The secret to keeping your teeth strong and healthy for life is simpler than you think, thanks to preventive dentistry.
A combination of in-home oral health care and regular dental check-ups is all it takes to safeguard you and your family against dental issues that are painful, expensive and bad for your overall health.
What is preventive dentistry?
Simply speaking, preventive dentistry is the practice of caring for your teeth properly and regularly to maintain a healthy smile and avoid dental issues and disease. Preventive dentistry involves not only implementing good oral hygiene practices at home, but regular visits to a dental professional.
When life is busy it can be easy to let good oral health care slide, placing you at risk of not only dental issues, but serious disease. People with poor oral hygiene have been associated with health problems, including heart disease, respiratory disease, and an increased risk of stroke.
Preventive dentistry is focused on helping you to avoid cavities, gum disease and other oral health issues that can have an adverse effect on your overall health. With an effective preventive dentistry regime, dentists are able to nip issues in the bud, minimise the severity of pain, and keep treatment costs lower.
The simple way to maintaining healthy teeth
It’s easy to maintain a healthy smile and good oral hygiene once you know how. If your current dental plan consists of a slapdash brush morning and night, then it is time to step up your game. Here’s how to maintain a lifelong healthy smile and keep your dental visits to the recommended number only.
#1 Brush with care
Regular brushing is your frontline defence against bacteria and plaque build-up. Take your time brushing your teeth twice daily after breakfast and before bed. There’s no place in your bathroom for shaggy toothbrushes other than the bin. Ensure your toothbrush is in good condition and brush on a 45 degree angle near your gum line to ensure a thorough clean of your teeth and gums. Be gentle on your teeth and gums and don’t forget the insides of your teeth, your tongue, and the roof of your mouth.
#2 Floss regularly
If you’ve become complacent about flossing, only whipping the dental floss out when you have something stuck between your teeth, it is time to get serious. Just like brushing, flossing should be done twice daily to keep your mouth free of bacteria and in tip-top condition. Flossing is great for removing food from hard to reach places and is highly effective in scraping away plaque and bacteria.
#3 Food and drink to avoid
A well-balanced diet is vital for healthy teeth and gums. Be sure to keep your sugary food intake to a minimum and eat citrus fruits in moderation. Both sugary foods and citrus fruits are known to damage your tooth enamel and expose your teeth to decay and sensitivity.
Tea, coffee, wine and soft drink can cause teeth discolouration, bad breath and enamel erosion. If you can’t forgo your daily coffee and have a habit of caving in to your sugary cravings, swish some water around in your mouth afterwards to lessen the effects on your teeth. Mouthwash can help you maintain good breath and strong teeth, while milk and water are gentle on your teeth.
#4 Regular dental check-ups
To compliment your at-home oral hygiene regime, schedule in twice yearly check-ups with your dentist. Six-monthly check-ups will allow your dentist to keep a close eye on your teeth and pick up any oral health issues in the early stages. Your dentist will check for signs of gum disease, tooth decay and will ensure you don’t have any loose fillings. Your dentist will give your teeth a professional clean removing plaque build-up that is not easily removed with a standard toothbrush at home.
Regular dentist visits are a great way to remind yourself of good hygiene habits and to educate yourself on how to maintain a healthy mouth and brilliant smile. It will also reduce your chance of oral problems that could potentially lead to serious health issues.
It is important to note that a sparkling smile doesn’t guarantee a healthy smile. Even if you boast brilliantly straight teeth, it is recommended you still see your dentist regularly to ensure that smile stays brilliant and healthy for life.
Preventive dentistry for children
It can be hard work getting kids to brush their teeth, but it is vital to educate them on preventive dentistry early on to set them on the path toward a lifetime of good dental health.
Dental care should begin as soon as a baby’s first tooth erupts. Baby teeth can be cleaned with a small damp cloth or a soft toothbrush designed for babies. Baby teeth, in particular, are susceptible to decay if not cared for properly. Permanent teeth in children are most at risk of decay in the first couple of years after they appear in the mouth.
Regular dental check-ups for children allow dentists to keep track of your child’s teeth development and allow them to detect any problems in their teeth alignment and jaw as they grow. It’s a good idea to bring your kids along to your own dental check-ups before their first check-up to help them understand the dentist is nothing to be afraid of.
A team effort
Maintaining a healthy smile and good oral health is a team effort between you and your dentist. With good at-home oral health habits and regular check-ups with your dentist, you’re on the road to a winning smile.
Your simple preventive dentistry plan should include:
- brushing and flossing twice daily
- replacing your toothbrush regularly
- brushing on a 45 degree angle to give teeth and gums a thorough clean
- being mindful of damaging food and drink and keeping their intake to a minimum
- rinsing your mouth out with water after eating or drinking sugary and acidic food or drink
- using mouthwash
- regular dental visits
Your friendly dentist can provide further guidance and education on good oral hygiene and how to keep your teeth healthy and strong for life.
Book an appointment with Australia Dental today to discuss your preventive dentistry plan for a lifelong healthy smile.