Preventative care includes all the treatments used to help patients avoid tooth decay, gum disease and other problems while also supporting optimal oral health and wellness. Preventative care begins with routine dental checkups and teeth cleaning appointments every six months to examine the teeth and gums and look for signs of decay and gum disease, as well as remove built-up plaque and tartar deposits. Oral cancer treatments and dental x-rays may also be performed, and patients will receive important guidance about how to improve their oral hygiene, including information on how to improve brushing and flossing habits. Other options like fluoride treatments or sealants may also be used to help teeth stay strong and resist decay. Deep cleaning treatments like root planing and scaling can be provided in patients with gum disease so tooth loss can be prevented.
Preventative care is an essential part of helping patients at every age enjoy the best possible oral health and avoid serious issues that can lead to infection and tooth loss. Some studies have shown a link between poor oral health and other medical issues, and many studies have confirmed having poor oral health increases the likelihood of school and work absences. Plus, having routine preventative care is the best way to catch issues like decay or gum disease in their earliest stages when treatment can be far less costly, helping patients save money as well as time. Treating issues in their earliest stages also means less discomfort.
The most important things you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy is to see the dentist twice a year for cleanings and checkups, brush and floss regularly - at least twice each day - using proper techniques, and avoid sugary foods and drinks, since the bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay use sugars as food sources. Avoiding sticky foods that can get trapped between teeth and around restorations is also important for preventing cavities. Rinse well after consuming foods or drinks that have a high acid content, and snack on foods rich in calcium. Always wear a mouthguard when playing sports, and never use the teeth as tools or prying instruments.