Preventive Dentistry

Preventive Dentistry in Spencer
Preventive Dentistry Procedures & Details

Dr. Melissa Kenfield has the experience and credentials you should look for when considering preventing dental problems.

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A healthy, contagious smile starts here.
15+ years preventive dentistry experience.

Dedicated to life-long learning, Dr. Kenfield has averaged 60+ continuing education credit hours (per licensing period) throughout her career; the minimum requirements for the state of Indiana are 20 continuing education credit hours per licensing period!

“Great Service. My favorite dentist office. Kind staff.”

Shalee R.
Kenfield Dental Group patient
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Dr. Melissa Kenfield, with a high-tech implant dental office located in Spencer, is always educated and informed on the latest and greatest dental technologies and trends.

Preventive Dentistry

Preventive dentistry is vital to maintain oral health. Only by combining regular check-ups with good oral hygiene will patients avoid dental problems and expensive visits to the dentist.

Every patient has bacteria in their mouth. Some bacteria are beneficial, but others can damage the oral tissues. Cavities and gum disease begins when harmful bacteria accumulate in the teeth and gums’ surface, developing dental plaque. This plaque, aided by the sugars and starches you consume, generates an acid that disintegrates the oral tissues. The acid attacks the enamel, which is the “teeth’ bodyguard” against decay. When that protection is gone, your teeth are vulnerable. In the same way, bacteria attack your gums, causing inflammation, which leads to gum and periodontal disease.

Every patient, no matter their age, is vulnerable to cavities and gum disease. Taking proper care of your oral health must start early in childhood and continue throughout every stage of your life.

Prevention For Children

Almost half of the children under 11 years of age have had cavities in their baby teeth. And 32% between 9 and 11 years have decayed their permanent ones.

These figures may cause alarm to some parents, which is why we encourage parents to teach their kids the importance of preventive dentistry. Young children are particularly prone to cavities and gum disease. Babies’ and young kids’ diets usually include heavily-sugared fruit juices and formulas that contribute to the development of decay.

Preventive dentistry in young kids will help timely identify dental problems and avoid worse conditions that often require expensive treatment.

Dr. Kenfield suggests parents bring their child in for an examination before turning one year old and schedule regular check-up visits.

These visits will typically involve:

Educating kids and parents on good dental habits.
Expert guidance on thumb sucking.
Promotion of healthy eating habits that will improve oral health.
Teeth cleaning and oral exams.
Fluoride treatment (up to a certain age).
Dental sealants X-ray tracking of the development of the jaw and teeth.
If needed, referrals to other specialists like orthodontists.

Before the first dental visit, parents can also help with the following:

As soon as the first tooth comes in, parents should begin brushing every day. Even a tiny portion of a tooth can be affected by decay.
Begin brushing with a soft-bristled brush and water, and get professional advice on when to begin using a small amount of toothpaste.
As the child is old enough to begin brushing on their own (usually around kindergarten), parents should monitor their brushing.
Don’t let them have sugary drinks or milk before going to bed.
If possible, make them use a straw when drinking sugary drinks. Doing this reduces the contact between the teeth and the liquid.
Restrict child’s overall consumption of sugary foods and beverages

Prevention For Teens

As children grow up and become teenagers, cavities are still an issue, and the role of the parents keeps being essential. Teaching teens to maintain proper dental hygiene and help them build healthy habits is vital for their oral and overall health. Parents should not neglect to bring their children in for routine cleanings and exams every six months. Dr. Kenfield will ensure every teen patient keeps their smiles bright and healthy.

Other tips for parents are:

Limit sugary beverages such as sodas and energy drinks. Besides being harmful to the overall health, they are the primary cause of tooth decay in adolescents.
Monitor and make sure they brush and floss every day before bedtime.
Educate them on the risks of sharing toothbrushes as infections such as gum disease can be easily transferred from the brush to the mouth.

Prevention for Adults

Keeping your children’s oral health in check is essential, but keeping your own is just as important. Below, we listed some tips to maintain a healthy, bright smile and prevent severe dental conditions:

Brush and floss at least twice a day.
Spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth. Always remember to floss, especially those teeth that are misaligned or crooked. The most difficult places to reach are the most likely to develop decay.
Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after brushing, as bacteria can linger on your brush for long periods.
Again, never share toothbrushes, even with your partner, as bacteria can be present on them.
Reduce the consumption of sugary drinks and desserts. Foods with a significant amount of starch and sugar are catalysts for decay.
Try to drink sugary beverages through a straw to minimize the contact between teeth and the sugary liquid.
Drink water after every meal to wash away the remaining food and sugar.
If you suspect that you have cavities, book an appointment with your dentist and treat them immediately.
Even when your smile looks good, cavities can be developing. Remember to visit the dental office for check-ups and cleanings every six months.

Request Appointment with Dr. Kenfield
(812) 829-4886
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