What is it?
Preventive dentistry is the practice of caring for your teeth to keep them healthy. This helps you avoid cavities, gum disease, enamel wear, and more. Therefore, we highly recommend it!
What is considered preventative?
Preventive dental services include routine oral exams, X-rays, cleanings, sealants, and fluoride treatments. Educational instruction including proper brushing and flossing methods are also a great way to help and prevent tooth decay. They’re considered preventive because they’re aimed at identifying and stopping dental issues before they happen.
If you have to visit your dentist for a filling, resin restoration, root canal or extraction– you’ve gone beyond preventive dental care and basic procedures.
The goal is to avoid these procedures by practicing preventative dentistry.
With good dental hygiene, you can greatly reduce your risk of getting cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis, and other dental problems. This, in turn, can reduce your risk of secondary problems caused by poor oral health. Some health problems that may be linked to poor oral health include but are not limited to diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, and cancer.
Preventative dental care can not only save you from the pain of a toothache, but it can also save you a lot of money. A full mouth reconstruction can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Furthermore, the Center for Disease Control reports that 164 million work hours are missed each year due to oral health issues and dental visits.
5 Steps for preventative care
It’s important to do everything you can to practice preventative dental care. In the long run, your teeth AND your wallet will thank you. Here are the 5 most important things you can do for your oral health.
1.) Floss Daily
Daily flossing is recommended because it helps to clean out the tight spaces between your teeth. If you have braces, you may need to use floss threaders to get between the metal brackets.
2.) Keep regular dental appointments
You should visit us at least once a year for an exam to check for any problems in your teeth and/or gums. Dental cleanings and exams allow us to identify problems and take care of them right away.
3.) Eat a balanced diet
Eating a balanced diet also helps to protect your teeth by providing them with the nutrients they need. Limit your sugar intake, including simple carbohydrates like white bread, and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Eating a varied diet will help you to get all of the vitamins you need to maintain a healthy smile.
4.) Avoid tobacco products
The effects of tobacco on your overall health are well known. They include a high risk of developing lung cancer, breathing problems, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, etc. Additionally, smoking can lead to oral health problems and make it much more difficult to treat those problems.
5.) Brush twice a day
The most important part of preventive dentistry is to brush your teeth daily with fluoride toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association. Most people should replace their toothbrushes three to four times per year or as the bristles start to fray.
Don’t forget to brush your tongue! This will help remove bacteria from your mouth and also help freshen your breath.
Make an Appointment
You can click to request an appointment online. The American Dental Association recommends you have a dental check-up twice a year, so if it’s been over six months since your last appointment– you’re due!
Dr. Randall Burba is an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry accredited dentist, with a practice in Salem, Massachusetts. He considers himself an artist–with teeth and beyond! He often paints, draws and has a passion for woodworking.