Preventive Dentistry - Types, Benefits, and Practices
It’s safe to say that we would all like to prevent issues from arising. In terms of dental issues, preventive dentistry can help prevent oral diseases so that you can keep a healthy smile. Common preventative dental services include dental exams, cleanings, and fluoride treatment.
Why are Preventive Dental Habits Important?
Preventive dental care is a necessary part of life if you want to maintain overall health. Read more below to learn the importance of preventive dental habits.
Dental prevention is always preferred over having to experience an oral health problem. Preventive dental care is important, as oral issues like poor oral hygiene can cause a whole host of issues for the rest of your body. In fact, oral conditions like gum disease have been linked to systemic health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory diseases, and arthritis. Taking care of your teeth can help reduce your risk of suffering from problems that impact your overall health and well-being.
Benefits of Preventive Dental Care
Hygiene & preventive care is beneficial for everyone. Here we discuss the benefits of preventive dental care.
- Early Detection of Issues - Preventative care can help catch concerns early on before problems become worse. This not only saves you time but also money. Preventive dental care can even be life-saving, for example, when diseases such as oral cancer are found and treated in the early stages.
- Overall Health Connection - In order to be healthy overall, your oral health must be in check, too. The mouth is the gateway into the rest of the body, and dental infection can travel to other areas of the body. Taking care of your teeth can help lower your risk of developing countless systemic health issues.
- Cost-Effective - Preventing dental issues can save you a lot of money in the long run. In addition, preventative dental services are relatively affordable and definitely worth the investment. Fortunately, most dental insurance plans offer 100% coverage or minimal co-pays for preventative dental services like dental examinations and cleanings.
- Positive Dental Experiences - Preventive dentistry can promote positive overall dental experiences. You will have more time to focus on beautifying your smile than tackling oral diseases when you maintain your oral health.
- Fewer Dental Visits - Visiting your dentist for routine dental check-ups can reduce your number of dental visits for additional treatment. There will be fewer issues to tackle and less unnecessary discomfort when you prevent issues from arising in the first place!
- Preserving Natural Teeth - Preventative dentistry can help you preserve your natural teeth. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy will allow them to last a lifetime, so you can continue to enjoy the foods you like, speak, and smile confidently.
- Cosmetic Benefits - Preventative dentistry also offers cosmetic benefits to improve your smile. Your smile will be sure to dazzle when it’s healthy.
Who Benefits from Preventive Dental Care?
Preventative dental care can benefit everyone. No matter your age or any other factor, the benefits of preventive dental care are necessary for your overall health and well-being.
Preventive dentistry is essential for children developing adult teeth, adults, and seniors to maintain health. If you have not yet started practicing preventive care, it’s never too late to start. Schedule an appointment with a dental professional today!
Types of Preventive Dental Services
There are several available preventive dental services. Below are a few of the most common types of preventive dental services.
Comprehensive dental exams are important for healthy teeth and gums. Your dental professional will evaluate your jaws, mouth, head, neck, teeth, and other facial structures. Early diagnosis and treatment of dental problems can help save your life. Regular dental exams allow you to take the best care of your smile.
Oral Hygiene Counseling
Hygiene & preventive care plays an important role in the health of your smile. Your dental professionals will give you instructions on how to take care of your teeth at home and keep your teeth and gums healthy. They will also answer any questions you may have and provide you with the best recommendations to improve your overall health.
Dental space maintainers are orthodontic appliances that are designed to hold space open for permanent teeth. Space maintainers may be indicated when baby teeth are lost early. This can prevent adjacent teeth from moving into the space and help the permanent tooth erupt without interference.
Routine X-rays are taken to evaluate the condition of your teeth. X-rays can show a variety of dental conditions, such as cavities, tooth abscesses, and bone loss. Many dental conditions can progress rapidly, which is why new X-rays are necessary typically yearly for accurate diagnosis and treatment planning.
