By proactively taking care of our teeth and gums, we can maintain our oral health for longer and keep ourselves free of pain. We can drastically reduce the risk of a number of problems developing and preserve the appearance of our teeth just by taking a few simple steps.
In this article, let’s explore just a few of the major preventative dentistry tips and solutions that you can follow, at home and at your dentist.
Oral health starts at home
What we do at home and in our everyday lives determines the state of our oral health. Many of us are aware of what we should be doing – such as brushing twice a day – but that doesn’t mean we are doing it!
Often, it is more of a question of whether or not we are aware of the value of these activities. If we are, we will carry them out to a tee. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a dental issue to develop before we realise and need to book an emergency dentist appointment at our dental professional.
On top of the tips that we all know, there are some less obvious tips about what you can do at home that might not be immediately apparent. Here are just a few tips to consider:
- Limit food and drinks that are high in sugar. Sugar encourages the development of bacteria which leads to high levels of acid, which damages tooth surfaces. You may be surprised by some of the foods that appear healthy, but which have a lot of sugar added.
- Drink sufficient water as this will help to maintain hydration and healthy levels of saliva.
- Consider using a fluoridated toothpaste, especially if your local water source is not fluoridated. Fluoride helps to keep the teeth strong.
- Try to limit your alcohol consumption and smoking. Also be aware that some food and drink can be staining to the teeth, such as coffee and red wine, which may result in discolouration.
- Floss regularly. There are some areas the brush just can’t reach.
- When brushing, ensure to brush along the gum line, not just the parts of the teeth that are furthest from the gums. Plaque is most likely to build up along the gums!
- A bigger, firmer toothbrush head isn’t always better. It can make it harder to reach certain hard to reach spots in the mouth. A smaller head may better suit your needs.
- Do not rinse your mouth after brushing if using fluoridated toothpaste.
The above are good rules of thumb, but your dentist will be able to provide you with specific advice that takes into consideration your dental history and circumstances.
Regularly visit your dentist for a check up and clean
However successfully we follow a perfect oral health routine at home, there is always benefit in visiting your dentist. Firstly, he or she can ensure that you are correctly following your dental health routine. It is easy to be making mistakes (such as missing a part of the mouth when brushing) that you might not realise!
Regular visits to your orthodontist for check-ups and cleanings are essential for maintaining optimal oral health. These routine appointments enable your orthodontist to assess the overall condition of your teeth and gums, detecting any potential issues early on.
During a check-up, your orthodontist may perform a thorough examination, including X-rays if necessary, to identify hidden problems. Professional dental cleanings help remove plaque and tartar buildup, preventing the development of cavities and gum disease.
Consistent dental visits also provide an opportunity for personalized advice on oral hygiene practices. Your dentist can recommend effective brushing and flossing techniques, as well as suggest suitable oral care products.
By prioritizing regular dental check-ups and cleanings, you not only contribute to the longevity of your teeth and gums but also benefit from proactive preventive care, ensuring a healthy and confident smile.
Here are a few more of the benefits of visiting your dental practitioner for your six-monthly check-up and clean:
- Your dental clinic will be able to detect early signs of various issues, such as tooth decay and gum disease. These can be impossible to spot at home, yet if they are addressed early, the treatments may be able to be avoided, or be more minor – for example, you may get away with a dental filling, as opposed to a root canal procedure. This not only saves you the hassle, but it also saves you money.
- Your dentist will undertake an examination of teeth, gums, soft tissues, your tongue and your palate, and if necessary, they will undertake x-rays or 3D scans. These will detect issues that no eye can detect.
- Your dental professional will undertake a dental clean or dental hygiene treatment. This will actively reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, for which built-up plaque is largely responsible.
- Establish a transparently priced and personally tailored treatment plan to help you manage your oral health over the long term. These preventative dentistry treatments will allow you to keep the smile you desire and be free of pain for longer.
Preventative dentistry treatments at your dentist
There are many treatments your dentist can undertake to proactively reduce your risk of future issues, and to keep you smiling for longer. Your dental professional will tailor these treatments to your needs, but a few available treatments and solutions include:
- Custom made mouthguards. If you play contact sports, then a mouth guard can be a great way to protect your teeth or your children’s teeth in case there is a collision. Not only that, but they also protect the tongue, lips and other soft tissues.
- Custom made nightguards. Many people grind their teeth at night while they sleep, out of habit, stress, or other reasons. This can erode the teeth, and therefore it is often advised that a nightguard be worn to reduce the damage this causes.
- Fissure sealants. This treatment is more common among children but may also be appropriate for adults. The fissures in the teeth often catch debris and form a pocket for plaque to build up, so by sealing them over, it is often possible to prevent decay in these vulnerable areas.
- Dental fillings. Fillings help to prevent the spread of tooth decay where a cavity exists. A cavity is a natural trap for decay, and the dentin in the area is already compromised – and so fillings can help to nip tooth decay in the bud.
Prevention is always better than cure. It’s easier to carry out with the support of a dentist near me, has less impact on your lifestyle, and is less expensive. However, sometimes it is too late to take a preventative approach, and cosmetic dentistry or restorative dentistry may be necessary.