Riverside Dental

Preventative Dentistry

Preventative Dentistry in Watertown, WI

Going to the dentist is far more than addressing cavities or treating gum disease. Our role as oral healthcare providers is to help protect your smile. At Riverside Dental in Watertown, WI, our experienced team believes that preventative dentistry is the most important service we offer our patients.

When you come to our practice, you’ll be greeted with a smile and given personalized care from start to finish. The key to quality preventative dentistry is custom treatment. While there are standard practices that benefit everyone’s teeth and gums, every individual has their own unique needs. Some may be living with chronic diseases, and others may have risk factors that need specialized attention. 

By choosing us, you gain an entire team of dental professionals who truly care about your oral health. We will always put you first in our practice, ensuring that you receive support and personalized care whenever you need it.

What Is Involved in Preventative Dentistry?

Preventative, or preventive, dentistry is a combination of self-care and professional services that help prevent gum disease and tooth decay. They preserve your teeth’s protective outer layer — the enamel — while ensuring your gums are well-cared for. 

Preventative dental care also includes early intervention for warning signs of cavities and early stages of gum disease. This helps patients avoid pain and expensive costs associated with more advanced conditions.

When you visit a dentist for preventative care, this can include: 

  • Dental Exams: Taking X-rays and performing a physical exam allows our team to assess the current state of your oral health. One of our dentists will work with you to address any concerns or symptoms you notice, and they will offer suggestions on how to improve and/or maintain your oral hygiene. 
  • Dental Cleanings: A dental cleaning is recommended at least twice a year to decrease your chances of gum disease and tooth decay. A preventive cleaning is called a prophylaxis cleaning, and it is recognized by the American Dental Association and dental insurance providers as an essential part of oral healthcare. 
  • Nutritional Counseling: Drinking many high-sugar or acidic drinks can erode your teeth’s protective enamel. Certain foods can also increase your risk of cavities and gum disease. Our patients can turn to us for advice on what to consume and avoid to protect their smiles. Sometimes, patients merely aren’t aware of the risks they face due to their diet, so we gently inform them and offer alternatives whenever we can to promote a healthy smile. 
  • Oral Hygiene Tips: Part of preventative dentistry is helping patients strengthen their at-home routines. We may offer guidance on how often you should brush, the best type of toothbrush to use, and other products that could benefit you. 
  • Fluoride Treatments or Sealants: Fluoride is a natural mineral that strengthens teeth, and we often apply it at the end of dental cleanings to fortify your smile. Dental sealants are a thin coating that goes on the chewing portion of the back of your teeth to protect them from bacteria that cause cavities. 
  • Scaling and Root Planing: Also known as deep cleaning, this type of preventative procedure is done to stop the advancement of gum disease and help patients avoid serious complications. 

What To Expect From a Dental Cleaning

Our primary focus is to understand your current oral health needs so we can provide the best possible treatment. Patients with excellent dental hygiene may only need a light cleaning before they return to their day. Other patients may have undiagnosed cavities, chronic gum disease, or be experiencing pain that we want to address. 

No matter how long it has been since you last saw a dentist, we encourage you to make an appointment. We’re here to help you get on the right track to a healthy smile.

Removing Plaque

During your cleaning, your dentist and dental hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth by using a tooth-cleaning tool called a scaler. Plaque is a thin film that naturally forms on teeth, but it can harden into tartar, which is much harder to remove and increases your risk of disease.

Cleansing and Polishing

Once you rinse your mouth from the cleaning, we will also floss your mouth to ensure no lingering bacteria in the spaces between your teeth or gums. Then, we will polish your teeth with a special buffer to remove any last remnants of plaque or tartar scaling did not remove. We may also give you a special mouthwash to eliminate further bacteria.

Fluoride Treatment

Many patients receive a fluoride treatment at the end of their dental cleaning. Your dental hygienist applies a gel or varnish to your teeth that protects them against bacteria. Fluoride treatments are painless and fast, usually five minutes or less to complete. This has become even more important for adults who often experience a hightened risk of decay from medications and other conditions that can cause a dry mouth. Of course it continues to be critical to preventing decay for children.

Home Care

In addition to dental cleanings, patients can take part in preventative dentistry by:

  • Brushing: Always brush at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and move in slow, circular motions. You should feel the bristles on your gums. Be sure to cover the front, back, and sides of your teeth. 
  • Flossing: Floss at least once per day to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth. You can use regular dental floss or a water flosser. 
  • Rinse With Mouthwash: You can use alcohol-based or alcohol-free mouthwash to rinse your mouth after brushing. Be sure to swish the liquid well to capture any bacteria on or between your teeth. 

If you have any questions about dental hygiene or best practices, reach out to us! We would be happy to give you personalized advice based on your needs.

Schedule Your Next Preventative Dental Cleaning With Us

New Patient Special!

New patients can receive an exam, full series of X-rays, and a treatment consultation for $99*!

* New patients only. Cannot be used with state or federal programs, or combined with other offers. Mention this offer to receive a new patient discount. Some restrictions may apply.