What is preventive dentistry? It is the act of doing everything you can to care for your teeth and gums to keep them healthy. Our teeth are needed to last a lifetime so they must be protected from decay, disease, and loss. Certainly your dentist plays a role in your dental care, but it is up to you to put up that first line of defense to maintain your oral health and a great smile.
Daily brushing is obvious, but how you brush and the tools you use can make a big difference.
It is not necessary to “scrub” your teeth. In fact, this can do more harm than good as it can result in premature gum erosion and worn dental enamel. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste; brush for two minutes twice a day using a circular motion to reach all surfaces of your teeth. An electric toothbrush is an ideal tool as it provides the ability to clean your teeth and will signal you when you’ve brushed the recommended two minutes.
Brushing does not reach all the surfaces of every tooth. Flossing daily is needed to remove food debris that your toothbrush can’t reach.
What you eat and drink can make a big difference for your dental health. The ideal daily diet consists of fruits, vegetables, dairy, protein, and healthy grains. Foods high in sugar and carbohydrates should be limited. Soda and sugary beverages should be replaced with water.
Tobacco use certainly does not conform with good oral health. Smoking (including electronic cigarettes) and smokeless tobacco contribute to gum disease and early tooth loss.
In addition to cleaning your teeth, your dentist can provide other means of prevention. Before dental decay has a chance to begin, dental sealants can be applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth protecting teeth from cavities.
In-office fluoride treatments are available to help keep dental enamel strong which is important for great oral health.
The dental exam is important in identifying problems early on before they can escalate. And in some cases, early intervention can literally be life saving in spotting suspicious lesions that could lead to oral cancer. If it’s time to schedule your next visit, contact Towson Dental Care today.