A Healthy Smile for Life
Dental Exams & Cleanings
Dr. Richard Barrett and his team at Barrett Family Dental provide comprehensive oral exams and teeth cleanings for patients of all ages. Good oral hygiene ranks as an important factor in every patient's ability to properly maintain and improve his or her oral health. While it's easy to think that the state of your oral health only impacts your teeth and gums, recent research has uncovered surprising links between an individual's oral health and overall health. Gum disease and tooth decay have been shown to increase your risk for a range of chronic health conditions that include cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, dementia and even cancer. While additional research will continue to gather more data on this connection, early findings clearly show that the state of your oral health truly matters. To successfully lower your risk of gum disease and tooth decay, it's vital to practice quality at-home oral care that includes:
- Brushing at least twice a day. The ADA recommends brushing twice a day, for at least two minutes a time. While brushing after every meal would be ideal, it's important that you remember to brush once in the morning and again before bed at the very least. Brushing in the morning will help remove plaque deposits that have built up overnight during sleep, while brushing before bed will help remove any food particles lingering in your mouth.
- Floss daily. Flossing helps remove food particles and bacteria from areas of the mouth your toothbrush just cannot reach. To many oral health experts, flossing is actually more important than brushing. That's because food and bacteria that remain trapped between teeth increase your risk of decay and cavities. Make sure to keep your teeth looking their best by flossing daily.
- Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash. To add a little more protection against decay, your Beaverton dentist recommends rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing to help remove any remaining bacteria from your mouth.
While practicing these daily oral hygiene habits will help to dramatically improve your oral and overall health, enjoying a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums also means scheduling regular dental exams and x-rays with your dentist in Beaverton at Barrett Family Dental.
Grooves in our teeth can sometimes collect food particles and plaque that are hard to properly remove by brushing, especially for younger patients who don't have the manual dexterity or attention to detail needed to properly clean their teeth. To prevent decay, tooth sealants can be applied, effectively “sealing” the deep grooves and protecting tooth enamel from plaque.
Dr. Barrett can apply a simple and effective sealant in just one office visit. Tooth sealants are incredibly durable and can last for years before a reapplication is needed. Tooth sealants are recommended for newly-developed teeth as well as for prevention in adult teeth.
Dr. Barrett may recommend fluoride as part of your overall dental care routine in order to provide extra protection for your smile. These fluoride treatments make your teeth resistant to acid, stop developing cavities, and re-mineralize teeth. Dr. Barrett may recommend fluoride treatments for patients who:
- Take prescription medications that cause dry mouth. Saliva acts as your body's natural defense against harmful oral bacteria. A steady flow of saliva helps wash away plaque and lingering food particles that remain in the mouth after eating. When your saliva flow decreases, more bacteria remains in the mouth and your risk of decay increases significantly.
- Suffer from receding gums. The fragile roots of your teeth become exposed to harmful oral bacteria when your gum line pulls away from the base of your teeth.
- Wear braces. Orthodontic appliances can trap food and bacteria in the mouth if not cleaned properly. This buildup of harmful material increases your risk of tooth decay and cavities.
Fluoride treatments range from using prescription toothpaste on a regular basis to getting a fluoride varnish that we apply in the office. The dentist and staff at Barrett Family Dental will go over your specific needs to determine a plan tailored to your situation.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque, the yellowish film that sticks to your teeth along your gum line. This disease is progressive, destroying the gum tissue and jaw bone that support your natural teeth. Dr. Barrett provides comprehensive periodontal care and treatment. Bacteria found in plaque irritate your gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell, and bleed easily. Prolonged irritation can cause inflammation and infection that the body tries to fight off. The bacterial infection, along with the body’s defense against that infection, can cause deterioration of the bone and soft tissue that hold teeth in place.
If this process goes untreated, it can lead to the loosening of teeth and eventual tooth loss. Scaling and root planing, sometimes called a deep cleaning, is a common treatment for periodontal disease. This method allows dentists in Beaverton, Oregon Dr. Barrett, and a registered dental hygienist to provide a thorough cleaning of the teeth and root surfaces, preventing progression of the disease.
The primary goal of a mouth guard is to protect our teeth from unexpected oral trauma. Nearly all of the sports we play put us at risk for contact to the head, which could result in injury to the mouth. Teeth can easily be broken, knocked out, or have their nerve severed. These injuries can lead to painful emergencies that require expensive treatments to correct. However, by wearing a properly fitting mouth guard, an athlete can greatly reduce their risk of these types of injuries.
A custom mouth guard from Barrett Family Dental fits precisely to your bite, providing protection and comfort. A properly fitted mouth guard from Dr. Barrett can help reduce the risk of a concussion and provide extra safety on the field. Parents, student athletes, and recreational sports enthusiasts can all benefit from the peace of mind and protect provided by a custom-made mouth guard. Contact our office today to schedule your custom-made mouth guard consultation.