Preventative Care

Preventative Care

Home Care

Daily brushing and flossing (also known as home care) is essential for the health of your teeth and gums. Many dental problems are a result of plaque. Plaque is a sticky film that develops on your teeth and contains acid producing bacteria. Your best defense is to remove plaque before it becomes a problem. Brushing removes plaque from the outer surfaces of your teeth while flossing removes plaque from between the teeth.

It is recommended that you brush at least two times a day using an ADA approved fluoridated toothpaste and a soft bristled brush. Proper technique is important to adequately remove plaque and food debris from your teeth. When brushing your teeth you should angle your toothbrush 45 degrees toward your gumline, using a light grasp move in small circular motions throughout the mouth. You should use this technique to brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth. You may use a back and forth scrubbing motion to clean the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Don't forget to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and to freshen your breath.

You should floss at least once a day to remove plaque from between your teeth. The most common technique is to wind a piece of floss around the middle fingers pulling it tight and securing it with your index fingers and thumbs. Ease the floss between two teeth gently. Wrap the floss around the front and the back of one tooth, forming the shape of a "C". Gently move the floss up and down with light pressure to remove the plaque.

You should replace your toothbrush every three months for the most effective cleaning. It is also important to replace your toothbrush following a cold, flu, or sore throat.

Routine Exams

Regular dental examinations help your teeth stay healthy, last longer, and can prevent painful problems from developing. Regular check ups should be scheduled every six months, unless otherwise indicated by your dentist.

A routine exam consists of a complete evaluation of your teeth, gums, and mouth. The dentist will look for signs of disease or other problems. The goal is to help you maintain good oral health and to prevent problems from becoming serious by identifying and treating as soon as possible.

Dental radiographs (x-rays) are necessary to ensure that you are free of additional dental problems including decay between your teeth. Your dentist will discuss with you the types of radiographs recommended based upon your age, risk, and symptoms. At Lowry Family Dentistry we use modern digital radiographs which are very safe and emit very little radiation. Digital radiographs allow us to immediately view your x-rays and show our patients any issues on a computer monitor right from the patient's chair.

In addition, our office utilizes intra-oral cameras which take photographs inside the mouth. These photos are especially useful when demonstrating certain conditions to a patient as the patient can easily view the photos on the overhead monitor.


Professional Cleanings

Professional cleanings may be performed by your dentist or dental hygienist. During the procedure your teeth will be cleaned using special instruments which remove plaque and calculus (tartar). Stains will be removed with a polishing paste. Finally, fluoride will be applied if necessary. In addition, you will be provided with an evaluation of your home care effectiveness with tooth brushing and flossing instructions. Additional treatment needs will be discussed. Recommendations regarding nutrition and smoking cessation will be discussed if necessary.


Dental sealants protect the teeth against decay causing bacteria by acting as a barrier. Sealants are generally applied to the chewing surfaces of premolars and molars, protecting the grooves of these teeth from trapping plaque. Sealants are designed to adhere to the chewing surface of the tooth. Sealants are not permanent, but generally last up to five years.

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