Preventive Dentistry Tips from Dennis Norheim J. DDS

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Palm Springs, California dentist Dr. Dennis J. Norheim, DDS, considers the education of his patients about the importance of preventive dental care a priority. Dr. Norheim’s dental practice continues to encourage practical procedures and life habits to assist his patients in the prevention of the beginning or further progression of oral disease. Good dental habits include both in-home dental care, as well as dental care and education by the professional dental staff at the office of Dennis J. Norheim, DDS.

Dr. Dennis J. Norheim, DDS, offers several educational tracks so that his patients can avoid dental disease or at least so they will be able to catch it in its early, more treatable stages. The foundation for preventative dental care is at-home oral hygiene practiced on a regular basis. Then, further preventive dentistry should be done by dental staff in Dr. Norheim’s offices to help maintain healthy teeth and gums. In either case, explains Dennis J. Norheim, DDS, the primary goal is to halt the development of oral disease before it has the opportunity to begin, or to address it in the early stages. Dr. Norheim inspects a patient’s mouth for the early signs of periodontal disease, dental decay, and other changes in the soft tissue of the mouth that might lead to oral cancer.

For those patients who have anxiety about visiting a dentist, Dr. Norheim wants to make it clear that preventive dentistry should never harm patients when done correctly. He encourages patients, however, to make him aware up front if they suffer from certain medical conditions such as mitral valve prolapse, or others that would need to be treated with prophylactic antibiotics. However, allergic reactions to the medications or materials used in preventive dentistry are quite unusual.

Preventive care performed in the dental offices of Dennis J. Norheim DDS includes cleaning to rid the teeth of calculus accumulation. Included in a routine visit will be an examination of the teeth and soft tissue using visual and tactile exams, x rays, and oral cancer screening. Dr. Norheim also employs up-to-date techniques to diagnose periodontal, or gum disease, including computerized measurement devices that measure the bacterial content in the mouth. He may also prescribe medications to help prevent dental disease. These include anti-inflammatory mouthwashes to prevent periodontal problems.

Preventive procedures commonly offered for children include the use of fluoride supplements and applications. Dental sealants are applied to a child’s teeth, forming a barrier between tooth crevasses and bacteria to help ward off dental decay. If Dennis J. Norheim, DDS, notices malocclusions, he might refer patients to an orthodontist to correct a patient’s bad bite. Dr. Dennis J. Norheim DDS recommends that an orthodontist evaluate children by age seven.

Another crucial part of preventive dentistry performed by Dennis J. Norheim DDS is the education of patients about at-home care, nutrition, and smoking cessation. Important at-home procedures that can help ward off dental disease include regular and proper brushing, flossing and the use of mouth rinses and at-home fluoride applications. During a visit at Dr. Dennis Norheim’s office, he or his staff will explain proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Proper brushing includes use of a soft nylon toothbrush with round-ended bristles. Dr. Norheim suggests placing the bristles along the gum line at a 45-degree angle to cover the tooth surface and gum line. The brushing technique should be gentle and in a rolling back-and-forth motion, with two to three teeth being brushed at a time. Brush the inner surfaces of the teeth and tilt the brush vertically to brush the front teeth. Ideally, a back-and-forth motion to brush the biting surface of the teeth and the tongue is recommended.

Dennis J. Norheim, DDS, also instructs patients to floss regularly in order to remove plaque from between teeth and at the gum line. Flossing should be done with an 18-inch strip of floss wrapped around the middle fingers of each hand. The remaining one to two inches of floss that is inserted between the teeth should be directed by the thumbs. By keeping the floss taut, patients can use their index fingers to guide the floss between the lower teeth with a gentle zigzag motion, while contouring the floss around the sides of the teeth. They should floss each tooth with a clean section of the floss and ensure that the floss goes under the gum line.

Dr. Dennis J. Norheim, DDS, asserts that preventive dental care should begin in infancy and continue throughout one’s life. Many people do not realize that even before a child’s teeth erupt, parents can clean an infant’s gums after feeding. Then, considering that 75% of Americans suffer from some kind of dental disease, periodic dental visits are particularly important for adults. Seniors often benefit from training in proper techniques of denture care and cleaning, which include brushing the replacement teeth. Those who have problems moving their hands because of arthritis, for example, also benefit from tips for adapting toothbrushes for easier handling.

For more information, call 760-325-2579 or visit the website of Dr. Dennis J. Norheim, DDS, at http://www.palmspringssmiles.com.


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Dennis J. Norheim, DDS, is a graduate of Loma Linda Dental School, one of the best in the country. Dennis J. Norheim has also successfully pursued advanced studies through several postgraduate courses in dentistry since receiving his DDS degree.

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