Considering that oral health is linked to overall health, preventive dentistry is very important to your overall well being. The most effective way to ensure optimal dental heath is through prevention, education, and behavioral modifications. Eating patterns and food choices play an important role in preventing, or promoting, tooth decay. Dr. Vo and her Rochester Hills area staff believe in making sure you understand why it is so important to maintain great preventive habits.
Preventative dentistry emphasizes the importance of ongoing hygiene procedures and daily practices to prevent tooth decay and other dental diseases and conditions. Preventive dental care is all the things you do (or should do) to take care of your teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing help to remove plaque from the surfaces and in between teeth, keeping your teeth looking and feeling clean. You should also incorporate additional good habits such as visiting your dentist regularly for professional cleaning and exams, replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed, and eating a balanced diet limiting the soft drinks, candies, and between-meal snacks.
Depending on your current dental health, your dental history, your risk factors for dental disease, and your personal preference, your dentist will recommend the frequency of visits that are right for you.
Preventive dentistry includes the education of things that can help you as well as those that are harmful. Smoking, chewing tobacco and alcohol consumption can negatively affect your oral health. Apart from plaque buildup, dry mouth, and tooth discoloration, smoking causes gum disease, tooth loss and even oral cancer. Oral disease can interfere with eating, speaking, daily activities and self-esteem. In children, severe decay can effect growth and development. Preventive dentistry can result in less extensive (and less expensive) treatment for any dental conditions that may develop, and help you keep your natural teeth for a lifetime. If you don’t take care of your teeth and properly manage your oral health, you may find yourself spending thousands of dollars in restorative dental care and possibly have multiple health issues.
There are additional tools that help with the preventive dentistry. X–rays help the dentist to see where the human eye cannot; catching areas to pay closer attention to before they become an issue. Intraoral cameras, which can be used, alongside digital x-rays, to display and enhance the images on a computer screen next to the patient’s chair, allowing for better detection and patient education. Fluoride strengthens tooth structure, making teeth more resistant to decay. It also repairs or remineralizes areas in which decay has already begun, often reversing the process. Sealants help in protecting the chewing surfaces of the back permanent teeth. And mouth guards – particularly a custom-made mouth guard prescribed by your dentist to provide a better fit – can be worn during sports activities to protect against broken teeth. Mouth guards also are used to treat teeth grinding (bruxism), which can wear down teeth and contribute to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
Great preventive care starts with the desire to keep your smile. We at Dentate Smile Design in Rochester Hills are ready to help you learn what the best plan of action is for you. Call now for an appointment to get started.