Preventive dental care is a crucial part of maintaining good oral health. It is the approach we take here at Esthetic Reflections, and what we encourage our patients to do when they’re not with us.
This approach to dental care can be summed up as “taking care of your teeth.” It’s really the process of making sure that problems with your oral health are prevented, rather than treating an issue as it arises. It’s always better to keep a problem from happening than to have to address a problem that has happened. This is especially true when it comes to your health, where a problem can mean pain and time and money spent fixing it.
At-Home Preventive Care
There are many ways you can take care of your own teeth. In fact, the majority of preventive dental care is performed by individuals for themselves. Some of these types of care include:
- Brushing daily – Using a fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush with soft bristles, brush in the morning and the evening after you eat. You should replace your toothbrush when the bristles start fraying, about two to three times a year.
- Flossing daily – Hold the floss in a C shape around the tooth and move it back and forth, up and down against the sides of each tooth. If you don’t like traditional dental floss, ask your dentist if dental tape, Waterpik, or another option might work for you.
- Eating a healthy diet – Limiting or avoiding food and drink that’s acidic or sugary can decrease your chances of tooth decay. These foods are not only not great for your overall health, they can weaken the enamel on your teeth and leave them vulnerable to more serious damage.
You are the one who sees your teeth the most, so it’s up to you to maintain them every day and keep an eye out for anything you see or feel that’s out of the ordinary.
Professional Preventive Care
Even doing all the at-home oral care steps still doesn’t mean you’ve done all you can to keep your teeth and gums healthy. A visit to your dentist every six months for a professional exam and cleaning is the best way to make sure you’ve got the healthiest mouth possible. Your dentist can:
- See problem areas you can’t and tell you how to address them
- Remove plaque that’s hardened on your teeth
- Diagnose any dental problems you may be developing and treat it early
Cavities, gingivitis, and enamel loss can happen even to people who think they’re brushing and flossing well, so it’s vital you visit your dentist to make sure everything is okay.
Preventive Dentistry Improves Overall Health
Brushing, flossing, and going to the dentist isn’t just important for your teeth, it affects the rest of your health too. Numerous bacteria are found naturally in the mouth and cause serious health problems if not kept in check. Heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes and more may be linked to poor oral health. Together with your dentist, you can keep your teeth looking and feeling great.