If you have ever wondered about what is considered preventative dental care, then you’re in the right place. There are many things that you and your dental professionals can do that are preventative.

Preventative care is important because it prevents against diseases and tooth damage that cause pain. Your smile and mouth allow you to easily express your emotions, thoughts, and ideas. We want to give you a smile that you are confident about and a healthy mouth.

Dental Sealants

Child cleaning

Dental sealants are a thin layer of plastic that is placed on dental grooves, pits, and fissures of teeth to prevent tooth decay. They are usually placed on children who have their baby teeth. This allows them to grow up with an extra layer of protection for their teeth.

Keep in mind that sealants cannot be placed on teeth that already have fillings on them. The earlier you can get your child in to see the dentist for sealants, the better. Dental professionals usually put dental sealants on the teeth of children that are five years or older. Adults do not get sealants. If sealants are recommended for adults, it is usually because of damage.

Oral Cancers

Most dental offices do not perform oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is something that is more common than you might expect. This should not cause you alarm but you should be aware of it. You can always ask your dental hygienist to check for it, as they should be trained. If they are not trained in how to check oral cancer, consider getting a new dental office.

Your hygienist will manually check areas of your throat and mouth. For a complete check for oral cancer, they will use a PAN02, a panoramic x-ray image. It helps to see if there is anything abnormal or any growths for oral cancer. If there is anything that is concerning, they will contact you and tell you about the next steps and who to see.

Problems Early On

child at dentist

By the time children have their first birthday, they need to see a dentist. Another time frame is to make a dentist appointment once their first tooth breaks their gum. Having a dentist appointment scheduled when the first tooth erupts is the ideal situation. Dentists who take on children as clients should be taking the approach of making the dentist a happy place for them.

Having good visits with dentists can help your child not be afraid of the dentist. Happy visits allow your child to sit in the dental chair and have the hygienist look around their mouth. The dentist will come in, meet with your child, and see inside their mouth. At the end of the appointment, your child may get a toy or prize to take home with them.

Oral Exams

An oral exam is a fancy word for a dental checkup. This is where you go to the dentist, check in, and wait for someone to call you back. They will take x-rays and scans of your mouth once they call you back. The dentist will come in at some time during your exam and look in your mouth and compare the scans. The hygienist will clean your teeth, floss them and may ask you if you want to schedule a future dental appointment.

Your hygienist can give you tips on where you need to clean your teeth better. They can also tell you what you are doing well with mouth and gum care. If they see anything concerning, they can talk you through it. They will show you what to do to correct any issues or problems with your mouth and gums.

Overall Health

Your general health also impacts your teeth and gums. If you have autoimmune disorders and diabetes you are more prone to periodontal disease. Tell your hygienist and they can give you different brushing techniques and products to help fight periodontal disease.

Hormones in general have a huge impact on bones. Your teeth are mainly made of bone. Pregnant people will have a different experience will gums. Since they are producing a larger blood volume when pregnant, they are likely to experience more gum bleeding than usual.

Your general health will be better too when your teeth are healthy. Plaque causes heart disease and diabetes. Gut health can also. You chew your food with your teeth and it goes through your mouth. If your teeth are dirty, plaque will find its way into your digestive system, which can create irritation.

Teeth Cleanings for Prevention

BiYearly Cleaning

Why is it so important to get your teeth professionally cleaned every 3 to 6 months? You develop hard stuff on your teeth called calculus. Professional dental instruments clean off calculus and plaque. It needs to come off because it damages your teeth.

At-home scalers are tools for teeth that do not work. They are not at the same level as professional instruments. We recommend that you skip buying these completely and let a professional handle your dental cleanings.

Brush Your Teeth

You may have heard this is elementary or sometime growing up, brush your teeth twice a day and floss your teeth once a day. Yes, that saying stands the test of time because you should be brushing your teeth twice a day, morning, and night, and flossing them once a day.

Most people tend to brush their teeth wrong. There is no need to feel bad. Proper tooth care is not something you learn about. Even commercials and movies show people who brush their teeth incorrectly.

The right way to brush your teeth is to be gentle. Hard scrubbing on your teeth doesn’t help them. A gentle, light pressure allows the brush bristles to get plaque from your teeth. If you can, practice keeping your brush bristles pointed towards the gums and at a 45-degree angle.

Prevent Tooth Decay

sugar candy

Tooth decay is caused when acid eats away at the tooth. This happens every time you eat food that is acidic or food with sugar in it. The best way to prevent decay from happening is to brush your teeth after you eat. Since this isn’t something everyone can do, you can still take steps to prevent tooth decay.

Mainly, preventing tooth decay is a pH balancing game. If acid is on your teeth for too long, it will eat away at your teeth. Even rinsing your mouth out with water after you eat can help you out. You can swish and rinse with a baking soda and water rinse to help keep your mouth healthy. Using a prescription fluoride toothpaste can also help prevent tooth decay.

Root Canals

This procedure is done when your tooth has decayed to the point of infecting the pulp and the root of the tooth. Your dentist will numb you, so you don’t feel anything during the procedure. You may feel pressure during the procedure, but it shouldn’t be painful.

You will most likely be sore once the procedure is over. Follow your dental professional’s instructions for aftercare to prevent further infection or complications.

Dental Issues

There are a number of things that can go wrong with your mouth. Tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and sensitivity are all potential problems. These can be annoying and extremely painful if they are not taken care of.

Talk to your hygienist if you are concerned about any of these issues. Gum disease can eventually turn into periodontal disease. If serious enough, you can lose teeth and get infections in your jaw bone. The best prevention is good oral hygiene.

Brushing and Flossing

Teeth cleaning

We have already gone over the basics of brushing, so now let’s get into flossing. Flossing is something many people do not do enough. Flossing once a day should be your goal. You want to make a ‘c’ motion between the tooth and the gum. This motion gets all the plaque and food particles out of your mouth.

If flossing is causing your gums to bleed, it could be for several reasons. The first is you haven’t flossed in a while. The second is you are being too rough with flossing, so be gentle with your mouth. The third is gingivitis, the beginning of periodontal disease.

Dental Problems

Hygienists are the preventers and dentists are the restorers. What this saying illustrates is that your hygienist is there to help your teeth from becoming damaged. The dentist is there to help out and restore your teeth if they do become damaged.

To keep dental problems from happening or to keep them from getting severe, make regular appointments with your dental office. Regular cleanings and visits will help keep an eye out for decay and changes in your mouth.

Prevention is key to overall good oral hygiene. And ignoring simple maintenance routines can cause a lot of problems down the road. If you have concerns or are in pain, be sure to contact us. Reach us at (301) 654-7808 during regular business hours.