You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Preventive Dentistry

Learn about preventive dentistry services at Smile Design in Florida.


Let the compassionate team of dentists and hygienists at Smile Design stay ahead of problems like gum disease and tooth decay. From cleanings and exams to tips for home care, we’ll make sure you have everything you need to protect your smile over your lifetime. No matter how long it’s been since your last appointment, we look forward to making your preventive care easy!

Preventive dental care services are all about identifying and stopping dental issues before they arise. Detecting problems early and treating them promptly is the goal of preventive care. Even if you are personally unaware of any oral health problems, it’s important that you have regular dental check-ups. Professional teeth cleanings can spot problems and help you maintain a high level of oral health that prevents diseases like tooth decay and gingivitis.

How Often Should You Visit the Dentist?

Most patients require a cleaning every six months, and some should even be seen more frequently. Now is the time to schedule if it has been six months or more since you had a professional dental cleaning and check-up. If you have concerns about cavities, puffy gums, bleeding gums, teeth discoloration, and/or gum or tooth sensitivity, we can help. Because our dental locations throughout Florida offer a full range of dental services, you and your family will always have a dental home with us.

Overdue for a Cleaning?

While we want to make sure that you are getting regular dental care, we understand that people get off schedule for a variety of reasons. If you’re overdue for a preventive appointment, we’re not here to judge you. We just want to get you back on track as quickly as possible. Our periodontal scaling and root planing equipment allows us to remove large amounts of plaque buildup much more efficiently than with traditional tools. If it’s been a long time since your last appointment, we’ll be happy to make sure to check whether periodontal scaling and root planing is covered by your insurance provider.

Why Does My Dentist Want Me to Come Back a Few Weeks After My Cleaning?

In some cases, when a lot of plaque has built up over time, your provider may ask you to come back a few weeks after an initial cleaning. This is because plaque buildup causes puffiness and swelling of the gums, which makes it difficult to see how much plaque has formed at or beneath your gumline.

Once you have received a professional cleaning, your swelling will begin to reduce. In a few weeks, the swelling should have receded enough for a hygienist to find and remove any remaining plaque that was originally covered up by puffy gums. Many times, it’s simply not possible to remove this hidden plaque without an initial cleaning followed by a period of healing.

What is included in preventive dentistry?

Types of Preventive Dentistry at Smile Design

When you schedule a preventive dental appointment, you’ll be offered a range of services, including professional cleaning, an exam and X-rays, and fluoride treatment. Additionally, we may recommend periodontal scaling and root planing for patients with a lot of plaque buildup. We can also offer you dental sealants, which may be a good option to forestall problems down the line. Your Smile Design dentistry providers will assess your oral health and determine the level of care you require.

Clinical Exam

Your local Smile Design dentist will examine your mouth to gather information about the condition of your teeth, gums and bone tissue surrounding your teeth, other soft tissues of your mouth, your chewing muscles, your jaw joints, and your occlusion (how your teeth come together).

The dentist will be looking for signs of gum disease, dental decay, cracks in your enamel, wear patterns on teeth, and the status of your dental restorations (fillings, crowns, bridges, dentures, implant crowns and bridges, and/or composite bonding). You will have time to ask questions, see problem areas in your mouth, and discuss cosmetic concerns you may have about your smile. If the dentist determines your oral health will benefit from treatment, keep in mind that the dentist has your well-being in mind, and that the recommended treatment will prevent the need for more extensive intervention later on. If you need treatment, the reasons and options will be fully explained.

Digital X-Rays

Periodically, dental X-rays are used to safely and accurately detect hidden dental problems and complete an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. We use the latest digital technology with extremely low exposure to radiation. Your digital images can be instantly viewed on a monitor and enlarged, allowing us to easily see certain problems and show them to you.

Dental Cleanings

Adults and children also need to have a clinical dental cleaning, called a “dental prophylaxis” or “prophy” for short, at least every six months. This cleaning procedure is performed with special tools to thoroughly remove dental plaque from tooth surfaces and polish the surfaces to slow down bacterial buildup.

Periodontal Scaling and Root Planing

This is a deeper cleaning process using tools that clean the space between the gum tissue and the teeth down to the roots. This is not part of routine teeth cleaning and may require local anesthetic to numb the gums, as well as localized antibiotic placement to help with healing.

Fluoride Treatment

Topical fluoride strengthens the teeth by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. Both children and adults benefit from a professional fluoride application once or twice a year during their regular check-up and cleaning visits.

Dental Sealants

A thin, plastic coating can be applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves in your teeth to protect them with a smooth, easy-to-clean surface. Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years, and your Smile Design dentist will examine your sealants during your regular check-ups to see if you need re-treatment due to wear and chipping.

Will My Dental Care Be Affordable?

One key reason to seek out preventive dentistry services is that identifying problems and treating them early can help prevent more costly procedures down the line.

When you schedule with Smile Design Dentistry, we will do a benefits check for your dental plan, estimate your out-of-pocket costs, and assist you in arranging payment for the care you need. The decision to accept treatment is yours to make. We can also phase treatments to make them more affordable over time. We are here to help.

Good dental hygiene at home is a vital part of preventive care, and plays an important role in achieving a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. A healthy mouth starts by eating healthy balanced meals, reducing the number of snacks you eat between meals, reducing sipping sugary drinks such as juices and sodas throughout the day, and correctly cleaning your mouth to control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease. health that prevents diseases like tooth decay and gingivitis.

Brush at Least Twice a Day

Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a manual soft toothbrush or, better yet, an electric toothbrush. You may brush more than twice if you wish, particularly after eating. Your oral hygienist will show you how to brush and floss most effectively.

Floss Like a Pro

Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it also disrupts plaque colonies from building up, thus preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

A lot of people overlook the importance of flossing, but there’s a reason dental professionals are so insistent about it. As you eat or consume beverages, buildup begins to form on a tooth’s surface. In the first 24 hours, that buildup is relatively soft and can be removed easily with brushing and flossing. After 24 hours, however, it hardens into plaque and has to be removed with dental instruments. By flossing every 24 hours, you are preventing the hardening of softer buildup into plaque.

The goal of flossing isn’t just to remove large pieces of food stuck between teeth, but rather to scrape off this soft buildup before it turns into hard plaque. It helps to think about flossing as an extension of brushing as opposed to picking. When you floss, make sure to wrap the floss around the base of the tooth, and use a vertical sawing motion to buff the tooth’s surface. Try to contact as much of the surface of the tooth as possible, including the back as well as the sides.

Oral Care

It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and after meals if you are unable to brush. You should also rinse after consuming acidic beverages like coffee to help prevent enamel erosion. While mouthwash is not required for good oral health, it can help fight gum disease; some washes even strengthen tooth enamel. We may recommend other cleaning aids such as an interdental brush or a rubber tip stimulator.

Preventing Tooth Decay at Home

Schedule an Appointment Today

Is it time for you to make a dental appointment for yourself or a family member? Then we’re excited to serve you. Find a Smile Design Dentistry location near you.

Family-owned and operated, Smile Design provides personalized attention for each of our patients throughout the state of Florida. We believe in building a strong, trusting relationship with our patients and we’ll take the time to get to know you, listen to your concerns, and answer any questions you may have about your dental hygiene, oral health problems, the treatments our doctors recommend, and your smile appearance.

Find a Location

About Smile Design Dentistry