Preventive Care

No matter how old you are, good oral hygiene is important. In order to prevent plaque buildup and cavities, follow this game plan for a healthy smile:

  • Brush teeth at least twice daily. Fluoride toothpaste is recommended. Remember to brush your tongue!
  • Floss between your teeth at least once a day to remove food particles below the gum line and in between teeth. You can also use mouthwash to kill bacteria and restore fresh breath.
  • Eat a balanced diet full of raw vegetables, fruit and dairy products, like cheese and plain yogurt. Avoid sugary foods.
  • Take preventive measures, like sealants.
  • Procure a mouthguard if you’re an active sports player.

Sealants

As it relates to your difficult-to-reach teeth, brushing can be insufficient to prevent plaque buildup, cavities and tooth decay. Dental sealants can help protect them by providing an extra layer of protection.

Sealants are generally applied to children’s teeth between the ages of six and 12, the typical age of when your first and second molars break through. Sealing those teeth right as they come in can keep them more healthy and save you more money in the long run.

Adults can also receive sealants on healthy teeth. It is more common to seal permanent teeth rather than baby teeth, but every patient has unique needs.  Your dentist will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.  They usually last three to five years, however, spectacular results are frequently seen in adults who had the sealants bonded in childhood.

Mouth Guards

Whether you are into boxing, basketball, gymnastics… the list goes on and on and on, mouth guards are recommended by the American Dental Association whether you are currently wearing braces or not. Mouth guards are the ultimate “better safe than sorry” accessory that you’ll be thankful for when a lacrosse ball flies under your helmet or you trip and fall during an intense racquetball match.

The staff at Fichter McDougal is here to help you in your quest to protect your smile while also protecting the rim. There are many different kinds of protection you can choose from and selecting the right method depends on your situation. Once you’ve settled on the best mouthguard for you, take care of your new smile by following these practical rules:

  • Scrub with a toothbrush and toothpaste after each use
  • Use a case to store mouthguard
  • Be sure to keep the device away from extreme heat
  • Replace protection every 3-6 months, depending on frequency of use
  • Do not chew or cut device
  • Bring your mouthguard to your regular checkups

Oral Cancer Screenings

You’ve heard it over and over again and it is true: Nothing is more important than your health. At Fichter McDougal, we believe that the old cliché is a cliché for a reason. It’s true. If we’re not healthy, everything else becomes secondary. As part of every patient’s regular checkup, we provide oral cancer screenings to ensure early detection.

Commonly, the following symptoms are early warning signs of oral cancer (although they are not the definitive signs):

  • Red or white spots
  • A bleeding sore that has difficulty healing
  • A lump, thickening, or rough spot
  • Numbness, tenderness, or pain in the mouth
  • Chewing or swallowing has become difficult