Nutrients that our bodies need for good overall health come through the mouth. So, proper oral hygiene is essential to feeding your body without passing oral disease to the intestinal tract. How can preventive maintenance keep your teeth healthy?
How Can You Keep Your Teeth Healthy?
You can keep your teeth healthy with preventive dental care at home and the dental office. Preventive dentistry protects your oral health in these ways:
- Fights cavities
- Prevents gum disease
- Prevent damage to tooth enamel
- Keeps diseases from your mouth out of your respiratory and digestive tracts
We will explain seven ways to practice preventive dentistry at home and in the dental office.
How Can You Practice Preventive Dentistry at Home?
Regular brushing, flossing, and eating nutritious food can support good oral health.
1. Brush Your Teeth Twice Daily
The following are recommendations from the American Dental Association for effective brushing:
- Brush twice daily – Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice daily. Angle your toothbrush and thoroughly cover the sides and top of each tooth.
- Use fluoride toothpaste – Strengthen tooth enamel with non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush – Soft bristles access crevices easily and minimize gum irritation.
2. Floss Daily
Floss daily to protect your teeth and gums. Flossing is the only way to remove food particles between your teeth. Without flossing, trapped food breeds bacteria, increases plaque, and promotes gum disease.
3. Eat Nutritiously
What you eat feeds your teeth and your body. Sugary and acidic foods and excessive snacking wear away tooth enamel. The American Dental Association advises waiting at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after drinking soda to give your enamel time to strengthen.
Preventive Care from Your Dentist
Even with diligent at-home care, only an exam and x-rays from your dentist can detect some issues. For example, x-rays can reveal the beginning stages of cavities or gum disease. The American Dental Association confirms that early cavity detection reduces the risk of developing advanced disease and can stop disease progression. And that means you can avoid more costly and time-consuming treatment later.
4. Composite Fillings
Rather than leave a small cavity untreated, after removing the decay, a dentist can fill the space with composite. Composite strengthens and supports your tooth structure. And your composite fillings will look natural because they closely match your tooth shade.
5. Root Canal Treatment
Sometimes people leave a toothache or cavity untreated. But infection brewing inside the tooth will destroy the living tissue inside. Eventually, root canal treatment will be the only way to save your tooth. If your dentist recommends root canal treatment, recognize it as preventive care for protecting your oral health.
6. Dental Crowns
Dental crowns protect teeth damaged by severe decay or trauma. Without a crown, you may lose the tooth. Your dentist will remove the damaged portions of a tooth, shave the tooth on all sides, and bond a crown to it.
7. Deep Cleanings
If your dentist sees signs of gum disease, they may recommend several deep cleanings to remove calculus and plaque buildup below your gumline. Without deep cleanings, gum disease will advance and threaten your teeth and the bone that supports them.
Preventive dental care at home and in the dental office protect your overall health. Brush your teeth twice daily and floss daily. Also, get regular exams and dental cleanings. And consider treatment options your dentist recommends for keeping your teeth and gums healthy.