• Preventive Dentistry: Keeping Your Teeth Healthy and Strong by Preventing Dental Problems

    What is preventive dentistry? From the expression itself, preventive dentistry is a field in dentistry which specializes in the prevention of dental problems brought about by tooth decay and periodontal diseases. It also specializes in keeping your teeth healthy and strong. Preventive dentistry encompasses all practices in taking care of your teeth which includes good oral hygiene, adequate nutrition and healthy lifestyle.

    Good oral hygiene includes practices that you can do on your own and those that need assistance from a professional. Practices you can do on your own are brushing and flossing your teeth regularly.

    • Brushing your teeth is very important to remove food debris left after eating. It also helps prevent dental plaque formation – the main culprit in causing tooth and gum problems. It is recommended to brush your teeth every after meals. If in any circumstance that brushing your teeth is not possible, you can rinse your mouth with water to remove food debris and sugar from your meal intake. Your toothbrush should be replaced every 3-4 months to prevent them from fraying and wearing out. A frayed and worn out toothbrush will not clean your teeth properly and it could harm your gums. Also remember to use fluoride-rich toothpastes to clean your teeth. Fluoride helps prevent teeth from cavity formation.
    • Flossing removes the food debris and plaques in tight spaces between teeth – areas where your toothbrushes failed to reach. It is recommended to at least floss once a day. Most patients prefer to floss at night to keep their teeth clean for longer periods.

    Practices that need professional assistance are oral examination, professional dental cleaning, fluoride treatment and dental sealants for kids.

    • Oral examinations should be done at least once a year to check the health status of your teeth.
    • You should have your teeth cleaned professionally at least once a year. Professional teeth cleaning or prophylaxis removes plaque and tartar accumulation that is irremovable by tooth brushing. It keeps the teeth surface clean and smooth thus preventing bacterial growth in the mouth.
    • Fluoride treatments keep the enamel of your teeth strong thus preventing cavity formation. The frequency of professional fluoride treatment depends on the health of your teeth and your dentist’s professional judgment.
    • Dental sealants are usually prescribed for children to keep their molars cavity free. They are painted on the exterior surface of the molars and replaced when necessary.

    Adequate nutrition keeps your teeth healthy and strong. You should eat calcium-rich and fluoride-rich foods to help maintain stonger teeth. On the contrary you should avoid too much sugar in your diet. Sweet treats and high-carbohydrate meals leave sugar in the mouth and when it combines with the bacteria in plaques, they produce acid. This acid wears out your teeth’s enamel making them prone to dental cavities.

    Unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking and tobacco chewing harms the health of your teeth. Smoking increases plaque and tartar build-up thus increasing the chances of having dental cavities and gum problems. Tobacco chewing discolors your teeth. Avoiding these habits saves your teeth from future destruction.

    If you have further questions regarding preventive dentistry, ask your dentist about it.

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