From chips and cracks to tooth decay and periodontal disease, there are several dental problems that can negatively affect oral health. One of the best ways to prevent serious issues from occurring is by engaging in preventive dentistry. Here’s a closer look at what preventive dentistry is, its benefits and tips for keeping your teeth, mouth and gums in prime condition.
What Is Preventive Dentistry?
Preventive dentistry involves maintaining your oral health to lower the likelihood of developing dental issues. This should include a combination of at-home habits and dental appointments. By taking care of your teeth and getting professional cleanings, you can make sure problems are caught and resolved early.
What Are the Benefits of Preventive Dentistry?
Now that you know what preventive dentistry is, let’s examine some of its benefits.
Preserves Oral Health
The main benefit of preventive dentistry is that it keeps your oral health intact. Not only does it protect against major issues like gum disease and cavities, but it also helps ensure you don’t have to go through potentially invasive surgeries or burdensome treatments.
Promotes Healthy Habits
Following an oral health routine is easier said than done. Making preventive dentistry a priority helps promote healthy habits that you can benefit from for a lifetime. This is especially important for children — the earlier kids begin following a dental hygiene routine, the better their oral health will be.
It can be tempting to skip brushing your teeth now and then. However, dedicating two minutes to cleaning your teeth can help save time in the long run. By maintaining your oral health, you reduce the risk of developing serious issues that would require multiple dental appointments.
Prevents Other Health Issues
Your oral health affects more than just your mouth. Poor dental hygiene is linked to problems like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, immune system disorders and temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ). By engaging in preventive dentistry, you can help protect your overall health.
How Can You Practice Preventive Dentistry?
To enjoy the benefits of preventive dentistry, it’s important to properly maintain your oral health. Here are a few ways to keep your smile happy and healthy.
1) Brush and Floss Properly
The easiest way to ward off cavities and other dental problems is through regular brushing and flossing. Even skipping just one cleaning session allows plaque to build up, which carries bacteria that damages enamel and causes tooth decay. Ideally, you should brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. You should also floss every night.
2) Use a Fluoride Mouthwash
To fortify your teeth against unhealthy bacteria, it’s a good idea to pair your regular brushing and flossing routine with a fluoride mouthwash. By strengthening your enamel, mouthwash lowers your risk of experiencing tooth decay. The best times to use mouthwash are directly after a meal and before bed.
3) Maintain a Healthy Diet
The food you consume can have a big impact on your teeth. For example, fruits and vegetables are known to remove plaque and improve breath. Sugary foods, on the other hand, can dissolve enamel and encourage cavities. Other substances that may damage your teeth include dehydrating beverages (like alcohol), sticky foods (like candy) and anything that stains (like red wine). While you don’t have to avoid these substances entirely, maintaining a healthy diet can help prevent cavities from occurring. When you do eat unhealthy foods, try to brush your teeth as soon as possible.
4) Avoid Smoking
You may have heard that smoking can cause lung cancer, but did you also know it’s a leading cause of gum disease? In addition to harming the gums, smoking prevents infections from healing by lowering the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream. Other consequences of smoking include staining, tooth loss and oral cancer.
5) Drink More Water
Believe it or not, the simple act of drinking water lowers the chances of developing dental problems. Water helps wash away any leftover food or debris that would otherwise attract harmful, enamel-eating bacteria. Moreover, water usually has fluoride, which helps protect enamel.
6) Wear a Mouthguard
If you play sports or grind your teeth, you’re at a higher risk of experiencing jaw pain, tooth sensitivity, fractures and even tooth loss. A great way to protect your teeth and mouth from damage is by wearing a mouthguard. At Chappaqua Dentistry, our team can create custom mouthguards that cover the gums, stabilize your muscles and prevent injury.
7) Visit the Dentist Regularly
No matter how much you brush and floss, or how healthy your diet is, there’s always the chance of developing plaque that simply won’t go away. Fortunately, a professional dental cleaning can help. At Chappaqua Dentistry, we offer the following preventive dentistry services:
- Regular cleanings: Using special tools, our team can get rid of any stubborn plaque and tartar that’s still clinging to your gums.
- Dental sealants: Children between the ages of six and 11 should receive dental sealants to protect against cavities.
- Fluoride treatment: You should strengthen your enamel through fluoride treatments at least once a year.
- Oral exams: Through x-rays, we can pinpoint genetic or structural problems and diagnose serious issues like oral cancer.
- Custom mouthguards: Our team can create custom mouthguards to assist athletes and patients with bruxism (or those who grind their teeth).
In addition to standard cleanings, we provide specialized solutions like mouthguards, dental sealants and oral exams. Through preventive dentistry, we help keep our patients’ mouths healthy and protect against cavities, gum disease and other oral health problems.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
If you’re looking for professional preventive dentistry services, we have you covered. Whether you need a standard cleaning or a more in-depth oral exam, you can trust us to get the job done. Our team has years of experience in preventive dentistry and has helped many patients achieve bright, healthy smiles. Learn more by scheduling an appointment today!