Prevention is the best way to keep your smile healthy and beautiful for a lifetime. All you need is excellent at-home care, regular checkups and exams, and professional teeth cleaning. Alabama Family Dental dentist Dr. Whatley and his dental team emphasize the importance of preventive dental care and identifying and treating dental problems at the earliest stages with our preventive dentistry.
Parents are encouraged to take their children to the dentist as soon as the first tooth comes out. The first visit is less about treatment and more about getting your child used to the dental environment. For older children, regular visits help Dr. Whatley check how teeth and bones are developing and identify potential problems.
Routine checkups for adults are preventive. It’s much easier and less expensive to treat a tiny cavity than a massive infection. During your appointment, Dr. Whatley will perform a complete examination of your teeth, gums, soft tissues, bite, jaw and related structures. X-rays may also be taken. It is recommended that you visit us at least twice a year. However, this schedule may change depending on your risk for dental problems.
Professional Teeth Cleaning
Professional teeth cleaning is part of preventive dental care. Our hygienist will use special instruments to scrape away plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from every tooth surface. Your teeth will also be polished to make them smooth and make it harder for bacteria to stick.
Sealants and Fluoride
Dr. Whatley may recommend dental sealants and fluoride as extra protection during the cavity-prone years or for patients with a high risk of tooth decay. Dental sealant is plastic material that is painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to seal the grooves and pits. Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens the enamel and rebuilds area destroyed by plaque acids.
Your dentist may recommend other dental procedures we see fit, to ensure a healthy overall dental hygiene.