It’s important to stay on top of your oral health for a number of reasons beyond getting a glowing review at Pro Health Dental. That is, If you don’t take care of your by properly brushing, flossing, and scheduling regular visits with us, you may find yourself spending thousands of dollars down the road in restorative dental care.
You wouldn’t know it, but a full mouth reconstruction can cost anywhere between $50,000 and $80,000. If you practice good oral hygiene habits as well as preventive dentistry, you can avoid these exorbitant dental costs in the future. We’ll go over some of the basics that might help you save a lot of coin.
First off, preventive dentistry generally emphasizes the importance of ongoing dental hygiene procedures — daily practices you can develop in order to prevent tooth decay and other dental diseases and complications.
Effective preventive dentistry combines practices you can do on your own at home in conjunction with chairside treatments and counseling by certified dental professionals.
The American Dental Association (ADA) quite vocally recommends at least two dental checkups annually for professional cleaning, management, and assessment. Sticking with your bi-annual check-ups will help you and your dentist catch disease in its early stages, which is always better than letting a problem run its course.
Prevention Early On
If you have children, begin their teeth cleaning rituals when their first tooth erupts. Visit a pediatric dentist when this happens, or at the very latest bring them in when they’re around 12 months of age. This will help to establish comprehensive oral health habits for your child that they can incorporate into their lives, providing a sturdy foundation.
There are many preventive measures you can take to ensure the long-term oral health of you and your loved ones. Strategies for children and adults will include a combination of any number of in-office and at-home treatments and procedures, including:
At-home oral hygiene — The most important prevention technique that you can ever learn is properly brushing and flossing at least twice a day (or after every meal). This helps to remove plaque, which is a film-like coating that forms on your teeth. If left unchecked, plaque will build up and produce tartar. Tartar is a hardened, sticky substance that generates acid-producing bacteria which cause tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Fluoride use — Fluoride, despite its negative connotation with some, strengthens your teeth and also prevents tooth decay. Fluoride treatments can be provided in any dental office. Dentists will also recommend using toothpastes and mouth rinses at home that contain fluoride. Though some conspiracy theorists may beg to differ, public water fluoridation (which is ranked as one of the 20th century’s 10 great public health achievements) actually provides a major source of our daily fluoride.
Regular dental visits — In conjunction with good brushing and flossing habits, regular dental visits are the cornerstone of any good preventive oral health plan. It’s an unfortunate reality that most most dental conditions can be quite painless at first. That means, if you don’t schedule and keep your regular visits with Pro Health Dental, you may not be aware of your dental problems until they’ve already cause a significant amount of damage. Be sure to schedule regular dental check-ups for yourself and your family every six months. If you are at higher risk for dental problems, schedule visits even more often.
Oral Screenings — Your dentist should also be performing oral cancer screenings. It’s important to check for signs of abnormal tissues, no matter if you smoke or not. Especially for children, checking oral growth and development should be a part of your regular dental evaluations.
Diet — There’s a reason why Americans are among the most overweight and out of shape people in the world. It’s because diet can be one of the hardest things to change. Many of us don’t look at food simply as fuel. It’s a way of life. And you could be addicted to certain harmful foods and not even know it’s a problem. But a balanced diet is as much a dental aid as brushing and flossing. Bacteria that produce plaque feed on sugars and carbs that you eat. Calcium-poor diets will actually increase your chances of developing periodontal disease and lead to jaw and bone deterioration.
X-rays — X-rays give dentists the ability to look for signs of dental problems that can’t be seen by the naked eye. Cavities between teeth and problems below the gum line are all easier to identify via X-rays.
Mouth guards — Mouth guards are important for kids and teens. They can be worn during sports activities to protect against broken teeth. Mouth guards also are used to treat sleep disorders like bruxism (teeth grinding), which will help save the integrity of your teeth. Bruxism can wear down your teeth and contribute to TMJ.
Orthodontics – An abnormal bite (malocclusion) can impair your eating and your speaking. Crooked teeth can be harder to keep clean then a more nicely arranged set of pearly whites. Dental braces or clear teeth aligners like Invisalign or Invisalign Teen, will help reduce the prominence likelihood of future dental problems.
Sealants — Sealants are made up of composite material, thin coatings that are placed on the chewing surfaces of your back permanent teeth that can help protect both children and adults from tooth decay.
Avoid smoking and drinking — You should avoid these activities for your overall health anyways. But smoking, chewing tobacco, and adult beverage consumption can seriously affect your oral health in a major way. Dry mouth, tooth discoloration, plaque buildup, gum disease, tooth loss, and even oral cancer are just some of the ramifications of drinking and using tobacco.
Some Last Thoughts:
Consistent dental care for chronic dental diseases/conditions is an absolute essential for deterring or reversing damage to your oral health. Patient education is also of utmost importance at Pro Health Dental. Patients who understand the outcome and consequences of poor dental health are far more likely to see their dentist to construct a preventive dentistry gameplan. Instilling great oral health habits early on will significantly help ensure a legacy of dental health.
Contact Pro Health Dental today if you have any lingering questions about Preventive Dentistry. We look forward to working with you to help you achieve an amazing smile.