Preventative Dentistry Keep Your Mouth Healthy
At Tedford Family Dentistry, we have been helping residents of Ooltewah and the surrounding areas maintain healthy mouths for years. While we offer services that help to fix dental issues once they have already happened, we feel that it is more important for our patients to understand that the benefits of maintaining a preventative dental routine in order to decrease the number of dental issues that can arise during their lifetime. If you don’t take care of your teeth and properly manage your oral health, you may find yourself forking over thousands of dollars in restorative dental care. Did you know that a full mouth reconstruction can cost between $45,000 and $80,000? By practicing preventive dentistry, you can safeguard yourself from these exorbitant dental costs. In today’s blog post, we are going to go over some of the steps that patients can take to make sure that they are practicing proper preventative dental care.
Preventive dentistry emphasizes the importance of ongoing hygiene procedures and daily practices to prevent tooth decay and other dental diseases and conditions. This is achieved by patients making sure that their at-home oral care is properly addressing the daily needs of their gums as teeth while also combining regular visits to the dentist in order to make sure that issues that are harder to address at home (such as plaque and tartar build up) are taken care of before they become major issues.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a minimum of two dental checkups each year for professional cleaning and management of any developing conditions. Following this recommendation can help your dentist stop dental disease in its earliest stages, protecting your smile and limiting your expense as it relates to your oral health.
Preventive Dentistry Strategies
Preventive oral care strategies include a number of in-office and home care activities. Some of these activities include:
At-home oral hygiene: The most important prevention technique is brushing and flossing at least twice a day (or after every meal) to remove dental plaque. If plaque is not removed, it can build up and produce dental tartar, a hardened, sticky substance with acid-producing bacteria that can cause tooth decay and lead to gum disease. Trust us, it is better to prevent tartar from accumulating than letting it take hold. Once the tartar has taken hold, it can only be removed by a dental professional.
Diet: A balanced diet is essential to overall oral health. Foods laden with sugars and carbohydrates feed the bacteria that produce dental plaque, while calcium-poor diets increase your chances of developing gum (periodontal) disease and jaw deterioration. We’re not saying that you have to be a health food fanatic but you do need to make an effort to eat food that is going to help your teeth rather than harm them.
Fluoride use: Fluoride strengthens teeth and prevents tooth decay. While you can visit the dentist for a fluoride treatment, it is not always necessary to get the recommended amount of fluoride each year. Fluoride has been added to tap water in most areas of the country so when you brush your teeth twice a day, you’re also receiving a fluoride treatment at the same time!
Regular dental visits: Visiting the dentist on a regular basis is one of the most important things a person can do in order to make sure that their oral health stays as good as possible. Because most dental conditions are painless at first, a person may not notice something is wrong until it gets to the point where pain occurs. For best results, schedule regular dental check-ups every six months. During this checkup, your dentist will remove any plaque or tartar that has built up, check for cavities, and generally make sure that your teeth, gums, and mouth are healthy. Additionally, your dentist should perform screenings for oral cancer to make sure that no abnormal tissue growth is happening on the gums or in the mouth.
Sealants: Sealants are thin composite coatings placed on the chewing surfaces of back permanent teeth. Sealants are most commonly placed on children’s permanent teeth when they develop, however, adults can also benefit from sealant treatment.
X-rays: X-rays enable dentists to look for signs of dental problems that are not visible to the naked eye, such as cavities between teeth and problems below the gum line. Even though your teeth may look perfectly fine at a glance, x-rays ensure that no problems exist below the gumline.
Avoid smoking and drinking: Chewing tobacco, smoking, and drinking have all been linked to problems surrounding oral health. These substances work to weaken the enamel of the teeth which leads to discoloration, cavities, tooth decay, and even oral cancer.
If you have any more questions about preventative dentistry or you would like to schedule an appointment at our Ooltewah office, please reach out to us today by giving us a call at 423.238.8887 or filling out our contact form.