Preventive dentistry involves the ongoing oral hygiene procedures and everyday practices to prevent the tooth problems, leaving you more confident while you smile. It combines both home care and dental professional’s care or counseling as discussed below.
The education and counseling to the patients include the following habits.
The first and the foremost prevention strategy is to brush your teeth properly. Brush twice every day and at least for 2 minutes during each session, to remove the germs. It is important to choose a right brush which is soft on your teeth so that the gums and enamel coating do not get damaged. Replace your old brush every 2-3 months and not after the bristles shape out.
Daily flossing is also important to remove the plaque (film-like coating on the teeth). Flossing cleans the tight spaces between the teeth to prevent the tooth decay and gum disease. You may floss before or after your meals. Learn the right technique of flossing by asking your dentist for a demonstration, during your next visit.
Chewing sugar-free gums
Chewing gums (which are sugar-free) helps in the production of more saliva and prevents dry mouth. It can also prevent tooth decays and erosions.
Using fluoride products
Fluoride strengthens your teeth by protecting against acids and sugars thereby preventing tooth decay. Choose toothpaste and mouth rinses/washes containing fluoride. Rinse your mouth for at least 30 seconds, twice a day.
Keeping an eye on diet and drinks
A healthy diet helps in the protection of your teeth by strengthening them with the required nutrients. Limit the sugary drinks and beverages. They can serve as food for the plaque forming bacteria. Instead, drink plenty of water.
Smoking and drinking cessation
Tobacco can negatively affect the health of your teeth. It can lead to dry mouth, tooth discoloration, plaque formation, gum diseases, and even oral cancer. Alcoholic drinks can also cause oral cancer. Your risk for oral cancer is increased if you drink and smoke.
Visiting your dentist
Initially, it is difficult to identify if you have any dental problems because they are painless. You may become aware only when significant damage has occurred. To avoid this, get checked by a dentist who will evaluate for the presence of any problem.
During the dental visits, the dentist cleans your teeth and checks the health of your teeth to know if you may develop any dental problems.
Your dentist may prescribe any of the below guards to protect your teeth
- Mouth guards which protect the teeth from wearing and breaking. They are prescribed especially for sportsmen/women.
- Orthodontics includes the use of different types of braces for correcting the crooked teeth or misaligned teeth and reduces any future dental problems.
- Sealants which are thin coatings placed on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from decay.
People of all ages are benefited from preventive dentistry. However, children are particularly more benefited as they have new teeth which are still in their developing stage. In adults, the preventive dentistry helps in keeping the permanent teeth. Preventive dentistry protects people from developing dental problems such as cavities,