The goal of preventative dentistry is to highlight the importance of oral hygiene. Daily use of oral hygiene products approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) is the best way to prevent tooth decay and disease. Preventative dental procedures include regular teeth cleanings, x-rays, oral cancer screenings, and more. Learn about the benefits of preventative dentistry procedures.
Cleaning and Exams
It is recommended to perform professional teeth cleanings every six months. A standard dental cleaning procedure will remove any plaque or tartar buildup between teeth or near your gum line. Your dental hygienist will scale, polish, and floss each tooth. Then the dentist will conduct a comprehensive exam.
X-Rays (2D and 3D)
Routine 2D( periapical and bitewing) x-rays are recommended once per year to evaluate the teeth and need to be done before dental services are rendered. Once every 5 years, a 3D(cone beam) is recommended to evaluate the teeth and everything surrounding the teeth. Dental x-rays are safe for the patient and can be taken directly from the inside of the mouth(intra-oral x-ray) or from the outside of the mouth (extra-oral x-ray). Routine dental x-rays are covered by most insurance providers.
Sealants and Fluoride
Different dental materials can be used to extend the longevity of your teeth. A dental sealant involves coating the grooves of your molars with a fine resin layer to prevent cavities from forming. Your dentist can offer you a fluoride varnish for further cavity protection. Your child’s teeth should get a fluoride varnish as soon as their teeth erupt, but sealants should be applied when the molars erupt around 6 and 12 years of age.
Oral Cancer Screening
During an oral cancer screening, your Dentist will examine your entire oral cavity including your throat, palate, tongue, the floor of the mouth and gum line. This examination takes place during your routine visit to the dentist, even if you are not experiencing any symptoms. Oral cancer signs include chronic sores with irregular shapes and discoloration; fortunately, radiation therapy is effective for mouth cancer treatment. Early detection is the best prevention.
Overall Health (Nutrition & Exercise)
You can preserve the integrity of your teeth simply by eating healthy whole foods and getting regular exercise. Natural, unprocessed ingredients do not contain as much sugar as processed foods, which encourage cavity formation. Carbonated and acidic beverages like soda can wear the enamel over time. Coffee isn’t necessarily on this list although the sugar in the coffee can lead to decay. Dark liquids such as coffee, tea, and red wine can stain teeth.
Brushing, Flossing & Routine Check-ups
A daily brushing regimen paired with a good flossing technique is the best dental care tips to prevent major teeth problems in the future. Brushing and flossing effectively remove harmful bacteria around the mouth, which would otherwise cause decay or disease. Routine dental care is covered through basic dental insurance to help you maintain the health of your mouth.