaces as soon as the teeth come in. With sealants, there is no drilling and no discomfort. Either Dr. Platt or one of our registered dental hygienist can apply sealants in less time than having a tooth filled.

Fluoride strengthens teeth and prevents tooth decay. Fluoride treatments are provided in dental offices, and dentists recommend using fluoride toothpastes, and mouth rinses at home. Flouride is even added to public drinking water. Fluoride can even reverse tiny cavities that are starting to form.

A mouthguard is a comfortable piece of athletic gear that fits over your teeth and can help protect your smile as well as your lips, tongue, face, and jaw. New research indicates that mouthguards can even reduce the severity of concussions.

A nightguard is a custom-made acrylic mouthpiece that is worn to protect the teeth from grinding (bruxing) or clenching, mostly occurring during sleep.

Good dental hygiene care begins long before you actually have teeth. The American Dental Association stresses the importance of good oral hygiene for infants as the best way to prevent future dental health problems. Starting early with regular visits to a qualified pediatric dentist gives your child a head start in good dental health.

Establishing a regular dental hygiene regimen early will build habits that last and preserve your child’s beautiful smile.

Using a soft toothbrush, start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they come in. We recommend brushing with fluoride free toothpaste or water. Once the child learns how to spit, you can switch to fluoride toothpaste. If your water does not contain fluoride, ask our dentists about supplements suitable for your child. Take your time while teaching your child how to brush his or her teeth.

  • Use colorful toothbrushes and good tasting toothpaste
  • Teach them to brush for the right amount of time by using a timer
  • Don’t forget the floss! Early flossing establishes a life long good habit
  • Brush and floss your teeth with your children
  • Read books and watch videos about good dental hygiene together
  • Make a chart and put a gold star on it every time your children brush their teeth
  • Reward your child with praise and positive feedback
  • After brushing at bed time, allow your child to drink water only

Make brushing and flossing time for family fun!