Exam and X-rays
The diagnosis appointment is the most important phase for any dental treatment and at Dr. Bayette’s practice, we make sure to do a very thorough evaluation. Our new patient exams include, a review of the patients general health, full mouth X-rays, a complete periodontal and dental evaluation, and oral cancer screening. We also take digital photos of our patient’s teeth that will be displayed and discussed by Dr. Bayette during the exam.
Continuing care visits are usually every 3-6 months and include a dental cleaning and check up. These visits are extremely important for maintaining oral health and will dramatically reduce the risk of developing dental problems like periodontal disease, gingivitis, tooth loss and tooth decay. Coming in for regular visits also helps prevent any undiagnosed or new pathology from progressing.
Application of fluoride or fluoride rinses can be an excellent and conservative treatment for preventing tooth decay and also helping with tooth sensitivity. Fluoride optimizes the mineralization of enamel and therefore helps strengthen the outer shell of the tooth.
Sealants are an excellent preventive treatment option for preventing tooth decay. Often time the grooves on teeth can be very deep and narrow, too narrow to reach with a tooth brush. When sealants are done these grooves are cleaned and then sealed with a composite material to prevent food and bacteria from accumulating and therefore preventing tooth decay.
Sports Mouth Guards
Athletes everywhere are realizing the importance of sports mouth guards especially in high impact sports. Sports mouth guards can help prevent damage to the teeth, the supporting bone and soft tissues. It is important to realize that the better the fit and materials used the better the protection. The custom fit mouth guards also help facilitate better breathing during physical activities because they are less bulky and stay on the teeth more securely.
Night Guards or Occlusal Guards are used to help protect the dentition and also the TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) especially in patients who have a grinding or clinching habit. The night guard is custom fabricated by the dental lab after impressions are taken. The guard is then placed in the mouth and adjusted to fit the opposing teeth in order to achieve total balance with every tooth. When the night guard is worn it protects the teeth and supporting structures from damaging forces and also positions the jaw in a more relaxed position so it can also help with TMJ or jaw muscle pains.
Brushing your teeth after meals and between-meal snacks not only gets rid of food particles, it removes plaque, the sticky film that forms on teeth. Plaque is made up of bacteria that produce acids that cause tooth decay and gum disease, so thorough removal of plaque is the main goal of brushing. Using a fluoride toothpaste is also important because the fluoride reduces bacteria levels, as well as remineralizes tooth surfaces, making them stronger. Dr. Bayette or one of our dental hygienists can instruct you on the proper method for brushing and recommend the best toothbrush for you. Generally, a brush with soft, end-rounded or polished bristles is less likely to injure gum tissue or damage the tooth surface. The size, shape and angle of the brush should allow you to reach every tooth. Children need smaller brushes than those designed for adults. Remember: worn-out toothbrushes cannot properly clean your teeth and may injure your gums. Toothbrushes should be replaced every few months or when the bristles show signs of wear.
To prevent tooth decay and gum disease, plaque must be thoroughly removed from all tooth surfaces. Unfortunately, your brush can’t reach effectively between your teeth and under the gumline. Because tooth decay and periodontal disease often start in these areas, it is as important to floss on a daily basis as it is to brush. Flossing is a skill that needs to be learned. Do not be discouraged if you find it difficult at first. Dr. Bayette or one of our dental hygienists can help you learn to floss properly and give you tips on how to make it easier. With practice, you will find that flossing takes only a few minutes of your time each day. There are also other types of interdental cleaners, such as thin spiral brushes or wedge-shaped wooden sticks that can be used to help keep your gums and the spaces between your teeth clean and healthy. Our team can help you choose, and instruct you on the proper use of the oral health aides that are best for you.
There are a variety of products available to help support your oral health. Mouthrinses, gels and toothpastes with fluoride can be used to help prevent decay. Some mouthwashes and toothpastes contain ingredients with antibacterial properties and can help prevent or control gingivitis (gum inflammation). Others contain ingredients to reduce the formation of tartar, the hardened plaque that forms on teeth over time. Gum and mints containing xylitol, a natural sweetener that reduces decay causing bacteria, can be used as part of an overall strategy to help reduce cavities. If you are already using an over-the-counter product for your oral health, it is always a good idea to consult with us on its appropriateness for you. Depending on your individual situation, we may recommend use of a specific product. and flossing, eating a healthy diet and visiting our office for regular preventive appointments is the best way to keep your teeth healthy and your smile beautiful for a lifetime!
Yes! When Dr. Bayette and our hygienists looks in your mouth, they are not only looking for the signs of tooth decay and gum disease, but also for signs of systemic diseases – as your mouth is often a good indicator of your overall health. Conditions such as precancerous or cancerous lesions, diabetes, blocked salivary glands, and even HIV or AIDS can often be detected in an oral exam. Additionally, there is growing evidence of links between periodontal disease (gum disease) and heart disease, some respiratory diseases and low-birth weight babies. To maintain your general health, it is important to maintain your oral health! Beyond the connection to your general health, regular dental care is essential to preventing more complicated dental problems from developing. Good oral hygiene practices, that includes daily brushing and flossing, eating a healthy diet and visiting our office for regular preventive appointments is the best way to keep your teeth healthy and your smile beautiful for a lifetime!