A Beginner’s Guide to Preventative Dentistry

 Azarko Marketing  Thursday, November 13, 2014

When you hear the word “dentistry” you probably think about root canals, fillings, and teeth whitening. However, there is another type of dentistry that involves the things you can do on a day-to-day basis to promote oral health. This type of dentistry is called Preventative dentistry.

What Is Preventative Dentistry?

Preventative dentistry refers to the routine care of teeth, gums, and mouth to prevent more serious oral health problems. Instead of searching for ways to simply cure oral health problems, preventative dentistry focuses on stopping oral health problems before they develop.

Why Is Preventative Dentistry Important?

Improper or insufficient oral care can lead to gum disease, root canals, and tooth decay, and other serious conditions. Most dentists agree that many of their patients’ oral health issues could be prevented with better daily oral care.

Preventative dentistry helps you avoid painful oral health conditions that require a dentist to alleviate. By taking steps to avoid these problems, you can save time and money that you would otherwise have to spend on corrective procedures.

What Does Preventative Dentistry Include?

Preventative dentistry includes many different practices that help you promote proper oral health. Here are basic aspects of preventative dentistry:

A Healthy Diet

Proper oral health starts from within. It is important to maintain a balanced diet so your body can get the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. The various parts of your mouth, for example, need several different vitamins and minerals to perform their proper functions. Teeth require calcium and vitamin D to stay strong and healthy. Your gums use vitamins A and C in the healing process and to prevent bleeding when you brush and floss.

Here is a list of a few foods that are high in vitamins and minerals that promote good oral health:

  • Leafy greens (vitamin A)
  • Fish and Shellfish (vitamin D)
  • Strawberries (vitamin C)
  • Milk and Cheese (calcium)
Brushing and Flossing Twice a Day

The most fundamental part of preventative dentistry is routine brushing and flossing. Brushing and flossing helps remove plaque and bacteria from the surface of your teeth before the plaque hardens into tarter. Tarter is a rough substance that can only be removed by a dentist.

Brushing and flossing also promotes gum health and prevent gum disease. Make sure to brush and floss twice a day to prevent the onset of many serious oral health issues.

Preventing Oral Injury

You can avoid many painful oral health problems such as broken or chipped teeth, and certain oral lesions like canker sores, by preventing oral trauma. You can lessen the effects of oral trauma by wearing a mouthguard during high-contact sports, and wearing a helmet when riding a bike. You can avoid dental emergencies by taking the appropriate steps to protect your mouth from physical impact.

Avoiding Tobacco Products

Another important part of preventative dentistry is avoiding the use of tobacco products. Smoking discolours teeth, causes plaque to build up, and can even cause gum disease. Tobacco use is also linked to oral cancer and other serious oral health issues.

Regular Visits to the Dentist

Even if you practice diligent preventative dentistry at home, there is always a chance of developing oral health problems. For this reason, you should make it a habit to get a routine checkup from your dentist every six months. Your dentist can detect oral health problems in their early stages and prevent them from developing into more serious issues.

You should also get a professional dental cleaning twice a year. There are places in your mouth that are hard to clean at home. Your dentist can remove plaque from hard-to-clean areas such as the surface of your teeth below your gum line. A professional dental cleaning helps prevent tarter from building up and adds another layer of protection against gum disease.

Orthodontics

In addition to making your teeth straight, braces and other orthodontics can help prevent future oral health problems. Straight teeth are easier to brush, so you can keep them cleaner with routine oral care. Orthodontics also help correct your bite, which can reduce tension on your jaw and prevent painful jaw problems such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

Knowing Your Oral Health Risks

An important part of preventative dentistry is educating yourself about oral health risks and how to avoid them. When people know the risks of improper oral care, they are more likely to take care of their teeth. Ask your dentist what oral health problems you stand in risks of and how you can prevent them.

Keep these preventative dentistry tips in mind as you work toward a healthy smile and good overall oral health. You will save money and reduce the likelihood of painful oral health problems. If you are overdue for a routine dental exam, contact your West Edmonton dentist or South Edmonton dentist at Azarko Dental to schedule an appointment today.