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Understanding Preventive Dentistry

What is Preventive Dentistry?

Preventive dentistry refers to the methods used to care for your teeth so that they can remain healthy. When you use an effective preventive routine, you can prevent gum disease, cavities and other forms of dental conditions that can affect your smile.

Types of Preventive Dentistry

Preventive dental care takes place in the comfort of your home and at your dentist’s office.

  • Brushing your teeth. Brushing your teeth on a daily basis is one of the most important parts of having clean and healthy teeth. The American Dental Association recommends brushing with approved fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day or after every meal. This applies to not only your teeth but also your tongue as brushing your tongue aids in removing bacteria and can make your breath fresher.
  • Flossing. Flossing is helpful in removing bacteria and bits of food from the tight spaces that exist between your teeth. If you are wearing braces, you can use floss threaders to reach beyond the metal brackets. However, it is important that you floss correctly to avoid causing damage to your gums. If in doubt, you can speak to your dentist and request a flossing demonstration to ensure that you can benefit from the practice.
  • Dentist Visits. According to the American Dental Association, regular visits to your dentists is necessary to detecting the early signs of dental problems and ensuring that you have good oral health. You should aim for at least two visits a year so that your dentist can provide you with a professional cleaning and can examine your teeth and gums. Additional visits may be necessary if there are indications of dental issues.
  • Eating a Healthy Diet. In addition to regular cleanings, your teeth also require specific nutrients and minerals, particularly fluoride, in order to remain healthy. This requires that you consume a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. You should also avoid consuming an excessive amount of certain foods that can damage your teeth. This includes sugar in any form, which can adhere to your teeth, and acidic foods and drinks, which can erode tooth enamel.

Benefits of Preventive Dentistry

Being proactive about the health of your teeth has multiple benefits:

  • Less risk of dental issues. Preventive dentistry can lower your chances of experiencing tooth loss and other major dental issues caused by cavities, tooth decay, gum disease or other dental issues.
  • Less risk of secondary health issue. Studies have shown that poor oral health is associated with some health ailments, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, and osteoporosis, just to name a few. Maintaining good oral health can help you avoid these conditions.
  • Saves money. Preventive dentistry services are far less costly than restorative dentistry services, such crown or implant installations or root canals. Even if you have dental insurance, the costs related to having poor oral health can be very expensive.

If you have questions about what steps you can take to maintain good oral health, don’t hesitate to speak with your dentist. Your dentist can advise you of the appropriate preventive care techniques for your dental situation.

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