The best thing you can do for your teeth is to protect them from an early age. This starts with preventative dentistry. Preventative dentistry can save you time, money, and pain – all good things.
In fact, patients who do not properly care for their mouth and end up in need of a whole mouth reconstruction can spend tens of thousands of dollars. Preventative Dentistry places a heavy emphasis on the importance of preventing decay through daily routines and patient education.
Prevention in Children
Prevention in children starts with the parents taking the lead and ensuring their children start seeing a dentist within the first year of their life. Additionally, parents should wipe baby’s mouth with a clean cloth after meals and as soon as the first tooth erupts begin brushing with a small, soft brush and baby safe toothpaste.
When children start seeing a dentist early on they become comfortable with them and are more likely to continue visiting as they get older. Additionally, when good habits are taught early children tend to maintain them for life.
Sealants are a preventative dentistry method used on children and teens who do not have cavities in their teeth. Sealants work by creating a barrier between the tooth and food. They’re often used on premolars and molars because they have deeper grooves and harder to reach with teeth. Sealants must be applied on teeth that are cavity free and are often applied to young children before their teeth have a chance to develop many cavities.
One of the most common preventative dental strategies is the use of fluoride. Fluoride is found in toothpaste and even our drinking water. It’s a mineral that helps harden teeth. From a young age, dentists will apply topical, clinical strength fluoride to children’s teeth. This helps to strengthen their baby teeth and builds up systemically so that their adult teeth are also stronger.
A proper oral hygiene routine that is taught to young and more mature patients helps to ensure they’re sticking to one that keeps their mouth healthy. This includes brushing for two minutes twice a day, flossing once a day, and seeing the dentist twice a year for check-ups.
One thing the dentist will emphasize is the importance of a healthy diet. This includes one low in sugar, high in fiber, fruits and vegetable, and protein. Nutrients do more than make you feel good. They play a vital role in keeping your teeth strong. Additionally, a healthy diet provides less sugar for bacteria to feed off of.
A yearly set of x-rays allows the dentist to get a closer look at your mouth and evaluate it from an internal perspective. He can see if you have any cavities developing below the gum line, look for trends in gum line recession, and look for cavities between teeth.
Avoid Smoking and Drinking
Drinking and smoking are bad habits that negatively affect your oral health. In addition to causing bad breath, tooth discoloration and plaque, these habits, particularly smoking, cause gum disease and cancer.