The Importance of Preventive Care: Maintaining Good Oral Health
Preventative dental care is a significant part of overall dental health, but it's often an afterthought. Our dedicated dentist sees many patients who don’t keep up with consistent preventative oral care and then must fix the problems it creates. Preventive dental care is the first step in reducing the number of visits to the dentist.
What is Preventative Care in the Dental World?
The importance of dental care can't be overstated because oral health is closely linked to overall wellness and disease prevention. Each human mouth can have billions of bacteria at one time. Some are good bacteria, and others are harmful bacteria. When cracks in the teeth, cavities, or pockets between the gum and teeth exist, it allows harmful bacteria to get further into the body, into areas the bacteria are not meant to be. Left untreated, this causes oral diseases and leads to other conditions in various places of the body.
General dentistry provides that preventative dental care, which involves the screening and examination of the mouth and the care you perform at home. During routine screening, your dentist or dental hygienist will check to see if you have any cavities, gum disease, or other problems that could put you at risk for further dental issues. Visits can include X-rays, so our experienced dentist can look for signs of infection in the bone surrounding your teeth.
Preventative dental care is critical if you are in one of the following populations or have the following conditions:
-Pregnant or nursing women
-People with heart and lung disease
Tools You'll Need for Successful Dental Preventative Care
Most preventative dental care can be done in the comfort of your own home. You and each member of your family will generally need a soft-bristled toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash. Since each mouth has its own unique needs, the type of dental cleaning tools that you choose should be based on your specific oral health status.
For example, if you have significant gaps between your teeth, also consider purchasing brush picks, which are like plastic toothpicks with tiny bristles at the ends. If you find reaching into other areas of your mouth awkward or uncomfortable, consider using an electric toothbrush that does most of the work for you. If you find wide floss uncomfortable, switch to some skinnier versions instead.
How to Perform Dental Preventative Care
As always, brush twice every day for at least two minutes. Floss daily, being careful not to yank the thread around the base of your tooth. Follow with a mouthwash of your choice. Young children should be supervised so they don't swallow toothpaste or mouthwash. Some families find it helpful to get into group routines to make sure this gets done. Finally, visit a dentist or dental hygienist at least twice a year for an oral examination and deep cleaning. A combination of these things helps prevent plaque from becoming tartar and the tartar from eating away at your teeth.
For help with your preventative dental maintenance and next cleaning visit, be sure to contact our office today!