For many, a healthy smile is a sure way to maintain self confidence. But, keeping your smile clean and cared for takes dedication and sometimes, a trip to the dentist. Practicing preventative dental care is the best way to keep your teeth healthy and avoid getting gum disease, wear on your enamel, cavities and more.
There are many different forms of preventative care that should be practiced routinely in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Keep reading to learn more about how you can keep your dental hygiene at its best and the benefits of maintaining these practices.
Best Home Preventative Dental Health Practices
Preventative practices can be done at home to help you keep your oral health at its best in order to avoid any dental issues from developing. Children should begin to learn these steps for proper dental hygiene at an early age in order to instill good habits that they can maintain throughout these lives.
These steps are the best way for you to maintain healthy teeth and gums in between dentist visits.
1. Brush Your Teeth Every Day
The simplest and most important step in preventative dental care is to brush your teeth on a daily basis with an American Dental Association (ADA) approved fluoride toothpaste. Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day for at least two full minutes each session for the best results with your dental health.
Note: Dentists recommend that you replace your toothbrush every few months or once the bristles begin to fray.
2. Floss Once a Day
Flossing helps you clean in between your teeth which is vital in removing tooth-decaying bacteria that you may have missed with just brushing alone. Food particles and plaque can build up in between your teeth and under your gumline and the best way to remove it is by flossing daily. Letting plaque and food buildup for too long can be risky for your mouth health. If you are having trouble flossing properly, you can ask your dentist to demonstrate the proper method during your next appointment.
3. Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet is a lifestyle change that can benefit your dental health immensely. Vitamins and minerals are necessary for building strong teeth and healthy gums. This includes drinking plenty of water daily and limiting the number of sugary snacks and beverages you consume. Sugar can buildup on your teeth and gums and cause damage over time if you eat it in excess.
Eating foods with lots of vitamins and minerals can help to strengthen your teeth. These nutrients are essential in preserving your teeth throughout your life, and a balanced diet keep you on the right track.
Tip: Avoid drinking too much coffee and smoking cigarettes to improve your overall mouth health.
4. Visit your Dentist on a Regular Basis
On top of all the steps you can take at home, visiting your dentist on a regular basis for preventative care can save you from oral health problems later in life. Preventative dental care can include many different procedures that you probably won’t be able to perform at home. Keep reading to learn more about what your dentist can offer you in terms of preventative care.
Preventative Dental Care
You may be wondering why it is important to visit a dentist regularly when nothing is currently wrong with your dental health. However, preventative care for your dental health can help save you time, money and a lot of discomfort by keeping your mouth as hygienic as possible. Some services that your dentist can offer include:
- Deep cleaning: Special dental instruments are used to scrape off tartar from your teeth.
- Teeth whitening: Different methods are used to remove stains and whiten teeth.
- Sealants: A seal that is painted on the top surface of teeth to prevent tooth decay, typically in molars.
- Fluoride treatments: Fluoride is applied directly to the teeth to build strong teeth and prevent cavities.
- Digital X-rays: X-rays can help detect cavities and other dental issues that are not immediately visible.
- Cancer screenings: Tests that can help detect cancer.
Your dentist will tell you how often you should visit. You should generally visit your dentist at least once or twice a year, but you may need to go more often if your dentist recommends it. For example, people with braces or chronic dental health issues may visit their dentist more frequently.
The Benefits of Preventative Dentistry
If you practice preventative dental care at home and visit your dentist regularly, you will see significant improvements to your mouth health. Your teeth will be whiter, stronger and you will preserve your enamel while also keeping your gums healthy.
Practicing preventative dentistry will also significantly reduce your risk of getting gingivitis, periodontitis, cavities and other dental issues. Additionally, these practices can also decrease the risk of non-dental health problems such as:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory disease
As if reducing your risk of health issues wasn’t enough, these good oral hygiene practices can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. The cost of poor dental care can add up quickly with expensive procedures such as fillings, root canals, or dental implants that may have been prevented with proper preventative care.
While the need for these procedures may not be eliminated completely, they can be reduced with good preventative practices.
Who should consider preventative dentistry?
Preventative dental care is extremely important for everyone to practice in order to preserve their mouth health. Although everyone can benefit from preventative care, some circumstances make it more important for overall health than others.
For example, children and people who are pregnant are at a higher risk for suffering ailments that are caused by poor dental hygiene.
Good oral health care practices and regular visits to the dentists can work in combination to keep your teeth as healthy as possible. Learning about the different methods of preventative care is the first step in improving your overall dental health.
By practicing these methods consistently, you can help maintain strong teeth, healthy gums and a radiant smile.