If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right.Switch to Accessible Site

Chirstopher Basiago DDS | Preventive Care in Long Beach

Basiago Family Dentistry

Christopher Basiago, DDS

Jonathan Basiago, DDS

Call us today to schedule your appointment!

(562) 429-5965

Preventive Care
 

Preventative Dental Products

Fluoride

Fluoride is still one of the most important preventative dental products and should be a component of any preventative dental health program. Exposure to consistent levels of fluoride, within limits, is extremely important for tooth decay prevention.

Municipal water systems that have been fluoridated have seen as much as a 70% decrease in the tooth decay rate within the city. Along with some municipal water supplies, fluoride can be found in most toothpastes and some mouth rinses like ACT Fluoride Rinse. Children benefit most from ingesting fluoride while their tooth buds are developing. The fluoride is incorporated into the developing tooth structure making it more resistant to tooth decay.

Because my children preferred drinking bottled water (with no fluoride), I chose to give them a prescription multiple vitamin that included a daily dose of fluoride. I chose about one half the recommended dosage assuming they were going to be ingesting some from other sources (like juices or tap water) during the day. I thought this gave me better control of the dosage that they were receiving.

Too much fluoride is not good for dental health. It can lead to Fluorosis which causes white and/or brown discoloration on the permanent tooth enamel. It is thought that young children swallow too much toothpaste which can lead to fluorosis.

Children's toothpaste should be closely monitored with just a small dab allowed on the toothbrush. Children should be taught to spit out the extra toothpaste in their mouth. Toothpaste tubes should be stored out of reach from young children.

Adults benefit from the topical application of fluoride only since their teeth are already fully developed. It can help with enamel re-mineralization to prevent further deterioration into decay.

 

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are second in line as preventative dental products in the war against tooth decay. Sealants are clear or tooth colored resins that are bonded into the deep grooves on the chewing surface of the posterior teeth. These deep grooves harbor the harmful plaque and bacteria because they are much too thin for the bristles of a toothbrush to get into.

The sealants "pave" over these grooves and make the surface smoother and much easier to clean for good dental care. It is important that the grooves are properly cleaned and the sealant well bonded. If not, the sealant can leak and the decay process can continue under the defective sealant.

I use an air abrasion hand piece that uses a mild powder abrasive to literally blow the grooves clean. This cleans and preps the entire surface for a predictable and reliable seal.

 

Xylitol

Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute that does not have the bitter aftertaste of other sugar substitutes. It is found naturally in the body as well as many fruits and vegetables. It can also be derived from Birch trees, Beech trees, and corn cobs. It tastes as sweet as regular sugar but the best part is that it improves dental health by preventing tooth decay rather than causing it!

Regular exposure to xylitol leads to a significant reduction in the amount of plaque because the strep mutans bacteria cannot metabolize it. As a result, there is a reduction in the rate of tooth decay. This beneficial dental health effect seems to last beyond when the exposure to xylitol ceases.

The greatest benefit occurs with teeth that erupt into the mouth after the exposure to xylitol begins. This means that children would benefit greatest if they were exposed to daily xylitol before their teeth erupt.

Mothers who consume regular xylitol pass on fewer strep mutans bacteria to their children. Children should consume a minimum amount of xylitol 3 to 5 times per day. One exposure would equal chewing one piece of xylitol containing gum likeSpry Xylitol Chewing Gum for about 5 minutes.

Cavity protection builds up after about 6 months of daily exposure. Greater consumption does not equal better cavity protection. Too much xylitol can lead to GI upset, especially among children.

Xylitol containing dental health products don't need to be consumed, just brought in contact with the strep mutans bacteria. Chewing gum may be the most practical vehicle but it also comes in mints, lollipops, toothpaste, and mouth washes. When evaluating product labels, choose those products that list xylitol as one of the first ingredients.

 

MI Paste

Mi Paste Plus is a new preventative dental product on the prevention front. It is a special milk derived paste that bathes the tooth surface in calcium and phosphates. It will help to re-mineralize damaged enamel thereby preventing deterioration into tooth decay.

It may help to reverse white spot decalcification and help to reduce root surface sensitivity. It would be helpful with decay prone children, people with orthodontic braces, adults with dry mouth syndrome, and people who have undergone head or neck radiation for cancer treatment. It should not be used by anyone with milk allergies.

 

 

 
 
 
Long Beach Dentist | Preventive Care. Christopher Basiago is a Long Beach Dentist.