Preventative Dentistry Des Moines, IA

As a general dentist, Dr. Phan and his team are your preventive care specialists. We work together to prevent disease and pain from developing, and to keep your smile healthy and beautiful.

Science has shown us a strong correlation between your overall health and your dental health. Gum disease is known to contribute to other chronic health concerns and vice versa. Since your oral health can have an impact on your overall well-being, twice-yearly visits to your trusted Des Moines dentist are essential to keep not only your teeth and gums healthy but also your body.

If it's time for your next preventive cleaning and checkup, contact Young General Dental today at (515) 278-2010 to schedule your appointment.

What to Expect from Your Preventive Dental Appointments

Preventive care consists of a routine teeth cleaning, dental checkup, and current x-rays (recommended once each year). Most patients should see their dentist at least every six months to examine each tooth and check the health of your gum tissue to rule out decay and gum disease.

Routine dental checkups help us detect problems like gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities early on, thereby minimizing treatment time, cost, discomfort, and time missed from work.

Dental cleanings with your hygienist remove the hard to reach plaque and tartar that develops between visits. It also gives us the opportunity to educate you on proper brushing and flossing techniques and provide you with tips to support ideal oral health and wellness at home.

For patients who are managing gum disease, we may recommend a deep cleaning treatment called scaling and root planing to prevent bone and tooth loss. Additional teeth cleanings during the year will help you to keep gum disease at bay.

Schedule your next preventive dental visit with your Des Moines dentist today, so we can help you protect your oral health.

Why Preventive Care Is Important for Children

Preventive dental care provides many benefits. For children, it means helping their bodies and mind develop correctly. Your kids can eat nutritious foods, sleep better, and perform their best in school when they don't have to deal with the discomfort of tooth decay or cavities. Children should see their dentist every six months, just like their parents, and we like to begin treating your child around the age of one-year-old at Young General Dental.

Dr. Phan may also recommend fluoride treatments to help teeth rebuild a stronger enamel or place sealants to help teeth resist decay. These additional treatment recommendations help your son or daughter build strong, healthy teeth, while also protecting them from tooth decay.

If your child chooses to participate in sports, protecting their teeth with a custom mouthguard is essential since nearly half of all dental emergencies are sports-related. We can recommend the right mouthguard to protect your son or daughter's precious smile while they focus on their game.

It is more convenient for families when everyone can see the same dentist. We look forward to welcoming your children and the entire family to our Des Moines dental office!

The Oral Systemic Connection

Remember, your mouth is the portal to the rest of your body. Studies have shown there is a link between your oral health and whole-body health. We now understand that the inflammation caused by gum disease and that which causes chronic health conditions elsewhere in the body are the same. The bacteria that cause gum disease can enter the bloodstream and contribute to concerns like:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Dementia
  • High blood pressure
  • Complications during pregnancy

This information tells us that taking care of your oral health has never been more critical. Preventive dental visits can make you aware of gum disease very early on so you can treat it as soon as possible and protect your overall health.

The Stages of Gum Disease

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, and some signs of this condition are:

  • Gums that look red, swollen, or irritated
  • Chronic bad breath that doesn't go away with tooth brushing or a mouth rinse
  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth

Gingivitis can often be managed successfully and even eliminated in some cases when it's detected early. A thorough professional teeth cleaning and improvements to your home care routine are sometimes enough to get your oral health back on track.

Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease, where you may notice that your gums are receding or your teeth have started to feel mobile. This stage of gum disease requires a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing to eliminate plaque and tartar buildup from below the gum line. Your Des Moines dentist may also recommend antibiotic therapy to help combat your infection and may require surgery for severe cases.

Preventing Cavities and Gum Disease at Home

Besides having regular exams and cleanings at your Des Moines dental office, you can protect your oral health with an excellent home care routine. Be sure to brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, and floss once each day. The more you brush and floss, the better; however, it is essential to use proper techniques, which we can help with at your dental checkups by providing a demonstration. 

You might also ask Dr. Phan to recommend products that can help you improve your home care routine, such as an electric toothbrush or antibacterial mouth rinse. An electric toothbrush does the work of brushing for you and typically removes more plaque buildup than manual brushing alone. The right mouth rinse can help you reduce plaque and bacteria and give you fresh breath as a bonus.

Proper Nutrition for Optimum Dental Health

Believe it or not, adequate nutrition is not only beneficial for your body but also for your dental health. Here are some helpful nutrition tips:

  • Limit your consumption of foods and drinks that are high in sugar because they are more likely to cause gum disease and cavities
  • Avoid eating sticky foods, such as caramel or toffee, because they can get caught between your teeth and fillings
  • Drink water after you eat to help wash food particles away that would otherwise stick to your teeth
  • Snack on high-calcium foods, such as cheese and yogurt to reduce your risk of developing cavities

Increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables also promotes good oral health. Fruits and vegetables increase saliva flow, which is a natural protectant for your teeth and helps to wash away excess food particles after meals. Fruits and veggies also neutralize the acids in your mouth that cause tooth decay. Reach for an apple or raw carrots for your next afternoon snack, but be sure to cut them into smaller pieces to avoid fracturing or breaking a tooth.

Schedule Your Next Preventive Checkup and Cleaning

Our goal is to help you preserve your natural smile for a lifetime because your smile is your best asset! Consistent preventive dental appointments in Des Moines, IA is one of the best ways you can protect your smile. Contact Young General Dental today at (515) 278-2010 to schedule your next dental appointment.