Your oral health is vital to your continued wellbeing, and the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles is preventive care. Preventive care is a key part of our practice, and our dentists and team have developed an excellent preventive care program to help you receive the care you need.

Here are a few tips on maintaining your smile through preventive care:

Brushing Your Teeth

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. To brush your teeth:

  • Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and gently move your toothbrush back and forth in short strokes. Make sure to brush the outside and insides of the teeth as well as the biting surfaces.
  • To brush behind the upper and lower front teeth, tilt your toothbrush vertically and brush using up and down strokes.
  • We recommend brushing your tongue at the completion of your routine to help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

Dental Checkups

You should schedule regular dental exams every six months. Thes checkups involve a comprehensive exam of your mouth to diagnose any issues which may be developing, including tooth decay and gum disease, as well as an oral cancer screening. Additional problems, such as dry mouth, bad breath, TMJ disorders, ulcerations or other oral lesions can also be diagnosed, and a treatment plan developed.

Dental Cleanings & Oral Hygiene

You should receive two professional dental cleanings each year alongside your regular dental exams. These cleanings remove disease- and decay-causing factors from your mouth to reduce your risk of developing a dental problem. During these appointments, we will also discuss your home care routine at make recommendations on ways you can improve your at-home oral hygiene.

How To Floss

Flossing is an important part of your home care routine, working to clean areas of your teeth that brushing alone cannot reach. When you floss, we recommend that you:

  • Use a piece of floss at is at least 18 inches long.
  • Wind the floss around the index fingers of each hand until a few inches of floss remains between them.
  • Holding the floss between the index finger and thumb, glide it gently between the teeth and down to the gumline. Hugging the side of one tooth in a “C” shape, slowly move the floss up and down along the base of the tooth to remove any trapped plaque and food particles.
  • Do the same to the adjacent side of the next tooth and continue around the mouth until all of the teeth as well as the space behind the last tooth are all flossed.
  • Release clean floss from one hand, while winding the used floss around the index finger of the other hand.

Fluoride Treatments

Our dentists may recommend a fluoride treatment if your teeth are susceptible to decay. Fluoride strengthens your tooth enamel, reducing your risk of developing cavities. Please ask our dentists about this preventive treatment during your next appointment.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are another excellent preventive treatment used to protect your teeth and smile. Sealants are painted onto your tooth surfaces, where they harden to form a shield that blocks decay-causing food debris and bacteria. This helps prevent tooth decay and keep your smile healthy. Sealants are often provided for children but are a good option for patients of all ages, and last for several years once applied.

The Importance of Preventive Care

Preventive care is absolutely crucial to maintaining your oral health and smile for a lifetime. We recommend that you:

  • Make and keep all appointments for dental cleanings and exams with our dentists
  • Maintain a thorough oral hygiene routine at home
  • Avoid harmful oral habits
  • Maintain a balanced diet
  • Ask our dentists about additional preventive care

Contact Hills Park Dental today at 631-254-6596 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Patricia Breen or Dr. Elyse Patrella and learn more about preventive care in Deer Park, New York.

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