In order to look after the health of our teeth and gums, we need to prevent issues such as infections, cavities, and plaque buildup. Of course, there’s no need to protect your smile on your own, which is where preventative dentistry services like ours come in handy.
Perhaps this is a new term to you, and that’s okay! Let’s go over what preventative dentistry is all about.
What is Preventative Dentistry?
Preventative dentistry is a series of procedures that, when combined, make it easier to maintain good oral health. It’s best to have preventative dentistry services done earlier in life to help you develop habits that benefit your teeth and gums. Not only that, but if recommendations from dental experts are followed, and no appointments are missed, your smile will remain healthy and beautiful throughout your life.
Preventative dentistry sub-services can include:
- Regular check-ups and oral examinations on a recurring basis (usually twice a year)
- Teeth cleanings and instruction/recommendation on best practices for brushing, flossing, etc.
- Occasional X-rays to verify tooth and gum health
- Diagnosis and treatment planning for issues including migraines, stained teeth, and even TMJ/TMD pain
- Teeth whitening services
Why is Preventative Dentistry Important?
Your baby teeth notwithstanding, you only get one full, natural set of teeth for your entire life. However, we humans tend to live for many decades, so your teeth need to be kept strong, durable, healthy, and infection-free to last as long as possible. The same goes for your gums, as it’s better for your health and even safety to avoid diseases that can otherwise be caused by insufficient oral hygiene.
Preventative dentistry is not a strict guarantee that these issues will be completely avoided as you and your teeth age, but it certainly can significantly reduce the risk. By being proactive and informed, not to mention following the recommendations provided and getting your smile checked regularly, the lifelong journey with your teeth and gums can be a positive, stress-free experience.
What You Can Do on Your Own
There are several important steps you should follow. These include the following:
- Daily flossing to remove particles stuck between teeth. Otherwise, this will turn into plaque and harden, causing damage to your smile and weakening teeth once it becomes tartar.
- You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, though ideally, it’s even better to do so after every meal. 2 minutes is the recommended amount. The average person only brushes between 45 and 70 seconds per day. Fluoride-based toothpaste is the best option by far, as it helps to reduce the risk of tooth decay. As for the toothbrush itself, avoid hard-bristled ones that could rip at your gums and cause excessive bleeding. Instead, purchase a high-quality, soft-bristled brush – your dentist will likely provide one at the end of a check-up, which is yet another reason to book an appointment!
- Your diet should restrict the influx of sugars, carbs, and acidic beverages. It’s not that you can’t enjoy a glass of orange juice with breakfast, but you don’t want to be drinking it all the time – balance and moderation are very important! Also, instead of soda, try a cold glass of milk – it’s a fantastic source of calcium, which helps to strengthen bones and teeth!
- Avoid smoking as much as possible. If you’re having trouble quitting, it’s best to seek out treatment for addiction recovery, as smoking can devastate your oral health and even cause various cancers.
Why Dental Check-Ups Are Important
Attending regular dental check-up appointments ensures that we can catch any issues before they snowball into serious risks to your smile and oral health. It’s also a great way to keep up with best practices in terms of oral hygiene and care – everyone needs a helping hand now and then, and that’s okay! Your dentist and oral hygienist can also set up future treatments, perform X-rays, and ensure you are set up for long-term success with your smile.
Want to learn more about our preventative dentistry services or request an appointment? We’d love to hear from you at Costello Family Dentistry. Contact us today to get started!