If you’ve visited our blog before, chances are, you know the tenants of a good oral health routine, including daily brushing and flossing as well as biannual visits to your dentist. Preventive dentistry, then, is the practice of taking care of your teeth to keep them healthy — to prevent cavities, gingivitis, enamel loss, periodontal disease, and more.
Let’s learn more about the necessary steps of practicing preventive dentistry.
It’s no surprise that the most important component of strong oral health is brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. You should replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head when the bristles start to fray, usually three to four times per year. Be sure to brush your tongue too to remove bacteria from your mouth and freshen your breath.
You should also floss at least once per day to clean the small spaces between your teeth. If you have braces, make sure to use floss threaders between the metal brackets. To ensure that you’re flossing correctly, ask your dentist or dental hygienist for a demonstration at your next appointment.
Additionally, schedule a visit with your dentist every six months. The reason that preventive dentistry is so important is because the sooner you catch a potential issue, the easier it is to find a solution. If you’re at high risk for dental problems, you may benefit from more than two appointments per year; likewise, if you’re at low risk, you may only need one visit every 12 months. If you have dental insurance, your plan most likely covers two dental visits per year — so schedule them accordingly!
Did you know that eating a balanced diet is also a core component of preventive dentistry? Your teeth need nutrients and vitamins to keep them strong and healthy. Eating a varied diet of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates will help you maintain a beautiful smile. You should also limit your sugar intake and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Everyone benefits from preventive dentistry!
It’s especially important that young children develop a sturdy foundation of dental habits, as that helps to ensure healthy adult teeth. Your pediatric dentist may recommend dental sealants and/or a topical fluoride treatment to help prevent decay.
Of course, adults benefit as well. As you get older, a good oral health routine helps you keep your real teeth. Plus, your overall health is linked to your oral health. With good dental care, you can reduce your risk of secondary problems linked to poor oral health, including diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer, and more.
Be sure to continue to practice preventive dentistry, including biannual check-ups, during pregnancy too. Premature birth and/or low birth weight may be linked to poor oral health.
The best part? Preventive dentistry ultimately saves you money.
The cost of treating dental problems quickly adds up, even with dental insurance. While good dental habits may not completely eliminate the need for filings, dental implants, or root canals, they can reduce the need for these expensive treatments.
Call us at 407.834.0330 to schedule your next appointment! Check out our Dental Blog to learn more about topics like restorative dentistry, dental anxiety, and more.