Preventive dentistry is a continuous oral health care, where you not only visit your dentist regularly but also take care of your teeth day in and day out. Regular dental check-ups will start early in a child’s life and will continue throughout his life.
Preventive dental care is an important aspect of not only oral hygiene but of overall general health.
Preventive dentistry also is the beginning of getting started with good oral health care habits and everyday dental regimen.
What does preventive dentistry consist of?
- Preventive dental services consist of regular examination of the teeth and the mouth, commonly arranged every 6 months.
- Dental cleaning consisting of cleaning and scaling of teeth regularly at least once a year and more if required.
- If the dentist feels the need than may be x rays on some visits.
- Preventive dentistry help individuals to maintain good oral health by taking care of their dental needs and timely intervention before the dental problem gets out of hand.
- The regular advantages of preventive dentistry can be seen over the years.
- First of all, preventive dentistry helps individual to get onto the track of good and healthy oral hygiene habits, besides showing how to brush and floss efficiently so that your teeth and mouth remains germ free.
- The risks involving gums and teeth are kept in check thereby preventing the development of gingivitis, tooth decay and tooth injury.
- Identification of dental problems early thereby providing intervention in the development of the same helps save the individual from going through the pain and discomfort and also helps save large amount costs needed for the treatment.
- Regular visits enable the dentist to carry out full examination of the related body parts and many times related problems of the mouth, throat, neck and so on get detected and give a direction to the family doctor for further treatments.
- On occasion, the dental problems may lead to the detection of underlying cause of some other ailment which requires attention of your family physician.
If you have children, start the registration process for your child for dental care and hygiene in your area. Preventive dental care begins as soon as your child gets his first tooth. The first visit to your dentist with the child should be happy and cheerful when the dentist will create a good rapport with the child. The subsequent visit will see the child in a good mood and help get the work done smoothly. Getting the dental care start early has many benefits for the family. The dentist can identify problems of teeth and mouth early so that they can be dealt with in time before they turn into difficult situations, and more expensive.
The preventive dental services provided by your registered dentist includes:
- Teaching healthy oral care habits like, brushing the teeth, flossing, and keeping the teeth and mouth clean after every meal.
- Guidance on thumb sucking, how to slowly wean the child from sucking thumb or fingers, and what steps to take if the jaws and teeth protrude because of thumb-sucking
- Help the child choosing foods that does not harm the teeth, what foods to avoid and what foods to stay away from.
- Conduct oral check-ups every six months or so, and cleaning of the teeth regularly as and when the need arises
- If the tap water in the area does not contain fluoride, arrange to get fluoride application done
- If the dentist sees the need, then apply dental sealants.
- Get routine x-rays done to keep track of jaw and teeth development
- Take steps to see if any anomaly is found and correct it, for example if there is no place for the new set of teeth to erupt, then the dentist may provide an opening for the tooth to come out with surgery. This will help the teeth to come out straight rather than get crooked.
- If the teeth get crooked anyway, then suggest an orthodontist and arrange for an appointment
- He may identify other medical issues which are affecting the dental health of the child.
- The dentist will suggest the best brand of toothpaste and toothbrush that suits your particular requirement.
- The dentist will also show you how to brush your teeth and for how minutes to get the best results.
Preventive dental care and you
The role of the dentist is to show you the way and provide guidance. It is you who must cooperate with the dentist to get the best out of your dental care plan. If you do not follow the instructions of the dentist then the loss is yours. Almost all aspects of dental care start with you. Your dentist will suggest oral health care regime keeping your special requirement in mind, so that you benefit the most by it. This dental care habits will serve you well throughout your life. It will prevent dental caries, gingivitis, gum disease, and other dental problems.
Basic dental care habits as directed by dentists all over the world include:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing teeth removes food particles which remain on your teeth and keep away the dental plaque which is thin film of bacteria that eats the sugar left on your teeth and multiply.
- Flossing at least once a day before going to bed, which will remove the food particles which are stuck between the teeth and does not come out only with brushing.
- Use a mouth wash to clean your mouth of residual food and sugar that is stuck on your teeth and gums and on your tongue. Sometimes sugar in your food, remains in and around your mouth which will come off only with mouth was which flushes bacteria and food sugar out of the mouth and leaves a clean and fresh smell behind.
- Avoid consuming acidic foods in excess which corrodes the enamel on your teeth. Corrosion leads to cavities and pain.
- Avoid chewing on very hard foods. Foods like hard candies, or very hard nuts sometimes injures your teeth. Teeth may develop cracks after eating hard foods. Avoid very chewy candies, as they get stuck on your teeth and you have to apply a lot of pressure on your molars to get rid of the stuck sugar candies.
- Keep alcohol and tobacco consumption in control. Tobacco is known to stain your teeth.
- Mouthguard keeps teeth safe while playing sports. Use it.