The Importance Of Preventive Care Visits

Dr. Kimberlee Murphy, your family dentist in Crystal, MN, has a ton of preventative care methods to protect your teeth from serious issues like gingivitis, also known as gum disease.

There are two types of preventative care: preventative care visits and at-home preventative care.

Preventative Care Visits

Regular visits to your dentist's office is a must when it comes to preventative care.

Periodontal exams allow your dentist to assess the health of gums and teeth. Your family dentist in Crystal, MN, diagnoses like periodontitis and reveals if you have receding gums, exposed roots, and other problems.

During your periodontal exam, your dentist will check for:

  • lumps
  • abnormal growths
  • missing or loose teeth
  • proper color, texture, size, and shape of gums
  • fillings, crowns, bridges, dentures, or implants
  • plaque buildup on teeth
  • depth and space between tooth and gum

Another vital in-office preventative care method is getting a dental cleaning. This also prevents tooth decay and gum disease.

Plaque buildup because of acid-producing bacteria that eventually harden into deposits called tartar or calculus. This hard deposit is removed using special tools in an effort to protect your teeth from advanced dental decay which may lead to tooth loss.

Your Crystal dental hygienist performs the teeth cleaning. First your dentist performs an oral examination as explained above. Then the hygienist uses an ultrasonic scaler, a hand-held curette, to removes plaque. Then they apply gritty toothpaste-like gel to smoothen and shine your teeth.

At-home Preventative Care

Brushing techniques

Never miss a beat when it comes to brushing your teeth. Here are some techniques:

  • Use a circular motion to brush teeth.
  • Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle.
  • Don't brush your tongue because that spreads bacteria.


Floss at least once every day. Here are two common methods:

Spool method: Move dental floss between your teeth several times forming a "C" shape around the tooth. Make sure to go below the gum line to eliminate bacteria.

Loop method: This is a great method for children and adults with dexterity problems. Tie the dental floss with two or three knots and use your index fingers to glide the floss through your lower teeth. Make sure to floss under the gums, as mentioned in the spool method.

If you have any questions about your preventative care options, be sure to contact your family dentist in Crystal, MN, Dr. Kimberlee Murphy, today!