What is preventative dentistry?
Preventive dentistry refers to the process of maintaining good oral health via a combination of regular dental check-ups coincided with frequent brushing and flossing. These preventative steps start early in childhood and extend throughout the course of one’s life.
What are common preventive dentistry services?
Preventive dentistry services may include:
- Regular oral exams (usually every 6 months)
- Teeth Cleaning
- Routine X-rays
What’s your role in preventive dental care?
Preventive dental care starts directly with you. Acquiring healthy habits early in life can help reduce cavities, gum disease and gingivitis. Basic procedures in order to maintain good oral health:
- Brush teeth regularly – at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss daily to remove food particles in tight crevices in the teeth which may turn into plaque
- Use a mouthwash to rinse out food particles after flossing.
- Refrain from drinking and eating acidic solutions which can affect tooth enamel and subsequently cause decay
- Be cautious with hard foods which may damage or chip teeth
- Avoid smoking as it can produce bacterial plague, which cultivates the onset of gum disease.
- Mouth guards should be utilised during sporting activities and during nighttime if you are renowned for teeth grinding
What are the benefits of preventive dentistry?
Lowers your risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis
With preventive dentistry, dentists can examine your smile every six months during routine dental check ups. Once assessing your teeth, gums and jaw joints, dentists can screen your smile to check for signs of oral cancer and periodontal disease. Preventive methods can then be put in place if they identify any indicators of concern, often in the earliest stages before you experience serious discomfort.
Indeed, when you avoid the onset of tooth decay and gum disease, the risk of losing those teeth decreases incrementently. Routine cleanings also facilitate the brightening of your teeth, which ultimately protects your smile from discolouration.
Helps promote good oral hygiene habits such as brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing
Participating in preventive dentistry can strengthen your smile’s natural defences. When attending routine check-ups, dentists can provide fluoride treatment in addition to extensive tooth cleaning; both of which has the ability to remove all plaque and tartar from the teeth, safeguarding them from developing cavities, gingivitis and tooth-decay. The dental team will show you the most effective ways to brush, and how to clean in between your teeth utilising inter dental brushes or floss to remove the bacterial plaque – promoting good oral hygiene habits.
Early identification of dental problems may help minimise treatment and cost
If preventive programs are started early by the patient (or, preferably, by the parents of young children) long-range freedom from the plaque diseases is a possible sound cost-benefit investment. Indeed, over time the costs associated with poor oral hygiene can rapidly increase. Preventive dentistry may not completely eliminate your need for fillings, root canals or dental implants, but it can go a long way to reducing your need for these costly treatments. Thus, for the patient who thinks in terms of economic benefits and enjoyment of life, prevention pays.
Provides Overall Health Benefits
Considering that oral health is linked to overall health, preventive dentistry is important for your overall well being. Oral diseases can interfere with eating, speaking, daily activities and self-esteem. In children, severe decay can affect growth and development. Preventive dentistry can result in less extensive – and less expensive – treatment for any dental conditions that may develop, and help you keep your natural teeth for a lifetime. Moreover, the absence of teeth or presence of broken-down teeth often results in a loss of self-esteem, minimizes employment possibilities and often curtails social interaction, all of which can be combated by partaking in preventive dentistry.