Build a Healthy Smile with Preventive Dentistry
Vaca & Kirby Dental believe a healthy serving of preventive care is the best way to get and maintain a beautiful smile. Our preventive services are how we keep your teeth truly clean and catch small dental issues before they can cause you real headaches. By spotting things such as tooth decay and gum disease early, Dr. David Vaca, Dr. Chris Kirby, and our team can give you a stunning smile. You can learn more about our preventive care below, and be sure to contact our office to schedule your next appointment! In addition to Longview, we’re happy to serve patients from Marshall, Kilgore, and several East Texas communities!
Checkups and Cleanings
When most people imagine a standard dental visit, they are probably thinking about a routine checkup and cleaning. These are two of the most basic and essential tools used in dentistry, and they are a big part of how we keep your teeth healthy and gorgeous year after year.
Most of the time, your average visit will start with a dental cleaning by one of our hygienists. They’ll used specialized tools to eliminate plaque, bacteria, and tartar from your teeth, paying special attention to those hard to reach areas you simply can’t get with your brush or floss. These regular cleanings are also important because hardened plaque, as in tartar, is extremely difficult to clean on your own. Ask our hygienists about the tools we offer that can assist in your at home care. The Sonicare electric toothbrush and Airflosser are available in our office.
Afterward, either Dr. Vaca or Dr. Kirby will give you a comprehensive oral exam. They’ll look for any signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and even oral cancer. If you can’t remember the last time you came in for a checkup, be sure to contact our office today!
One of the best ways to give your child’s dental health a strong start is to take them to the dentist early! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends that your child should have their first dental visit when their first tooth appears or by the time they are one year old. Either way, we’ll be happy to see them! We have the knowledge to meet their particular dental needs and the understanding that children always require a gentle touch. We’ll make sure they have a positive connection when it comes to taking care of their teeth.
Sealants are ideal for children who are still learning how to take care of their teeth. For this, we’ll apply a thin, clear layer of a composite resin to the teeth in order to protect them from the accumulation of plaque and bacteria. Most of the time, we only need to do this to the back teeth because they tend to be the most often missed when a child is brushing.
Nightguards for Bruxism
Bruxism is a condition where a person unconsciously clenches their jaw and grinds their teeth at night. This can be caused by stress, and over time, it can wreak havoc on your oral health. This puts a lot of pressure on the teeth, and can eventually cause them to crack and break-- even the jaw can become strained. To prevent this, we can provide you with a custom-made mouthpiece called a nightguard. You’ll only wear it to bed, and it will provide a protective layer between your teeth to prevent them from grinding together.
A sportsguard is a piece of protective equipment everyone should wear while participating in sports (whether they are contact or not). It helps provide a layer of cushion to prevent the teeth and gums from becoming damaged by impacts. We can provide you with a custom-fitted sports guard, which will not only be more comfortable than anything you can buy at the store, but much more effective at keeping your smile in one piece as well.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer is a serious condition that currently claims over 50,000 lives each year. Diagnoses are on the rise, and early detection will help you with successful treatment. At your hygiene appointment, we will always perform an oral cancer screening. We’ll use a piece of equipment called a Belmont Panoramic in addition to a visual exam to spot even the slightest signs of the disease. If you frequently use tobacco or drink heavily, be sure to get an oral cancer screening at least twice a year.
A tooth becomes decayed because the minerals that make up its structure have been eaten away by acidic plaque. Eventually, this decay can turn into a full-blown cavity. One of the ways we can prevent this is with a fluoride application. When fluoride is placed on tooth enamel, it actually replenishes these important minerals. This is why you’ll usually see fluoride in toothpastes and public water sources. We’ll include this quick, easy, and effective method as part of your hygiene visit.
Most dental care happens at home with routine brushing and flossing, and that’s why using the right products such as toothpastes and mouthwashes are essential. Of course, there are seemingly hundreds of varieties, and it can be tough to know which ones are right for you. Fortunately, we can provide these products for you (with trusted brands such as Crest, Colgate, Listerine, Arm & Hammer and Biotene) along with the suggestion of which ones are the absolute best choice for your smile. Be sure to ask at your next appointment!
If your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, the problem might be due to receding gums, thin tooth enamel, or even dental decay. Home remedies, such as sensitivity-reducing toothpaste, may be able to help. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit us for a checkup. We’ll evaluate your oral health, identify the cause of the sensitivity, and make a personalized treatment recommendation. A few changes to your daily routine might be all that is needed to stop the pain. In some cases, however, restorative dental treatment, such as a filling or root canal therapy, is necessary.Learn More About Dental Sensitivity