Prevention & Maintenance
Did you know that most dental problems can be prevented? The key to preventing such problems is moving away from the popular school of thought that you need only see a dentist when you’re in pain.
When you see a dentist at The Reef, you will be assessed and offered a tailored continuing care plan. This plan typically includes preventative oral hygiene instructions, dietary advice, a scale and cleaning, and fluoride treatments. Depending on your personal habits (including dietary choices and sugar intake) and your level of commitment to caring for your teeth and gums, this preventative service may be required on a three-monthly, six-monthly or annual basis. The better your oral health habits, the less you’ll need to see us!
Oral hygiene and diet are the two most important aspects that will determine how often you should see us for continuing care. The number-one factor contributing to dental health in your diet is the most obvious one: sugar. If you’re a relatively healthy eater, you will be at a low caries risk (i.e. at a low risk of dental decay) and will likely only need appointments every six months or annually.
When it comes to oral hygiene, if you’re brushing your teeth twice a day — morning and night — with an electric toothbrush and you floss after each brush, you’ll also be significantly reducing your risk of dental decay or gingivitis, so we won’t need to see you as often for continuing care.
Aside from continuing care check-ups to ensure your teeth and gums remain in top-notch condition, we also provide a range of other services to help maintain your oral health and prevent painful and costly procedures in future.
We use an HD intraoral camera that can take macro images within half a millimetre of the tooth so that patients can see the condition of their teeth for themselves and we can locate any problem areas. How often you need X-rays really does depend on how committed you are to taking care of your teeth, and we will only take them when they’re required, not routinely.
Fissure sealants are another preventative option. If we look at a tooth and can see that it falls within the high-risk category for developing decay — likely because the grooves or the pits in the tooth are deeper than is normal — then we might suggest a fissure sealant to shallow the groove and allow the patient to take better care of that tooth.
Overall, prevention and maintenance are best performed with great communication between the dentist and the patient. If you do your part at home on a daily basis, then visiting us will be a breeze.