Preventive dental care ensures that you are kept safe from oral health issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, tartar, enamel wear, and more.
Research results vary, but a good number of people in the United States have dental anxiety. For most people, the case is mild.
It’s understandable, of course, since no one wants to have whirring electric implements in their oral cavities.
In other cases, the fear is much more extreme. Whether or not you have this problem, it’s probably a better idea to keep trips to the dentist short and sweet.
As dental professionals say: “When it comes to oral health, prevention is the best policy.”
Thus, preventive dental care will ensure that you won’t have any reason to suffer long and painful (at least psychologically) dentist visits.
So what constitutes preventive oral care? You should brush and floss your teeth as reasonable preventative measures. However, other procedures can help to keep your oral health in the best shape possible.
What Is Preventive Dental Care?
Any dental care that prevents oral diseases and maintains overall dental and oral health counts as preventative dentistry.
A lot of it relies on the individual – you – taking care of your teeth and gums to make sure that your pearly white smile stays brilliant and healthy.
It also depends on you scheduling dental appointments for procedures that you can’t do yourself.
Here are a few tips from dentists to keep your teeth healthy and shiny:
1. Healthy Dental Routine
One of the best things you can do is to practice good oral hygiene. As mentioned above, this includes brushing and flossing.
Try your best to do a good job keeping up with this routine, and you should be well on your way to making sure that you won’t have to deal with any significant dental issues – and the pain associated with them.
2. Regular Oral Check-Ups
The recommended frequency of seeing your dentist should be twice a year. During this time, your family dentist will carry out various preventative procedures along with diagnostic examinations to make sure your mouth is in good health.
Typically, if you’ve had fillings, crowns, or implants, your dentist will check on them at this time too.
When it comes to these check-ups, they may also include routine X-rays, so don’t be frightened if your dentist suggests one.
Other than that, your dentist may perform screenings for oral cancer and gum diseases.
3. Teeth Cleanings
A standard preventative dental procedure is dental cleaning. The process is relatively short and may only cause mild discomfort. However, it can do a lot in one sitting.
You may have noticed an off-white layer stuck on your teeth before. This is called plaque and is a potentially disgusting mix of bacteria, food remains, and saliva.
The bacteria present in this substance are toxic and can cause cavities and gum inflammation if allowed to collect.
When plaque hardens and calcifies on a tooth’s surface, it becomes tartar, which can only be removed with specialized tools.
A routine teeth cleaning can get rid of both. At the same time, you may also get your teeth polished. Such polishing will remove stains and make your teeth whiter and shinier.
4. Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride treatments are more critical for children, but adults may find them necessary too. We use fluoride in toothpaste because it fortifies the teeth via a process called remineralization.
Minerals will fuse to deteriorating areas of the tooth enamel and interrupt the production of acids by bacteria. Thus, your teeth will be stronger and less prone to tooth decay.
Fluoride treatments ensure that your teeth are getting a boost in health, keeping them in pristine condition.
5. Application Of Dental Sealants
A less common dental procedure used in preventative dentistry is the application of dental sealants.
Don’t worry; it won’t seal your mouth shut. A dental sealant is a thin layer of plastic that can be placed on the grooves of the teeth.
They are usually used on the back teeth as those are the chompers that are more frequently used for chewing and breaking down the food that we eat.
This sealant acts as a shield for your teeth. They prevent food debris and bacteria from sticking to and causing problems with your teeth. As such, they can protect your teeth from decaying due to pesky bacteria.
This is a long process that may take up to an hour. Part of the reason why this is is that the dentist needs first to clean your teeth thoroughly.
Next, the surface of your teeth will have to be abraded so that the sealant can adequately adhere there.
Once applied, the sealant is hardened and fused to the surface of your teeth so that it can provide optimal protection.
All in all, preventive dental care ensures that you are kept safe from problems such as tartar, tooth decay, gum disease, enamel wear, and even more severe dental health issues.
Ultimately, it prevents you from having to go through the physical, emotional, and financial ordeal of more extensive dental procedures should you develop a serious dental condition.