Preventative Dentistry

  Your oral health is a direct link to your physical health.  It is important to brush, floss and rinse every day and establish healthy habits that will last your lifetime.  Establishing these healthy habits are essential to the health of your mouth and the overall health of your body.  Dr. Georgacopoulos and her staff will help you create a routine to keep you on the road to good healthy habits.  Scheduling regular checkups and cleanings every 6 months can help improve the quality of your life.  Through preventative care and routine, you can achieve the healthy smile you want and deserve!

  Regular Dental Visits  You’ve heard it before… “See your Dentist every six months”… blah, blah, blah… But do you know why it’s actually recommended by people other than Dentists?  Studies have shown that you can actually reduce the amount of time you spend in the dental chair and the money you spend at the dentist by seeing your dentist for a routine cleaning and exam twice a year!  You can actually lower your overall dental expenses with routine dental visits because decay and other oral issues are found quicker and repaired with less invasive procedures that cost less and protect your teeth from getting larger, more expensive issues.   Regular visits are also important to your overall physical health.  There is a direct link between plaque on your teeth and heart disease – or plaque in your arteries. Mouth Healthy is Heart Healthy!

  Flossing is an important step to keeping your mouth and your whole body healthy. It goes hand-in-hand with brushing twice a day, however, it is recommended that you floss once a day, usually before bedtime.  There are many different types and flavors of floss.  The most important thing about flossing is that you do it on a regular basis, regardless of the type of floss or the flavor.  Pick something you like that works well for you and get in the habit! There’s an old saying in dentistry… “Floss the Ones You Want to Keep”.  We’d like for you to keep all of your natural teeth, so start flossing today!

  Oral Cancer Screening A thorough Oral Cancer Screening is performed by Dr. Georgacopoulos once per year at your dental cleaning and exam appointment.  It takes less than 5 minutes and is performed by viewing the tissue in your mouth; your cheeks, throat, tonsils, tongue, under your tongue and the roof of your mouth.  Dr.Georgacopoulos will also check the lymph nodes in your neck and jawline area.  A yearly exam is essential to the early detection of oral cancer.

  Are you pregnant?  Dentistry questions are common for expecting moms.  Preventive dental cleanings during pregnancy are safe and are recommended. The rise in hormone levels during pregnancy causes the gums to swell, bleed, and trap food causing increased irritation to your gums.  Preventive dental work while pregnant is essential to avoid oral infections such as gum disease, which has been linked to preterm birth.

During your pregnancy, you may need to have X-rays taken as part of your treatment plan for a dental disease.  The use of a leaded apron and thyroid collar will protect you and your baby from radiation exposure, however, depending on the nature of your dental health, we may postpone taking them until after the baby is born.  Dental X-rays do not need to be delayed if you are trying to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

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  Digital X-Rays In addition to your regular cleanings and exams, taking dental X-rays is essential to telling the story of your dental health.  We use state-of-the-art dental X-ray technology to store and capture your digital images.  Taking digital X-rays is much faster and more comfortable than taking traditional X-rays on film, and it significantly reduces patient exposure to radiation. In addition, because these digital images can be viewed almost instantly, we are able to diagnose any developing problems faster and more efficiently.

Dental X-rays are a useful diagnostic tool when helping us detect damage and disease not visible during your regular dental visit. How often X-rays should be taken depends on your present oral health, your age, your risk for disease and any signs or symptoms of oral disease. For example, children may require X-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing and their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay than those of adults. While you’re here, we will review your dental history, examine your mouth and then decide whether or not you need X-rays.  If you are a new patient, the dentist may recommend X-rays to determine the present status of your oral health and have a baseline to help identify changes that may occur later.

  Fluoride for Adults New research shows that everyone can benefit from fluoride. Experts used to think that fluoride worked mainly by strengthening teeth while they were still developing. This meant that children were the focus of fluoridation efforts. Studies now show that topical fluoride — the kind in toothpastes, mouth rinses and fluoride treatments — helps fight decay in people of all ages.

If your drinking water is fluoridated, then brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste is considered sufficient for most adults with healthy teeth. 43 of the 50 largest U.S. cities add fluoride to their public water supplies to help reduce tooth decay. You can find out if your water is fluoridated by calling your local water district, or by having your water analyzed if it comes from a private well.

People who drink mostly bottled water and those with the following conditions should talk to their dentist about special fluoride treatments:

  • If you are taking medications that cause dry mouth or have a disease that causes dry mouth. Without saliva to neutralize the acids in your mouth and wash away food particles, you’re more susceptible to tooth decay.
  • If your gums have receded or pulled away from the teeth. This gives bacteria more room to roam and encourages tooth decay.
  • If you wear braces. Braces and other orthodontic appliances trap a lot of bacteria that can lead to cavities.
  • If you’ve had radiation therapy to the neck or head. Radiation damages the salivary glands, causing dry mouth.

  Mouth Guards Grinding and clenching your teeth, known as bruxism, can lead to cracked teeth, pain, and even tooth loss. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD) can develop from bruxism and are extremely uncomfortable disorders of the jaw.  Night guards help to treat both these conditions.

Some people who suffer from bruxism are not even aware of the exact problem. You might have dental problems, an aching jaw, or even a cracked tooth and not realize that the problem is that you have been grinding your teeth.  While some teeth grinding and clenching is caused by stress or anxiety, most teeth grinding occurs at night. If left untreated, the results can be quite problematic including:

  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Loose teeth
  • Fractured teeth
  • Worn teeth
  • Hearing loss
  • TMJ/TMD

Many people with bruxism use a night guard while they are sleeping. This is a custom-fitted appliance that will help protect your teeth from the grinding. Dr. Georgacopolous can customize a mouth guard and teach you additional techniques that can help you cope with your bruxism such as:

  • Cutting back on caffeine
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Avoiding chewing on things that are not food
  • Jaw relaxation techniques

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Dr. Georgacopoulos and her staff welcome you to Axion Dental Care, where dental artistry meets caring hands. Whether you’re a familiar face around our office, or brand new to the neighborhood, we want you to feel welcome when you’re here.  Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your dental needs.  (708) 995-7495.

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