Benefits of Preventive Dentistry
The horror stories of painful root canals, gum disease and uneven teeth are enough to turn many people away from visiting their neighborhood Houston dentist. However, these issues can avoided for those who take good care of their teeth, and preventive dentistry is one of the best methods of oral care.
What is Preventive Dentistry?
Daily tooth care and hygiene is the cornerstone of preventive dentistry. This means that patients must both practice correct oral procedures at home and schedule regular appointments with dental professionals. By working together, patients and their dentists are able to prevent tooth decay, dental diseases and other oral conditions.
What are the Benefits of Preventive Dentistry?
Everyone can benefit from preventive dentistry, but children in particular reap the rewards. By practicing good oral health during the time that their adult teeth are forming and moving into position, kids are more likely to have healthy teeth and gums through adulthood, and they are more likely to keep their natural teeth.
Other benefits of proper dental care throughout life include:
- Avoiding costly dental procedures – When small dental issues are left untreated, they can quickly turn into very painful and costly problems. For example, a small crack or cavity in a tooth can become a severe infection. The beginnings of periodontal disease can devolve into devastating periodontitis. Both of these issues require much more serious and more expensive dental procedures.
- Improved overall health – The condition of the teeth has been linked to a person’s overall physical health. In fact, substandard oral health can often indicate larger health issues, such as heart disease or declining immunity.
- Fewer dental visits – It may sound counterintuitive, but proper dental care could actually lead to fewer dentist office visits. While serious tooth and gum issues require frequent checks and interventions, good oral hygiene means that treatments and cleanings can be less frequent.
How Does Preventive Dentistry Work?
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that every person receive at least two dental check-ups each year to monitor oral health, get a professional cleaning and to detect possible dental issues in the earliest stages.
Even before they start growing teeth, children should begin seeing a local Houston dentist for kids to begin a comprehensive oral health program. This program includes:
- Proper brushing and flossing – Correct brushing and flossing after every meal, or at least twice a day, to remove plaque from the teeth that would otherwise grrow into a thick bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease.
- Fluoride use – Using fluoride toothpastes and mouthwashes will help strengthen teeth and prevent decay, and many dental offices provide fluoride treatments for patients at least once a year.
- A balanced diet – While after-meal brushing will help clean the teeth, another important step is to eat foods that keep sugars and carbohydrates under control while encouraging calcium intake to keep jaw bones and teeth strong.
- Regular dental x-rays – Most dental professionals will order dental x-rays about once a year to look for potential oral issues between teeth or below the gum line that are not ordinarily visible.
- Invest in orthodontics – A Houston orthodontics team can help repair a bad bite or crooked teeth that can be difficult to keep clean and healthy.
- Add sealants – These thin coatings added to the back permanent teeth help protect the important chewing teeth from decay and damage.
- Avoid smoking and drinking – Engaging in these dangerous behaviors are not only detrimental to a person’s overall health, but they can weaken the teeth, lead to discoloration and possibly make a person more vulnerable to oral cancer.