When you consider the health and well-being of your family, top on your priority list should be biannual visits to the dentist for every family member. Family dentistry helps your family cut costs and save time by ensuring that their oral health is as good as it can be.
Addie Chang, DMD, an expert family dentist, treats patients of all ages at her clinic in Tukwila, Washington. Here’s why family dentistry is so important to everyone in your family and in your life.
The first benefit of family dentistry is probably the one you’re most familiar with. Regular trips to the dentist help you and all your family members keep your teeth healthy and strong. In addition to brushing twice daily and flossing daily at home, your biannual exams and annual X-rays lets your dentist catch problems early.
If you don’t treat a cavity in time, for instance, it can destroy your entire tooth. You may even lose that tooth.
You can’t always see a cavity on your own tooth. That’s why we provide annual X-rays as part of our family dentistry program. We examine your teeth and gums thoroughly on the outside, but then look inside, too, to be sure your teeth are cavity free.
We also professionally clean your teeth during each visit. That includes removing tartar — which is the brown, hardened version of plaque — from your teeth. Tartar can irritate your gums, leading to gum disease, or increase the chance of a cavity.
To help your kids stay cavity free, we can provide fluoride treatments and sealants. Fluoride treatments strengthen your kids’ enamel to help their teeth stay cavity free. We brush sealants on their molars to protect those essential chewing surfaces from cavities, too.
Gums are the tissue that hold your teeth in place. You can’t regrow gum tissue, so it’s essential to keep it free from infections.
We don’t just clean your teeth, we clean your gum line, too. If we notice signs of irritated gums, known as gingivitis, we recommend new habits to reduce the chances of periodontitis.
If we notice periodontitis, we recommend treatment to keep your gums and teeth safe.
A stitch in time saves nine … and a lot of money! The sooner you catch any problem, the easier it is to solve it. That’s especially true when it comes to family dentistry. During your exam we check for all kinds of conditions that can negatively affect your oral and overall health, including:
We then recommend treatment or therapies to resolve your conditions. You or your child may benefit from orthodontics to straighten teeth, or night guards to keep you from grinding down your chewing surfaces.
Good oral health preserves overall health, too. When you don’t brush your teeth regularly, or see a dentist twice a year, the tartar on your teeth can pass through your bloodstream and into your heart. Poor oral hygiene puts you at risk for:
Regular dental care reduces your family’s risk for emergency room visits by 22%. In general, family dentistry saves about 4.4% on overall medical costs.