Talk to any general dentist and they will be quick to let you know how important preventative dentistry is. The two dental issues dentists spend most of their time dealing with are tooth decay and gum disease. Both issues can be prevented by simply taking good care of the mouth.
Good oral health is closely linked to overall health. Health conditions like heart disease and diabetes have both been linked to oral problems like gum disease.
Taking good care of the mouth can help to keep health and oral issues at bay. It also spares you the agony of having to deal with the pain and discomfort that often comes with dental problems like tooth decay or infections.
A general dentist on preventative dentistry
Ready to take charge of your oral health? Here are the most important things you can do to keep your teeth, gums and body healthy:
1. Practice good dental hygiene
Good oral hygiene does not cost much, yet it goes a long way when it comes to keeping teeth healthy. It starts with brushing your teeth at least two times each day. The most important time to brush is right before going to bed since teeth are more vulnerable to decay during sleep. This is due to saliva production being reduced when a person sleeps. Saliva helps to clean the mouth by washing away plaque, bacteria, acids and food debris.
A general dentist will also tell you to floss once daily. Flossing helps to clean tight spaces between teeth since the bristles of a toothbrush are too large to penetrate these areas. Dentists also recommend using an antibacterial mouthwash to keep bacteria in the mouth in check.
2. Minimize sugar consumption
Sugary treats might be tasty but they are bad for teeth. Oral bacteria feast on sugars and they excrete acids that break down teeth enamel. One of the worst things you can do for your teeth is consuming sugary foods and beverages throughout the day. That gives oral bacteria the fuel they need to cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Anyone who is serious about keeping their teeth and gums healthy should keep their sugar intake to a minimum. Rinse the mouth with water after consuming sugar-rich items to reduce the damage done to teeth.
3. Protect your teeth
Teeth are the strongest part of the body but they are far from being indestructible. Dentists recommend using appropriate mouth gear to protect teeth when applicable. For example, a mouthguard can be used to protect teeth from trauma when participating in contact sports like wrestling. Similarly, a nightguard can be worn at night to protect teeth from bruxism (teeth grinding).
4. Visit a general dentist twice a year
Regular visits to a dentist are also an important part of preventative dentistry. These visits often start with the dentist examining the patient’s mouth. Routine teeth cleanings are also performed during these visits. This removes tartar – which causes tooth decay – from teeth surfaces.
Based on the condition of the patient’s teeth, treatments can be carried out to treat any existing issues. Preventative treatments like fluoride treatments and dental sealants might be used to give the patient’s teeth extra protection.
It lasts a lifetime
Take good care of your teeth and you might get to keep them all for an entire lifetime. It is never too late to start taking proper care of your mouth.