What Does Preventative Dental Care Involve?
When people discuss maintaining physical health, they often overlook proper dental care. Poor oral hygiene can lead to other health issues like diabetes, heart disease and even stroke. Not taking care of your teeth stops you from enjoying food, and treating tooth disease can sometimes be costly and time consuming.
Fortunately, preventative dental care is an easy answer.
Even if years have passed without seeing a dentist, it’s not too late to take oral health seriously. Dental procedures can repair the damage that’s occurred, and preventative steps will reduce the risk of further issues developing. That’s why understanding preventive dental care is vital.
First, What Is Preventative Dental Care?
Preventative dentistry is a series of actions aimed at maintaining proper oral health. These steps help avoid gum disease, cavities, enamel wear, and other problems. There are many forms of preventative dental care, and each is important to your overall health.
While your dentist will perform a range of preventative procedures during your check-up, the essential measures occur right in the comfort of your own home. This type of oral care involves all actions taken to protect your teeth and gums, and it’s a process that starts in early childhood and follows us through life.
Why Is It Needed?
Preventative measures are needed to keep you healthy. Poor oral hygiene isn’t something that just causes the occasional cavity. If you don’t take care of your mouth, major health problems can emerge — including dental emergencies.
Some people have lost their ability to chew food after neglecting preventative dental care over time. Unfortunately, even frequent visits to the dentist aren’t enough for oral health if you’re not taking care of your teeth at home.
Without preventative care, your entire well-being can suffer.
When Do You Need Preventative Dental Care?
Taking preventative steps for dental hygiene isn’t a “once in a while” endeavour. It’s something that you play an active role in every day. Brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing (or using interdental brushes), utilising a mouth guard if necessary, and maintaining a healthy diet all qualify as preventative dental care.
When it comes to preventative measures undertaken by your dentist, though, it’s your oral health that dictates how often you’ll need care. Experts say a checkup, cleaning and fluoride treatments should occur every six months. Some issues may dictate more frequent visits, but your dentist will let you know this.
What Does Preventative Dental Care Involve?
On top of brushing, flossing, and other steps you take on your own, preventative dental care also involves many routine procedures performed by your dentist.
The following dental services are often a part of regular dental check-ups to prevent severe issues in the future:
- Teeth cleaning — This preventative service uses special tools to remove plaque, tarter, and examine your teeth for any emerging issues. During these cleanings, your dental hygienist may also perform a periodontal probing to gauge your gum health.
- Fluoride treatments — Fluoride is an essential element for oral health. It hardens your tooth enamel, so your dental professional may perform one every 6 to 12 months. This reduces the risk of tooth decay and is vital for preventative dental care.
- Oral exams — Routine examinations are necessary to identify cavities and other emerging issues that could cause problems down the road.
- Sealants — Your dental professional may apply sealants to your back teeth to help keep them clean. It’s harder to reach the surface areas of these teeth when brushing and flossing, so a sealant adds an additional layer of protection.
- X-rays — Using X-rays for preventative dental care helps identify issues and diagnose problems that may not be visible to the naked eye. The specific X-ray you need and how often it occurs will depend on your unique oral health.
While proper dental care at home goes a long way, professional services are also important for maintaining good oral health.
What Benefits Does Preventative Dental Care Provide?
Taking preventative measures to care for your oral health offers a variety of benefits. Each of these can safeguard your overall health, so don’t procrastinate on taking proper dental hygiene steps.
- Reduces risk of tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems
- Promotes healthy oral hygiene habits
- Can help identify issues with your mouth, neck, jaw and other areas
- Can catch potentially dangerous problems early
- Minimises oral issues related to other health problems
While this list may seem extensive, it barely scratches the surface of preventative dental care benefits. Proper oral care is proper healthcare. This is a lesson to remember throughout life, and if you haven’t seen a dentist in a while, now is the time!
Without proper dental care, you simply can’t stay healthy. Oral problems cause issues with more than just your mouth — they can affect your entire well-being. Fortunately, even long-term dental problems have solutions with the right help. It’s possible to take back your oral health.
At Whitehorse Dental, we handle everything from dental implants to emergencies. When keeping our clients healthy, we cannot overstate the importance of preventative dental care because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure!
Are you ready to take control of your health? Contact us today to learn how proper preventative care can help you maintain oral hygiene and overall wellness.