Would you like LESS treatment at the dentist given the choice? Most people would. Preventative dental care is intended to keep your oral health in good condition and long term, helps you keep your teeth.
Tooth loss is the result of two main causes: tooth decay and gum disease. Both causes can be addressed by the preventative dental care and gives people a better chance of keeping their teeth for their entire life.
Preventative care is a joint effort between the dental, hygienist and patient. Between the dentist and hygienist, a care and maintenance plan can be put in place, and it’s down the patient to follow daily.
Who benefits from preventative dentistry?
It’s never too late to start good oral health hygiene habits but the sooner, the better. Instilling these habits into children at an early age will much increase their chances of a lifetime with healthy and trouble-free teeth.
What does preventative dentistry involve?
The dentist will take a look at your mouth, inspecting the teeth and gums for signs of decay and gum disease. Bleeding or inflamed gums are often a sign that something isn’t quite right and needs addressing.
Early stages of tooth decay and gum disease can be easily treatment, so regular appointments are necessary at your dentist.
It’s likely the dentist or hygienist will carry out a scale and polish procedure which removes any build up of plaque and leaves your teeth feeling smooth and clean. If there’s any part of your teeth that you’re missing when brushing then, your dentist will point this out to you, and probably offer advice on brushing techniques. If your diet increases your risk of tooth decay, then your dentist may advise you to cut down on certain food such as sugary drinks.
If there are any tooth care products which will help, then your dentist will also advise on this. For example, mouthwashes or special cleaning brushes. If you have existing fillings, the dentist will check those to make sure they are in good condition. If you have a tooth that is cracked, then your dentist will recommend treatment to prevent the tooth from breaking. This could include a filling or crown fitted to help protect the tooth and help stop it from breaking, which would need emergency treatment in that event.
To combat tooth decay, fluoride rinses, gels or tablets may be recommended to use at home.
Children’s teeth can be further protected by a sealant applied to the biting surfaces of the teeth. These are called pit and fissure sealants and make the teeth smoother and easier to clean.
If you have a high sugar diet then by reducing sugary foods, you will be significantly reducing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Look for healthier but just as tasty foods and snacks, you can use as a substitute instead.
Tips for preventing dental erosion:
- Reduce your consumption of acidic beverages like fruit juices & fizzy drinks.
- If you must drink them daily, try to limit them to when you eat, so around mealtimes.
- After consuming sugary foods, avoid brushing your teeth for at least an hour so that the protective mineral content on the teeth can rebuild.
- Drink acidic drinks through a straw to limit the liquid from sloshing in the mouth.
- Have regular appointments with your dentist and follow their advice when at home.
For more tips and advice on keeping your teeth in top condition, click here to find a list of dentists in the area.