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.

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

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

Preventative dentistry plays a crucial role in maintaining your oral health. By marrying diligent oral hygiene habits with regular dental check-ups, you can keep dental issues at bay and avoid costly treatments down the line.

Bacteria exist in every mouth. While some bacteria are harmless, others can wreak havoc on your oral tissues. Dental issues such as cavities and gum disease arise when harmful bacteria begin to form a layer of dental plaque on the surface of your teeth and gums. This plaque, combined with the sugars and starches you consume, creates acid that erodes the protective layers of your oral tissues. The acid compromises the enamel – the teeth’s defense mechanism against decay – leaving them susceptible. Similarly, bacteria can invade your gums, triggering inflammation and leading to gum and periodontal diseases.

Individuals of all ages are at risk of developing cavities and gum disease. Hence, establishing a robust oral hygiene routine should start early in childhood and continue through all life stages.

Preventive Measures for Children

Almost half of the children under 11 years of age have experienced cavities in their primary teeth, and 32% between 9 and 11 years have decay in their permanent teeth.

These statistics are concerning for parents, prompting us to emphasize the significance of proactive dentistry in children. Young kids, especially, are highly susceptible to cavities and gum disease. The diets of babies and young children often comprise sugary fruit juices and formulas that accelerate tooth decay.

Implementing preventive dentistry practices in young children can help in the early detection of dental issues, thereby preventing severe conditions that typically entail expensive treatments.

Dr. Kenfield recommends scheduling your child’s first dental examination before they turn one and arranging for regular check-ups thereafter.

Typically, these check-ups will include:

Educating children and parents about healthy dental habits.
Offering expert advice on thumb sucking.
Advocating for a nutritious diet that supports oral health.
Performing professional teeth cleaning and oral examinations.
Providing fluoride treatments (up to a certain age).
Applying dental sealants and conducting X-ray monitoring of jaw and teeth development.
Providing referrals to other specialists, such as orthodontists, if necessary.

Before their child’s first dental visit, parents can assist with the following:

Start brushing their child’s teeth as soon as the first one erupts. Even a tiny exposed portion of a tooth is prone to decay.
Begin with a soft-bristled brush and water, and seek professional advice on when to start using a minimal amount of toothpaste.
Monitor their child’s brushing once they are old enough to brush independently (usually around kindergarten).
Avoid giving them sugary drinks or milk before bedtime.
Encourage the use of a straw when drinking sugary beverages to minimize the contact between the teeth and the drink.
Restrict child’s overall consumption of sugary foods and beverages

Preventive Measures for Teens

As children transition into their teenage years, the threat of cavities persists, and parental guidance remains crucial. Instilling in teens the importance of maintaining optimal dental hygiene and establishing healthy habits is essential for their oral and overall health. It is equally vital for parents to ensure their children continue to have routine cleanings and check-ups every six months. Dr. Kenfield is committed to helping every teen patient maintain a bright and healthy smile.

Additional advice for parents includes:

Restrict the consumption of sugary beverages like sodas and energy drinks. These are not only detrimental to overall health but also a leading cause of tooth decay in teenagers.
Ensure your teenager brushes and flosses daily, particularly before bedtime.
Educate them about the risks of sharing toothbrushes as infections like gum disease can easily be transmitted from the brush to the mouth.

Preventive Measures for Adults

While monitoring your children’s oral health is critical, so too is looking after your own. Here are some guidelines to help you maintain a radiant, healthy smile and avoid serious dental conditions:

Brush and floss at least twice daily.
Spend a minimum of two minutes brushing your teeth. Remember to floss, particularly between misaligned or crooked teeth, as these hard-to-reach areas are more susceptible to decay.
Thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after use to remove lingering bacteria.
Never share toothbrushes, even with your spouse, due to the risk of bacterial transfer.
Limit the intake of sugary beverages and desserts. Foods high in starch and sugar can accelerate tooth decay.
Consider drinking sugary beverages through a straw to reduce the contact between the liquid and your teeth.
Drink water after each meal to rinse away leftover food particles and sugars.
If you suspect you have cavities, schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately for treatment.
Regular dental check-ups and cleanings every six months are essential, even if your smile appears healthy, as cavities can develop unseen.

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(812) 829-4886
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