Understanding the Benefits of Preventative Dentistry
If you erect a security fence around your property, you would be unwise to just forget about it, ignore maintenance, and expect the gate or fence to keep on protecting you effectively forever. So why would you do that with your mouth, and particularly your teeth, which are the guardians of your general health?
Both security systems need preventative treatment to avoid losing their ability to protect you. You can still take immediate action with few after-effects, even after the fence has fallen. However, when your oral system sounds the alarm with severe toothache or diseased gums, the damage could already be done, and your health could be in serious danger.
Poor Oral Health can lead to Serious Illness
Prevention is being seen as increasingly vital in dentistry, as more evidence is compiled of the link between tooth decay or gum disease and various serious health problems. Diseases linked to poor oral health include strokes, respiratory and heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and oral cancer.
The three aspects of preventative dentistry
Oral hygiene is the foundation stone of oral health. Ask your dentist for advice when drawing up your program, then stick to it faithfully.
Brush your teeth for about 2 minutes twice a day. Using a medium or soft toothbrush, and a gentle up and down action, clean the back, front and top surfaces, as well as along the gum line. Avoid using too much pressure, as this could damage your tooth enamel and risk hurting your gums.
Floss between your teeth, using dental floss thread or an interdental device. Floss once a day – preferably before going to bed. This helps prevent the build-up of plaque, which thrives on food debris and acidity, and houses bacteria which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. If ignored, plaque will calcify into tartar, a hard substance that damages the teeth and gums, and is very difficult to remove.
Clean your tongue once daily by brushing it with a toothbrush or using a tongue scraper. Work from the back towards the tip of your tongue in single lines, rinsing the scraper or brush between strokes.
Diet and Lifestyle
Eating acidic and sugary foods, or consuming alcohol, can increase the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease. Cigarette and tobacco usage can also damage your teeth, and are also linked to oral cancer. Rinsing between brushings can help avoid the dangers of these items. Wait for about half an hour after eating for the best results.
Professional Check-ups and Cleaning
Check-ups: Regular dental check-ups are an important part of a preventative dentistry plan. By seeing you once a year (and preferably twice), Dr. Mostashiri will have a good idea of your dental history, and be alert to any changes and signs of decay or disease.
Your dentist will also assess the effectiveness of your oral hygiene program, and offer advice where necessary.
Cleanings: However hard you try, it’s difficult to do everything yourself when it comes to oral hygiene. If your dentist of dental hygienist gives you a thorough and professional cleaning on a regular basis, you can rest assured that everything is in order when it comes to keeping bacteria and disease at bay.
Work as a team
Preventative dentistry involves teamwork between you and your dentist. Your contribution is vital in ensuring that tooth and gum problems are caught timeously, and treated before further damage has been done to your health.