General Dentistry Procedures to Protect Your Teeth

General Dentist Delray Beach, FL

Poor oral hygiene can quickly spiral out of control and lead to decay, gum disease, and eventual tooth loss. General dentistry is the field of dentistry that focuses on the maintenance of oral health. While every dentistry procedure has its purpose, some are specifically intended to protect and preserve the teeth.

Tooth-preserving general dentistry procedures

A large part of a general dentist’s job is to preserve the health and integrity of a smile by helping patients avoid major oral health issues. Along with following regular dental hygiene practices at home, a dentist may recommend one or more of the following to ward off decay and damage.

Biannual dental cleanings

Thorough dental cleanings are the cornerstone of optimal oral health. Though regular brushing and flossing can help to clean the surface of the teeth of food particles and decay-causing bacteria, the mouth is full of hard-to-reach areas where particles can collect and develop into plaque and tartar. Professional general dentistry cleanings are necessary to clean the nooks and crannies of the teeth of plaque and tartar buildup and to identify and correct issues before they can become worse.

Ideally, patients undergo two cleanings per year. However, some patients may require more frequent visits.

In-office fluoride treatments

Fluoride is a natural mineral that occurs to some extent in all bodies of water and, notably, in tooth enamel, benefiting oral health in several ways. On the one hand, fluoride inhibits the growth of harmful, decay-causing bacteria, fighting to prevent that bacteria from reaching the gums or inner layers of the teeth. In this way, fluoride is a great prevention tool.

On the other hand, fluoride helps to restore minerals to parts of the tooth’s surface in which erosion has already begun. Though fluoride cannot undo a cavity, it can stop a cavity from becoming worse. In cases where caries are in the early stages, fluoride has been known to reverse the damage.  

Because of its undeniable benefits, governments have been adding fluoride to toothpaste and drinking water for decades. Studies show that people who drink fluoridated water are 40% to 60% less likely to develop cavities. What is even more effective than drinking fluoridated water, though, is in-office fluoride treatments.

General dentistry fluoride treatments typically involve a highly concentrated foam, rinse, gel, or varnish. A dentist applies the treatment to the teeth following a cleaning. Patients should wait 30 minutes to an hour before eating or drinking anything so that the teeth can fully absorb the fluoride.


Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings that dentists apply to the biting surfaces of the teeth. The purpose of sealants is to prevent plaque and tartar buildup in the grooves of the teeth and hard-to-reach places in the smile, protecting the teeth from decay. Dentists typically recommend sealants for younger patients who have yet to master brushing and flossing. However, adult patients can benefit from sealants as well.  


Cleanings, fluoride treatments, and dental sealants are specifically designed to protect the teeth from decay and damage. If you want to safeguard your smile, talk to a local dentist about these procedures.

Request an appointment here: or call Palm Beach Dentistry at (561) 225-2057 for an appointment in our Delray Beach office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: General Dentistry Services in Delray Beach, FL.

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