Oral prophylaxis, also known as dental cleanings, is one of the most common preventive dental treatments. Dental cleanings are vital for removing hardened bacterial dental plaque (dental calculus) from the teeth, which requires special dental tools and professional expertise to remove.
Enameloplasty can be used to change a tooth’s size, shape, and surface. It involves removing small amounts of tooth enamel and can be performed for cosmetic or functional purposes. In cases of minor crowding or bite issues, enameloplasty can be used to prevent tooth damage and bacterial plaque accumulation.
Fluoride is a natural mineral that has been proven to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay. When tooth decay is caught early, fluoride treatment can even sometimes reverse it. Fluoride can be found in many community water sources, and oral hygiene products like toothpaste and mouth rinses. Fluoride treatment including fluoride varnishes can also be provided by your dentist.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screenings are performed at each dental examination. Your dental professional will look for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions around your head, neck, jaws, and inside of your oral cavity. Catching oral cancer early can increase the likelihood of more successful treatment.
Dental sealants are often recommended for individuals at high risk of developing cavities. Sealants are thin dental restorative coatings that are placed on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. They help seal the grooves of the teeth to prevent food particles and bacterial plaque from becoming trapped and causing damage to your teeth.
Serial extraction is indicated for individuals who are developing their permanent adult teeth. A dental professional may recommend planning the extraction of certain baby teeth in an orderly sequence to help guide the adult teeth into their proper positions.
Best Practices to Prevent Dental Problems
Preventing dental problems can be easier than ever. There are several practices to implement into your oral hygiene routine to help reduce your risk of developing dental problems.
- Brush Twice Daily - The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. Fluoride toothpaste can add extra protection against bacteria that cause oral disease.
- Floss Daily - Flossing daily is necessary to remove bacteria and debris from in-between your teeth. Cavities commonly develop between the teeth and are not visible to the eye.
- Clean Tongue Daily - Brushing your tongue is key to removing bacteria from your mouth. This can freshen your breath and prevent oral diseases.
- Use Mouthwash - Adding mouthwash to your dental routine can reduce your risk of oral disease. It is recommended to use a mouthwash with anti-bacterial properties and fluoride for additional health benefits.
- Limit Sugary Foods - Sugary foods promote bacteria that cause oral diseases. The bacteria produce acids from the sugars we consume, which is why it is important to limit sugars within your diet.
- Change Toothbrush Regularly - Toothbrushes need to be replaced frequently as they harbor bacteria. The ADA recommends changing toothbrushes every 3-4 months or sooner if the bristles become frayed.
- Stay Hydrated - Drinking water throughout the day can help you maintain your overall health. Water helps neutralize your mouth from harmful acids and wash away food particles and bacteria that accumulate on teeth.
- Avoid Bad Habits - Negative oral habits, such as nail biting, chewing on ice, smoking, and consuming excessive amounts of sugar, for example, should be avoided. These habits can have a negative impact on your smile and overall health.
- Balanced Diet - A balanced diet with vitamins, nutrients, and essential food groups plays an essential role in the health of your pearly whites. Your teeth rely on the proper foods to remain strong and healthy.
- Regular Check-ups - Visiting the dentist regularly is an important way to prevent oral diseases. Your dental professionals will catch issues early and offer the best treatment to resolve problems.
Looking for the Best Preventive Dental Care?
Looking for a preventative dentist and the best preventive dental care? Our dental professionals offer top-notch preventive dental care to meet all of your dental needs.
Our team at Gentle Dental is proud to provide award-winning care and preventive dentistry. We offer accessible and affordable dental care for you and your entire family. Routine preventive services like dental exams, oral cancer screenings, X-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants, and oral health education with our trusted dentists will help you maintain oral and overall health.
There are several reasons why preventive habits are important. Preventative dentistry will help you maintain your oral and overall health so you can smile for a lifetime. Good oral hygiene and regular dental visits significantly reduce your risk of developing dental and medical conditions that can even be life-threatening. Call to schedule an appointment with your dental professional and ask them more about how you can benefit from preventative dental care.