What is Preventative Dentistry?
Preventative dentistry refers to a range of techniques used to maintain good oral health and prevent common oral issues such as tooth cavities, enamel wear, gum disease, halitosis etc.
Preventative dentistry includes simple techniques that can be done at home by the patient such as daily brushing or flossing. It also includes specialist techniques that a dentist/hygienist performs such as descaling. Preventative dentistry is an important practice in dental health. The importance of good preventative dental practices should be taught to children as early as possible inorder to create a strong lifelong foundation for oral healthcare.
Why Do Preventative Dentistry?
Preventative dentistry significantly reduces your chances of developing oral problems such as cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis, halitosis and loss of tooth enamel. Good preventative dentistry ensures longer lasting healthier teeth and oral hygiene which in turn, leads to less visits to the dentist and less tooth related complications.
Who Benefits from Preventative Dentistry?
Preventative dentistry benefits everyone. By teaching children good preventative detail techniques, they develop their adult teeth with less chance of complications and develop good oral hygiene habits to maintain their teeth into adulthood.
Good oral practices throughout life result in a higher probability of having your adult teeth late in life, reducing the need for dental implants, dentures or dental bridges.
In addition to tooth decay and gum disease, poor oral hygiene is reported to be associated with secondary health effects such as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and others.
What Practices are Included in Preventative Dentistry?
Brush Your Teeth Daily
The most simple technique is, of course, daily brushing of your teeth. It is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day at minimum using a fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months to ensure the best cleaning. Remember to brush your tongue in order to remove the bacteria located on your tongue which can cause disease and bad breath.
Flossing daily is recommended in order to remove the remnants of food and break up bacteria between teeth that your tooth brush can not reach. Because the spaces between teeth are so tight, the bristles of the tooth brush often cannot reach between the teeth making them a very common location for bacteria to thrive and plaque to build.
To get the most out of flossing, ask your dentist or hygienist how to floss correctly. It is quick and easy. If you have braces, you can still floss. Ask your dental professional how.
Eat A Balanced Diet
Just like any other part of your body, your teeth require nutrition and eating a healthy diet will help by providing the nutrients teeth need to remain healthy. In another way, diet also contributes to what teeth and gums are exposed to. Excessive exposure to enamel damaging foods such as sugars, can result in premature degradation of the enamel accelerating the development of cavities and gum disease.
Visit Your Dentist
Although you can take many steps in preventative dentistry at home, you should still visit your dentist at least once a year if not more, for check ups and cleaning. If you are at high risk for dental problems, you should visit your dentist more frequently. Many dental insurance plans will cover two preventative dentist visits per year. Check-ups will ensure any developing issues can be caught earlier such as cavities, which can then be treated before they become more serious and potentially detrimental to the tooth.
Despite our best efforts in preventative dentistry at home, we are most likely going to develop some amount of plaque on teeth which can lead to tooth decay. This often occurs in hard to reach places. To remove plaque, the dentist or hygienist can descale your teeth before plaque develops further.
How To Ensure Good Preventative Dentistry
Your dental professionals at Alpine Dental can create an excellent preventative dental regime designed specifically for you and your dental needs. Visit us at Alpine Dental for a check-up, cleaning or just to discuss your dental concerns.