A healthy and beautiful smile boosts your confidence and supports your overall wellbeing. By practicing proper oral hygiene and attending regular checkups, you can keep your smile healthy as well as the rest of your body. When you have a dental infection, the bacteria can spread to the rest of your body, leading to a higher risk of complications with systemic illnesses. Some common diseases linked to poor oral health include pneumonia, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases.
If you want the best for your overall health, investing in preventive dental care is crucial. Fortunately, you can access this care without undermining your finances, as most insurance plans cover the procedures. Many dentists have membership programs to help you maintain your dental care routine for better overall well-being. Read on for more information about preventive dental care that can help you achieve optimal oral health.
What is Preventive Dentistry?
Preventive dentistry includes diagnosing and treating problems with your teeth and gums to maintain strong dental and overall health. Some of the common ways of caring for your oral health include practicing proper oral hygiene and going for regular dental checkups. Preventive dentistry is a partnership between you and your dentist to ensure your oral health condition stays in top shape.
While everyone can benefit from preventive dentistry, children enjoy the most benefits as their teeth are still developing. Preventive dentistry helps you avoid future issues, including tooth decay, enamel wear, and gum disease. It encourages good oral health habits like brushing and flossing daily. With preventive dentistry, you can catch oral health problems early before they escalate and become more complex.
Common Preventive Treatments
Preventive dental care includes consistent and frequent visits to a dental professional. Work with your dentist and come up with a strategy that best suits your unique oral health situation. Seeing a professional at least twice a year not only offers you specialized cleanings and checkups but also helps you save money in the long term by treating dental issues early.
Here are some common preventive treatments.
- Exams: Dental exams form a crucial part of preventive dentistry. Your dentist thoroughly examines your gums and teeth for disease and decay as well as any signs of oral cancer. Besides lowering your risk of oral and systemic illnesses, you also get expert tips on effectively caring for your teeth.
- X-Rays: Your dentist uses a digital camera to capture an accurate image of your condition. X-rays help identify dental issues invisible during a visual exam. These include dental abscesses, tumors, bone loss, poor tooth positioning, and other problems below your gum line.
- Cleanings: Professional dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and a little below the gum line. They also get rid of extrinsic tooth stains that may cause discoloration.
- Fluoride & Sealants: Fluoride and sealants are coatings that your dentist applies on your teeth to strengthen the enamel and prevent decay. The fluoride acts as a barrier to prevent bacteria from harming the enamel. The treatment is ideal for kids, those with high bacteria levels, and individuals with dry mouth or sensitivity problems. Sealants made of biocompatible resin are brushed on in layers to fill pits and grooves that trap bacteria. They prevent food from sticking to your teeth and increasing the risk of decay.
- Mouthguards: If you engage in sports or highly physical activities, you should always use a mouthguard. Mouthguards protect your teeth and gums from damage caused by trauma or accidents.
- Education: Your dentist updates you on your oral health and offers professional advice on the best way to take care of your teeth and your children’s. You also get advice on the best products and innovative tools that make caring for your teeth and gums easier and more effective.
Remember the Basics
Preventive treatments can only be successful if you play your part. Practice the following to keep your oral health in good shape.
- Brushing: It is vital to brush your teeth twice a day, in the morning and evening. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and fluoride toothpaste.
- Flossing: Proper flossing removes food particles in between your teeth where the toothbrush may not reach. Floss daily to prevent the buildup of bacteria from turning into tartar and plaque.
- Diet: Eat a balanced diet for a healthy smile. Include foods rich in vitamins, drink lots of water, and limit your sugar intake to keep your teeth and gums free of disease.
- Regular Checkups: Remember to attend your dental checkups bi-annually and more frequently if you are prone to dental problems. Try setting a reminder on your calendar and budgeting for treatments to ensure your commitment.
Preventive dental care is critical at every stage of life. The more dedicated you are to participating in good oral hygiene habits, the lower your risk of decay and disease, and the less you’ll need to go to the dentist! With professional help, you can learn the best way to take care of your oral health and enjoy a brilliantly beautiful smile for life.