Preventative Dentistry 101: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

Nearly half of all adults over 30 have gum disease!

Your smile is often the first thing that people notice about you. Keeping your smile beautiful can increase your self-confidence and make you more comfortable in the presence of others. 

However, because teeth are prone to decay you have to make sure that you are taking good care of them, otherwise, you may end up having to remove some of them through extraction. Fortunately, preventative dentistry can help to stop you from losing your teeth prematurely. Here’s a look at everything you need to know about preventative dentistry and why it is important.

What Is Preventative Dentistry?

Preventative dentistry happens when you and your dentist work to prevent you from having problems with your oral health. Preventive dentistry seeks to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth as healthy as possible.

Preventive dentistry is all about preventing problems before they start. This means that it will help you to prevent gum disease and tooth decay.

The Importance of Preventive Dentistry

The best way to ensure that you have good oral health is to take the time to prevent issues before they arise. When preventive dentistry is not done you can see skyrocketing dental costs, because you are likely to need restorative dentistry. 

You may need to get crowns, bridges, or implants to replace teeth that were extracted. If you don’t have a healthcare plan this can be very taxing on the pocket. 

One of the benefits of preventative dentistry is that it is often covered by insurance and is easy to access. Even if you don’t have dental insurance as part of your coverage it will work out a lot cheaper in the long run if you deal with any minor problems that happen instead of waiting until things get really bad and the cost runs up.

Tooth loss is something that you can easily experience when you don’t practice preventative dentistry. Preventative dentistry is important because good oral health affects your overall health. When your teeth start going bad, bacteria can get into your bloodstream and this can be very dangerous if it is not dealt with quickly.

If you are pregnant you must practice preventive dentistry since teeth become extremely sensitive to the hormonal changes that are occurring in your body during pregnancy, this can cause tooth decay and damage.

Preventing Tooth Decay at Home

Once you are doing your regular dental visits and getting your dentist to look after your teeth, you can then move on to learning how to do preventative dentistry for yourself while you are at home. 

Preventative dentistry, while you are home, is not difficult as long as you follow a routine. You need to ensure that you brush your teeth at least two times per day. 

This means that you should brush your teeth once in the morning when you wake up and before you go to bed at night. You should also floss your teeth at night before going to bed.

Pick the Right Toothpaste

The first step in preventative dental care is choosing the right toothpaste to use. You should always make sure that you only choose toothpaste that is approved by the American Dental Association. 

When toothpaste is approved by the American Dental Association it means that it has passed their quality standards. There is usually a seal of approval on the packaging itself that will indicate to you that the toothpaste is effective at preventing tooth decay.

Use Approved Mouthwashes

There are always areas of your mouth that your toothbrush and toothpaste will not be able to reach. To ensure that all your teeth stay clean you want to also use a mouthwash. 

Make sure that the mouthwash is also approved by the American Dental Association. There are also specialized mouthwashes that you can use in case you have specific issues with your teeth such as tooth sensitivity or dry mouth.

Watch What You Eat

Sugary foods are delicious but they come with a price. This is not to say that you should never eat them. However, you should be sensitive about what they can do to your teeth. 

The sugars from sweets can easily start building up on your teeth which can lead to cavities and tooth decay. If you eat sweets or drink sugary drinks make sure you wash out your mouth immediately after or brush your teeth as soon as possible.

Get Enough fluoride

Make sure that the toothpaste that you are using contains some type of fluoride. You can also use fluoride rinses as well. The water that comes from your tap is likely to be fluoridated in most areas although this is not the case everywhere.

Take Care of Your Teeth

Preventative dentistry is a necessity and it is something that you cannot afford to avoid. People often experience tooth decay because they are afraid to go to the dentist. 

However, fear of the dentist is something that can be overcome when you find a competent dentist that has a good bedside manner. A good dentist will make you feel comfortable and put your fears to rest if you discuss your concerns with them. 

Your dentist is your first line of defense against tooth decay. You also have your part to play by ensuring that you take care of your teeth in the best way possible while you are at home. If you would like expert dental care please do not hesitate to contact us today.

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