520 BIRCHWOOD AVE | BELLINGHAM, WA 98225 | (360) 671-4480 | Request an Appointment >

PREVENTIVE CARE


A focus on preventive dentistry helps you maintain the highest standard of oral health while limiting dental expenditures. A partnership between you and our team pays dividends, protecting your smile now and well into the future.

At home, prevention may include brushing and flossing twice a day. But many strategies and oral health aids exist that may fit your situation even better. Often patients are surprised to learn that a particular toothpaste, rinse, or specialized toothpick will serve them best and make all the difference in their efforts. Our team can help customize solutions that enhance your daily efforts, often turning frustration into smiles at the healthy changes that occur.

Your diet plays a critical role in oral health as well. Acidic foods and drinks can accelerate deterioration of your teeth, and certain foods can enhance the health of your supporting jawbone and gums. Our team believes in bringing your efforts and ours into balance for optimum health.

And of course, regular dental exams and cleanings prove vital in preventing decay and gum disease as you keep daily habits consistent. With a proactive approach, together we can prevent minor issues from becoming major procedures.


TEETH CLEANING

While dental emergencies can strike anyone, our patients who commit to regular preventive care present with significantly fewer problems over time. Professional cleanings with a registered dental hygienist allow us to bring a blend of proactive efforts to you. Deposits of mineralized plaque, known as tartar, adhere to certain areas of the teeth, even with your best efforts. These deposits offer suitable housing for millions of harmful bacteria to reside. Left unchecked, they produce a flood of toxins into the gums. This frequently cascades into devastating chronic problems, even resulting in loss of the teeth.

When you visit us periodically, we can gently remove the deposits from the tooth surfaces. Without sitting undisturbed, bacterial tartar doesn’t have the same opportunity to produce irreversible damage. Furthermore, we use professional-strength polishing paste that gently buffs away stain and microscopic plaque, leaving your teeth ultra-smooth and shiny. Since discoloration settles into the enamel of your teeth over time, this helps slow yellowing while maintaining a glassy surface for better cleansing.

SEALANTS

Our goal is for our patients to experience the least amount of dental treatment possible. And we know that children who enter adulthood with the fewest restored teeth will enjoy the lowest risk of future problems.

Sealants give us a tool that can dramatically reduce the number of fillings placed in permanent teeth during critical stages of growth and development. On the chewing surface of molars, deep grooves reach into the center of the teeth. Under a microscope, these crevices might look like a deep canyon.  In fact, most of them are narrower than a single toothbrush bristle but wide enough for bacteria to hide.  It’s easy to see how cavities can form in such a perfect hideout. 

If the grooves in permanent molars are sealed at a young age, the risk of decay occurring on the chewing surfaces decreases dramatically. Fortunately, this procedure can be done quickly and without any discomfort. If the grooves are free of cavities, they can be gently cleaned out and conditioned for bonding. Then a resin material is flowed into the grooves and sealed quickly with a blue activating light. Within a few minutes, the permanent molars receive a protective measure against cavities.

Sealants only last a few years and may need to be repaired or replaced periodically. But research confirms a 90% reduction in chewing surface cavity activity in sealed molars. This cost-effective, simple step may help your child enter adulthood with fewer fillings and less risk of major dentistry in the future.

GUM CONTOURING

A perfect smile results when multiple parts blend for one stunning presentation. The gums surrounding the teeth form a stark contrast to the white teeth, framing their appearance. Gums flow around the neck of each tooth in a scalloped fashion, dipping naturally around the front and back to expose the fullness of each one. Texture, thickness, height, and color tone all influence the appearance of the gums serving their vital supporting role.

Sometimes specific areas of the gum detract from a pleasant smile. The scalloped flow may be uneven, sitting too high around certain teeth. Or a thick area may protrude unnaturally, causing a visual distraction. 

Just as a piece of art benefits from reframing, gums can gently be contoured to complement the smile. Fortunately, laser technology often makes this procedure quick, painless, and dramatic. The results can be observed immediately and within a few days your gums look perfectly natural. In some cases, more extensive contouring may be discussed. Dr. Knudson evaluates numerous factors before deciding which approach will give you the finest smile.