The old saying goes ‘prevention is better than cure’, and when it comes to dentistry, this mantra holds very true. Preventative dentistry is all about ensuring your teeth remain as healthy as possible for as long as possible, negating the need for any emergency dental care or even long-term dental work.
Preventative dentistry combines several different elements into one overall dental health plan that will ensure – as far as possible – that your teeth, gums, and mouth remain in good shape. Along with whatever your dentist can do to help, preventative dentistry does require plenty of input from the patient as well, and it needs to begin as early as possible, which is why teaching young children about preventative dentistry is a good idea.
What Is Included In Preventative Dentistry?
There are three main areas in which your dentist can assist you in ensuring you are carrying out the right level of preventative dentistry. These are:
- Regular dental exams, ideally every six months
- Regular professional teeth cleaning
- Carrying out routine x-rays to check for less obvious dental issues
As well as this work, preventative dentistry will require you to carry out simple tasks at home too. Most of these are things you will already be doing, but if you’re unsure about any of them or need any additional advice, your dentist will be able to help you. The preventative dentistry methods you can do at home are:
- Brush your teeth: Your teeth should be brushed at least twice a day, and ideally after every meal. Using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush is best.
- Floss daily: During the day, food debris and bacteria will build up between your teeth, and regular brushing just won’t be enough to remove this. Flossing will remove the debris before it becomes plaque and starts to degrade your teeth.
- Use mouthwash: Mouthwash should be part of your daily dental routine as it is a big part of preventative dentistry. This will remove food particles stuck to the teeth. It is particularly important to use mouthwash after eating acidic foods.
- Avoid acidic foods: Although it isn’t always going to be possible, if you can avoid – or at least cut down on – acidic foods in your diet, you will help your teeth stay healthy for longer.
- Wear a mouth guard: If you play sports, make sure you wear a well-fitting mouth guard every time to prevent damage.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products: Apart from the obvious reasons why smoking and the use of tobacco products should be avoided, they are also bad for your teeth, leaving staining that is almost impossible to remove.
The Benefits Of Preventative Dentistry
If you’re wondering why you should be adhering to the rules on preventative dentistry, there are many benefits to the practice. These include:
- Preventative dentistry lowers your risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay, as well as more serious dental issues.
- Preventative dentistry helps give you better breath.
- Preventative dentistry enables your dentist to give you a full exam, identifying any problems immediately.
- Preventative dentistry reduces the risk of developing dental-related conditions such as diabetes, some cancers, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
It’s clear that preventative dentistry has many benefits, and since it is easy to carry out, you should always keep it in mind if you want healthy teeth.