Take a proactive approach to maintaining a healthy smile.
Latimer Dental Arts offers several preventative dental services at our office in Houston. You can read about some of our most common preventative services below, and be sure to make an appointment with us soon – we’ll help you keep your teeth in tiptop shape.
We recommend dental checkups twice a year for patients with good oral health. This suggestion is in line with the American Dental Association’s recommendation. Your checkup will give us an opportunity to update your dental records and assess your oral health. Early treatment is always in your best interest.
How we can help
An adult checkup may include these services:
- Dental X-rays
- Digital photos
- Tooth-by-tooth inspection
- Head and neck exam
- Occlusion/bite analysis
- Oral cancer screening
- Gum disease assessment
- Dental cleaning
- Treatment consultation
Children should begin attending bi-annual checkups by age 2 or 3. A child’s checkup is different from an adult’s in that we may not take X-rays or photos, and we will look for development problems. Children may not need a dental cleaning until age 3 or 4.
Dental cleanings will reduce your potential for tooth decay and gum disease. Plus, plaque produces a foul odor, so when it’s removed, your breath should be fresher. If your gums are red, tender, swollen, or if they bleed when you brush your teeth, you may have gum disease.
How we can help: To keep teeth and gums healthy, you need a dental cleaning, or hygiene visit, every six months. At this appointment, your dental hygienist will assess your soft tissues, record the findings, and compare them with your last visit. Then the hygienist will remove plaque, tartar, and food particles from your teeth.
Gum disease is the main cause of tooth loss for adults in the US, and it has been linked to systemic conditions, such as heart disease, respiratory problems, and mental dysfunction. Eighty percent of American adults suffer from some form of this condition. If you show signs of gum disease, your hygienist will recommend a deep cleaning to remove plaque from below the gum line. Some patients benefit from special mouth rinses, antibiotic therapy, or habit changes to reduce gum disease. Regular maintenance visits are required to keep gums healthy and strong.
You wear protective gear during sporting events – pads, a helmet, the proper shoes, and gloves. It only makes sense to take the same precautions for your mouth. A custom mouthguard can protect your smile (teeth, mouth and jaw) against injury. Every athlete should make a mouthguard standard gear.
How we can help: Over-the-counter athletic mouthguards, such as the boil-and-bite variety, can be effective. However, if you would like optimal protection and a comfortable, custom-fitted appliance, your dentist will be happy to fabricate one for you. A plastic mouthguard will be created based on a dental impression. It should fit snugly and comfortably for optimal results.
Sealants and Fluoride
Your dentist may recommend dental sealants and fluoride supplements during a checkup – especially for children. These preventive measures can deter tooth decay.
How we can help: A dental sealant is a clear plastic coating that is painted on back teeth. It acts as a barrier against the sugars and starches that cause tooth decay. For kids, teens and adults, sealants on hard-to-clean back teeth can greatly reduce the risk of cavities. Dental sealants wear off over time, so they may need to be replaced periodically.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that attracts other minerals to strengthen tooth enamel and deter cavity-causing bacteria. Adults and children benefit from professional fluoride rinses.
Latimer Dental Arts wants to help you prevent problems with your teeth and maintain a healthy smile. For more information, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Susan Latimer, and we will be in touch with you shortly.