Keep Your Smile Healthy & Bright
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that’s true of dentistry too. Preventive care is at the heart of what we do at Tuttle Family Dentistry. With bi-annual dental visits and other preventive treatments you can avoid common oral health issues like gum disease and cavities completely. This saves you time and money and makes your life much more convenient. So if you’re overdue for a checkup, don’t wait to get the preventive care you need. Contact us now to get started if you are looking for a Colorado Springs dentist!
Necessary radiographs will be taken to check for cavities and to assess the bone level of your teeth. Your hygienist will take measurements to determine the health of your gums and supporting structures and will explain their findings to you. If you qualify for a normal (above the gums) cleaning your hygienist will proceed and remove the plaque, tarter, and surface stains from your teeth. Your teeth will then be polished and flossed so they feel fresh and smooth. Your hygienist will answer any questions you have may offer you other preventive options like fluoride treatments to help improve your oral health or prevent disease progression.
After your cleaning your dentist will discuss your oral health with the hygienist and perform a comprehensive oral exam to look for any potential oral health issues. If your doctor finds any issues he and the hygienist will discuss them with you and schedule any follow-up treatment you may need.
Fluoride treatments use a highly-fluoridated varnish that is applied to your teeth and left in place for a few minutes to allow your enamel to absorb it. This encourages the minerals to bond with your enamel to strengthen your teeth and reduce your risk of cavities.
Dental sealants are made of a transparent dental resin that is applied directly to your rear teeth. The resin forms a hard, impermeable barrier that stops food particles, bacteria, and acid from contacting your teeth in order to prevent the formation of cavities. Sealants can protect your teeth for up to 10 years.
We offer a full range of periodontal care treatments for patients who are suffering from gum disease. A deep cleaning, (scaling and root planing), is usually the first step in restoring the health of your smile. In this process, your hygienist will clean between your teeth below the gum line to remove bacteria and smooth the roots. Along with antibiotics, this can resolve many mild-to-moderate cases of gum disease.
We also offer further surgical treatments like gum flap surgery and gum grafting for more advanced cases of periodontal disease. Contact us at Tuttle Family Dentistry today to learn more about your options and get the help you need in Colorado Springs, CO.
We offer oral cancer screenings as part of every preventive care visit at Tuttle Family Dentistry. Oral cancer is rare and often goes unnoticed until it has spread through the rest of your body unless it is detected by a dentist. We use advanced intraoral cameras in tandem with our VELscope VX Enhanced Oral Assessment System to identify potential signs of cancer. This breakthrough technology utilizes a harmless blue light to help visualize any abnormalities that could be missed with the unaided eye, and only takes a few minutes. If we notice anything that concerns us we may recommend taking a biopsy to test lesions and abnormalities for oral cancer.
The American Dental Association advises all Americans regardless of age to get a dental cleaning and checkup every 6 months which is twice a year.
Some patients who are prone to developing cavities may even need more frequent visits, such as patients with dry mouth, conditions like diabetes, or patients who are missing all of their teeth and wear dentures. Cleanings and checkups are crucial to maintaining good oral health. During checkups, we look for signs of oral health problems and when necessary, we take a closer look at your tissues with x-rays.
During these checkups, we can catch signs of oral health problems that may have gone unnoticed and we can reverse serious conditions like gum disease and oral cancer in the early stages.
This is why early detection is so important. Early detection prevents tooth as well as irreversible bone loss and gum damage. During your cleanings, we scale and polish your teeth. Scaling removes plaque and tartar buildup while polishing removes surface stains and food particles from your teeth to reveal a fresher and brighter smile.
Cleanings remove the food particles and bacteria that you missed from your regular at-home care. Plaque is extremely difficult to remove completely and it only takes 72 hours for it to harden to tartar which can only be removed at the dentist. It’s very important to have this scraped off by your dentist if you want to prevent gum disease.
You should brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Avoid using abrasive hard bristles which will erode your enamel. Only use a soft bristle toothbrush to brush your teeth, and don’t forget to brush your tongue which harbors a lot of bacteria.
Many patients are avid brushers but neglect to floss their teeth. This is a huge problem because most cavities are formed in between the teeth as a result of not flossing. You should floss between all of your teeth at least once a day. If you have braces, oral appliances, or a dental bridge, then you may want to use an interdental brush or water flosser.
Besides your oral hygiene routine, you should also pay attention to your diet. If you have a fluoridated water supply, this will remineralize your teeth and protect them from cavities, unlike bottled water. You should also limit your consumption of sugar and limit snacking throughout the day. Every time you eat, you create an environment for acids to attack your enamel. Over time, this leads to cavities.
Treating gum disease is very important because it is only reversible in the early stage. The early stage is known as gingivitis. Here’s the kicker – gingivitis presents as mild symptoms which can go unnoticed if you don’t attend frequent checkups and cleanings.
These symptoms include red, swollen, tender, bleeding, and receding gums. While this stage doesn’t cause any permanent damage to your teeth or gums, if it’s left untreated, it will only worsen and develop into periodontitis.
Once you have periodontitis, you will be left with irreversible bone loss and soft tissue damage. Your gum pockets will deepen, gum recession will become severe, your teeth will feel loose, and eventually, your teeth will fall out.
Then, you will need to spend a lot of time and money on invasive treatments like gum flap surgery, bone and gum grafts, and tooth replacements. All of this can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene and attending regular dental appointments. If you have symptoms of gum disease, contact us today to schedule an appointment.