Of all the dental treatments your dentist performs, the ones they find to be the most beneficial to protecting, strengthening and maintaining your oral and overall health are preventive in nature. Preventive dentistry is the branch of general dentistry that is dedicated to helping individuals care for their teeth and mouths in such a way that they maintain optimal oral health, avoiding the development of cavities, gum disease and other undesirable dental issues as much as possible. This translates to better oral structure, function and comfort for the individual, as well as less expensive dental care.
The Forms of Preventive Dentistry
Brushing your teeth twice every day and flossing them once every day is an important part of preventive dentistry. You may have heard from your dentist that brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste, for at least two minutes each time, is essential in order to ensure the most beneficial results. It is also essential to replace your toothbrush every three months or as soon as the bristles begin to appear worn or frayed. Additionally, brushing your tongue can help to remove any bacteria that lingers at the back of your mouth, thereby further reducing the possibility of cavities or gum disease as well as freshening your breath. Flossing your teeth helps to complete the job that brushing begins, by getting the food particles and bacteria that collects in places that are too small for toothbrush bristles to reach–like in between your teeth. Your dentist will likely demonstrate the perfect flossing technique so that you can be sure to get the most out of this valuable habit.
Visiting your dentist at least twice a year (and more often where needed and recommended) for thorough examinations and professional cleanings are also important to preventive dentistry. This may feel pointless to you if you participate in excellent oral hygiene habits and aren’t experiencing any oral health issues. However, the fact is that your dentist is trained and experienced in detecting issues that may very well be too small or insignificant for you to even notice. The value in having these issues detected early on is that they can often be easily and rapidly resolved, whereas allowing them to grow until you are aware that something is wrong can mean that not only do you experience discomfort, but you must invest a lot of time and money to handle these issues.
In some cases, dentists can actually bring your awareness to overall health issues that you may not have otherwise known about. This is largely because your oral health is very deeply connected with your overall health, and many general health issues can first show symptoms in your mouth. Again, detecting these issues early on can often allow for much easier and faster resolution.
Depending upon your oral health and overall health condition, your dentist may suggest that you see them twice a year, or they may suggest that you see them more often in order to benefit fully from cleanings and other preventive actions. He may also want to verify that you are eating a balanced diet, as this provides your teeth with the nutrients they need in order to remain better protected against injury and decay. This includes limiting, reducing or even eliminating your sugar intake and drinking plenty of water each and every day, as well as eating a varied diet in order to ensure that you get all of the vitamins that are necessary to help create and maintain a healthy smile.
Benefits of Preventive Dentistry
With proper oral hygiene habits, cleanings and other preventive techniques, an individual can work to prevent problems such as cavities, gingivitis, enamel loss, periodontitis and more. This means that children, who are just developing their adult teeth, can ensure that these teeth are established as strong and healthy as possible from the beginning, while adults can ensure that their aging teeth remain in good condition and are therefore not lost and needing replacement. Furthermore, just some of the overall health problems that can be prevented with proper oral health include diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, respiratory disease and cancer.
For more information about cleanings and other preventive dentistry habits or treatments, please contact Today’s Dental now!