Preventive Dentistry

Cosmetic & Family Dentist Serving Salt Lake City, West Valley City, Draper & Nearby Utah

Your overall health is directly impacted by your oral health. That’s why our experienced dentist, Dr. Keith Warr, stresses the importance of preventative dental care to all of his Salt Lake City patients.

exam room with patient chair at Warr Dental officeThrough his cosmetic, family and general dentistry services, Dr. Warr is committed to helping you and your family members establish good dental hygiene habits that will last a lifetime. At Warr Dental, we believe in detecting and treating dental concerns early, before they turn into painful and costly problems. Please contact us online or at 801-355-5385 to schedule an appointment.

Dental Exams and Teeth Cleaning

Routine dental exams and professional cleanings are essential to maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends getting a checkup from your dentist about twice a year. During these checkups, your Salt Lake City dentist can assess your oral health, recommend early treatment for potential issues and provide you with a comprehensive teeth cleaning. Professional teeth cleanings remove plaque and tartar that accumulate even with diligent flossing and brushing.

How Often Do I Need to See the Dentist for Preventive Care?

All of the major dental associations recommend that people of all ages see the dentist at least every six months. Like your healthcare, dental care is tailored to your needs. Your dentist might encourage you to schedule more frequent checkups and cleanings. The increased frequency is usually needed when a person is dealing with a potentially serious oral condition such as advanced gum disease. In this instance, seeing the dentist more often helps maintain balance in the mouth through professional cleanings that remove unhealthy bacteria that weaken the gums and cause infection. 

Why Do I Need to Visit the Dentist for Preventive Care and Cleanings?

The purpose of six-month preventive dental care is to help you avoid stressful and uncomfortable issues. Your mouth harbors bacteria that can help maintain overall health or, if an imbalance occurs, hurt the health of your teeth, gums, and body. Preventive checkups and cleanings evaluate the condition of your teeth and gums so your dentist can spot the earliest signs of tooth decay or gingivitis. In the early stages of deterioration, your teeth and gums may be quickly restored using the most conservative treatments such as professional cleaning. The care that you receive during these visits can also help you maintain a more radiant smile. This is because your cleanings remove surface debris and plaque that can cause your teeth to look dull or yellow. 

What’s the Best Way to Keep My Teeth Healthy Between Visits?

The best way to maintain optimal oral health is to brush and floss your teeth every day as demonstrated by your dentist or hygienist. Depending on your oral health needs and dexterity, your care provider may suggest that you use special oral rinses or instruments like an electric or ultrasonic toothbrush. Brushing for two minutes twice a day helps reduce the buildup of plaque and bacteria. Flossing is the only way to remove debris and plaque from the spaces in between your teeth. This is where most cavities occur, and that's due to a lack of daily flossing. If you tend to be prone to cavities or gingivitis, talk to your dentist. Your oral health is unique to you so you may benefit from specific care instructions. 

Are there Foods or Drinks I Should Avoid to Keep My Teeth Healthy?

It is important to take the best possible care of your teeth in between your dental visits if you want to avoid unnecessary discomfort and stress. The foods that are most strongly linked to tooth decay and gum disease are those that contain high amounts of sugar. Candy, cookies, and sodas are the leading culprits in the breakdown of tooth enamel. Juices and other high-sugar foods and beverages are also detrimental, as is alcohol, due to the risk of erosion. Sugary foods that stick to the teeth are hazardous because they provide food for the oral bacteria that contribute to plaque and tartar buildup. Oral bacteria eat sugar residues and then deposit acids onto your teeth. The acid weakens a spot on your enamel, which eventually deepens into a cavity. 

As an alternative to sugary foods, dental associations recommend a diet that includes a lot of high-calcium foods, including cheese and yogurt. Crunchy fruits and vegetables are also beneficial because they naturally clean plaque away from your teeth. While natural foods are healthier, there are some that can contribute to erosion. Tomatoes, lemons, and vinegar are examples of acidic foods to limit or consume as a part of a larger meal.

As a way to protect your teeth and gums, make a practice of rinsing your mouth with water after every snack or meal, including a sugary beverage. Sipping water throughout the day is advantageous for saliva production and overall oral health. 

At-Home Commitment to Oral Health

Your daily at-home dental hygiene routine is a crucial element of preventive dentistry and one of the most important things you can do for your oral and systemic health. Here are some of the critical components of maintaining a healthy mouth:

  • Eat a balanced diet. Proper nutrition is essential to good oral health. Foods that contain sugar and carbohydrates can increase unwanted bacteria in your mouth. A lack of calcium can increase your risk of getting gum disease.
  • Brush and floss. The most important prevention technique is brushing and flossing at least twice a day, or after every meal. This removes much of the plaque that produces tartar, a sticky, hardened substance that leads to tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Use fluoride. Fluoride prevents tooth decay and strengthens teeth. Warr Dental provides fluoride treatment and we recommend using fluoride mouth rinses and toothpastes at home.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking. Smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol can negatively impact your oral health and general wellbeing. Smoking alone can cause an array of dental problems, including:
    • Dry mouth
    • Tooth discoloration
    • Plaque buildup
    • Gum disease
    • Tooth loss
    • Oral cancer  

If you live in Salt Lake City and would like to visit with our experienced dentist, contact Warr Dental today by completing the form on this page or calling 801-355-5385 to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve patients from Draper, West Valley City and other areas of Utah.