McAllen preventative

Preventive Dentistry in McAllen

Brushing and flossing daily are critical to maintaining your dental health, but routine preventive care gives you another layer of protection from dental health issues. Regular six-month appointments ensure that we treat cavities and other problems early before they become severe, and our deep cleanings keep even the smallest, hard-to-reach places free from harm. Whether it’s been six months or six years since your last dental appointment, contact us today at 956-997-4044 to get ahead of the game!

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Benefits of Preventive Care at North Park Dental

Catch minor dental health issues early, before they become bigger problems
Avoid time-consuming and costly restorative treatments
Build a lasting relationship with Dr. Munoz for more focused and thorough care
Overcome common issues like dental anxiety and phobia
Let's Get Started(956) 997-4044

What is periodontal disease and gingivitis?

Almost half of American adults have some form of periodontal disease, but symptoms are very subtle during the early stages and it often goes unrecognized. Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) has a few different stages, and once it progresses past a certain point, it cannot be reversed.

The disease occurs when bacteria and plaque build up underneath your gums and cause inflammation. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to gum recession and even tooth loss. More common signs during the early stages of the disease (known as gingivitis) include red, swollen, and inflamed gums as well as bleeding when you brush or floss. If you notice any of these signs, call us right away for diagnosis and treatment.

What do fluoride treatments do?

During routine preventive appointments, Dr. Munoz may suggest fluoride treatments because they can strengthen teeth and help prevent cavities. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has the unique ability to “remineralize” damaged, softened enamel. The treatment only takes a few minutes, and it is completely safe and non-invasive. Dr. Munoz will “paint” a highly concentrated fluoride varnish onto your teeth, wait a few minutes, then wipe it away. The fluoride will remineralize damaged areas of your teeth and protect your smile from decay.

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants literally shield your teeth from bacteria. During treatment, Dr. Munoz paints the liquid sealant onto your teeth (typically the chewing surfaces of rear molars). When the liquid hardens, it forms a barrier. This barrier is meant to protect your teeth from sugars and acid that cause cavities and decay. Dental sealants can last up to 10 years, giving you peace of mind and teeth that are safe and sound.

Most often, dental sealants are suggested for pediatric patients, since they are more prone to cavities. However, any patient with a healthy mouth free from decay is a candidate for this treatment. Sealants can’t be used on patients with decay present, because the barrier would trap bacteria inside rather than shielding the tooth from harm. To see if you or your child are a candidate for dental sealants, schedule an appointment today!

How Do I Properly Brush My Teeth?

You might be thinking, well surely there’s only one way to brush your teeth? Well, there are certain recommendations regarding the correct angle to brush, and the duration of brushing that will ensure you thoroughly remove food particles and bacteria.

There’s no need to brush hard. Simply brush gently at a 45-degree angle and brush for at least 2 minutes twice a day with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste. Don’t forget to brush your tongue! 

Move the toothbrush up and down and in circular motions around all of the surfaces of your teeth. Brush in vertical strokes when brushing the backs of your teeth. Your toothbrush should be replaced every 3 months or if you notice your toothbrush becoming frayed or damaged. Your toothbrush can harbor a lot of bacteria when you use it for too long.

How Do I Floss Properly?

The best way to floss your teeth is to take about 18 inches of floss into your hands, wind it up until you have just enough floss in between your fingers to floss between two teeth. Hold the floss tightly, slip it gently in between your teeth and rub it up and down until you thoroughly remove all food particles. 

It may be beneficial to floss before you brush your teeth so you’re sure that all food particles have been removed from between the teeth before you clean the other surfaces with your toothbrush. 

If you wear braces, you may have difficulty thoroughly flossing between the metal wires and brackets. This is where a water flosser comes in handy. The ADA recommends that you floss at least once a day.

What Type of Toothbrush Is Recommended By Dentists?

The ADA advises that you only brush your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Many people think if they use stiffer bristles or brush harder that they’ll clean their teeth more thoroughly. However, this is just likely to damage your enamel. You should be using soft bristles and brushing very gently. 

As long as you brush with the proper technique and for the recommended duration of time, you have nothing to worry about. Electric toothbrushes can help to thoroughly clean your teeth with a little less effort. Specifically, rotating-oscillating electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque from the teeth. However, you can clean your teeth just as thoroughly with a manual toothbrush.

Is Preventive Care Covered By Insurance?

We cannot answer this question definitively because it depends on your insurance provider and the level of coverage you have. However, preventive dental procedures are typically the most likely to be covered because it reduces the risk of needing costly and invasive dental work later on. 

Preventive care includes anything that reduces your risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease, including routine dental cleanings and checkups, x rays, fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and more. To schedule a preventive dental appointment with Dr. Ricardo Munoz, contact us at North Park Dental today.

Patients Love North Park Dental!

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Alexandra s.

“I had a great experience at North Park Dental- staff is super friendly, prices are great, and Dr Munoz is awesome! Highly recommend.”

Jesus N.

“Mega recomendado muy lindas personas excelente atencion”

"I love being able to make a positive impact on my patients’ mood and self image."

– Dr. Muñoz

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