Preventative dentistry is a method used to keep the teeth in good health. It is called preventive because it involves processes that help prevent common dental problems. Experts recommend visiting the dentist at least twice a year for preventative care. Even the kids will need a regular preventative care in order to develop strong permanent teeth. The benefits of preventative dentistry, nevertheless, do not end at that. Preventative dentistry can reduce the cost of dental care and the risks of chronic health problems. Then again, it is important to note than preventative dentistry requires the involvement of the patients themselves.
Benefits of Preventative Dentistry
What they say about prevention being better than cure is also true with oral health. Keeping the teeth healthy through preventative procedures is not only easier to do, but also comes with less discomfort and costs on the part of the patient. Listed below are just a few of the many good things that preventative dentistry brings. Beautiful smile. Preventative care involves procedures that will keep your teeth not just healthy but also clean and white. Visiting the dentist on a regular basis can help you maintain a set of teeth that you can feel good about. The same can protect you from oral health problems that can cause unpleasant look or smell to your teeth. Cavities, gingivitis, and halitosis, and other common problems of the teeth can make you feel uncomfortable and lose your confidence in talking to people.
Lower dental costs
Preventative dentistry is covered in most types of dental insurance, which means you will not be asked to make an upfront payment when you see the dentist for a check-up, cleaning, and basic care. More importantly preventative dentistry prevents the onset of more serious dental problems that necessitate costly intensive procedures. Not having the teeth cleaned thoroughly, for instance, can lead to tooth decay, and might require having the affected tooth extracted. After the extraction, the missing tooth may need to be replaced by a crown, bridge, denture, or other forms of prosthetics, many of which are not covered by insurance.
Reduce the risk of secondary health problems
Preventative dentistry reduces the risk of health problems attributed to poor oral health. Examples of these problems are diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory disorder. According to research, patients with a gum disease are two times more likely to develop a cardiovascular disorder. The risk is even higher in those with high cholesterol. The reason is that the bacteria in the infected gum tissue can enter the bloodstream and reach the other parts of the circulatory system, including the heart. Through preventive dentistry, however, the signs of infection can be detected sooner and taken care of.
Procedures Involved in Preventive Dentistry
Preventive dentistry involves a variety procedures all aimed at identifying the occurrence of and treating an oral problem, thoroughly cleaning the teeth to get rid of germs and bacteria, and keeping the teeth healthy, strong, and white.
These procedures are as follows:
Oral prophylaxis: Also called teeth cleaning, oral prophylaxis is a procedure for removing unwanted particles that brushing may leave behind. It is also during this procedure that the dentist examines the teeth for any sign of tooth decay and gum inflammation. This procedure is recommended every six months.
Fluoride: Fluoride is a substance that is used to nourish the teeth and keep them strong. It is usually applied by the dentist after cleaning. Fluoride is also an essential ingredient in most brands of toothpaste. Those are the topical type of fluoride. Another type of fluoride is called systemic. Systemic fluoride may come in the form of supplements usually prescribed to children to enable the healthy development of adult teeth.
Sealant: Sealant is a thin coatings rubbed on the surface of the tooth to protect it from bacteria. It also helps give the tooth a shiny look.
Dental x-ray: In order for the dentist to see a problem that cannot be seen by the naked eye, like an infection below the gum line, a dental x-ray may be performed. It is also through x-rays that dentists are able to see the structure and alignment of the teeth and of the presence of an impacted tooth.
Patient education: A check-up with the dentist is also an opportunity to educate the patient on the proper care of the teeth and gums. The dentist will usually give tips on proper brushing and flossing, and the types of food that a patient should avoid.
Preventative Dentistry at Home
Preventive dentistry does not end at just seeing your dentist on a regular basis. The truth is that, preventive dentistry is a joint effort between you and the dentist. To optimize the effect of the care and preventive treatment you receive from your dentist in each of your visits, you will have to do the following at home:
Brushing and flossing: Brushing the teeth should be done at least twice a day, in the morning and before going to bed. Brushing right after eating sweets is also a must. Flossing is also important as this will allow removal of food particles stuck in between teeth.
Mouthwash: The use of mouthwash is found to be helpful in deterring the growth of bacteria around the teeth, in keeping the breath fresh, and in preventing gum diseases.
Oral health management: Having healthy teeth is not an overnight procedure but a result of good oral habits. Smoking and drinking contribute to poor oral health, and hence, should be avoided. Eating foods rich in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C can help strengthen the teeth.
Preparing for Preventative Dental Procedure
A preventative dental procedure is not something that you should worry or be scared about. Depending on the procedure that will have to be performed, preventative dentistry will typically take an hour to complete. There are nothing major to prepare when having a preventive dental procedure. But of course, you will still have to set an appointment with the dentist, brush and floss before going to the clinic, and make sure that you come at the time indicated.