General & Preventive Dentistry
Like with any field of medicine, in dentistry, taking preventative measures is just as important (if not more important) as treating problems that have developed. Yet unfortunately, most people sorely neglect their dental health until there is an issue. By taking good care of your teeth and gums on an ongoing basis — including regular checkups and cleanings at the dentist office — you’ll greatly reduce the need for painful and expensive procedures.
What is Preventive Dentistry?
Preventive dentistry helps keep your mouth in good shape and helps you avoid illness and problems down the line. By keeping up with a proper dental care regimen, you can prevent problems like cavities, gingivitis, periodontis and loss of enamel. It’s easier, less expensive, and less painful to take easy preventive measures on a regular basis than it is to treat these problems when they arise!
Actually, the benefits of good dental care extend far beyond your mouth. Oral health problems have been linked to other issues, including diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, and cancer. Oral health is an important part of the overall condition of your body, so taking care of your mouth is about far more than just having a great smile.
Preventive dentistry at home is all about brushing and flossing! It’s a good idea to brush your tongue as well as your teeth to remove bacteria from your mouth, and we recommend changing your toothbrush about three to four times a year to maintain its effectiveness. Be sure to floss along with brushing! Brushing is often not adequate for removing plaque between the teeth, which hardens over time into tartar. Your diet and habits also play an important role in preventive oral care. Avoid eating sugary foods in excess, drink plenty of water, take vitamins, and don’t smoke. Using mouthwash regularly can also help prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria.
As you can see, there’s a lot that you can do at home to take great care of your teeth and gums. But that doesn’t mean you can get away with skipping your regular cleanings at the dentist’s office! In addition to giving you a more thorough cleaning than you can do at home (no matter how thoroughly you are brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash), your dentist can also administer effective preventive treatments like sealants. Sealants are protective plastic coatings placed on the surface of the teeth in the back of your mouth to help block plaque and food particles from becoming embedded in the grooves and depressions of the teeth.
Your dentist will also examine your gums for potential problems, check for cavities, and occasionally, take X-rays to monitor exactly what’s going on inside your mouth. Even if you’re dedicated to your oral health at home, bi-annual visits to the dentist’s office are a crucial aspect of preventive dental care. Schedule your checkup and cleaning with our office today!