Preventive dentistry is a term you might have already heard thrown around. It is a branch of dentistry that deals with stopping major dental issues before they happen. Some of the advice given in preventive dentistry will be things you have been told for years by your dentist and others will be based on new pieces of research.
The following are general pieces of advice that most everyone can benefit from. Children, in particular, will benefit from this advice because it allows their developing teeth to come in healthy and stay that way for years. Older adults will also see a great benefit because they will get to keep more of their real teeth.
Eat a balanced and healthy diet
Most people are not associating their diet with how often they need to visit the dentist. While everyone knows the risks of consuming too much sugar, it is not the only culprit we should be thinking about.
What makes sugar particularly harmful to your teeth is that most of the sugars in our diets are simple carbohydrates. A simple carbohydrate can also include white bread, soft drinks or milk. Bacteria that grow in your mouth (keeping in mind that some live there all the time and are necessary for your oral health) are especially happy consuming simple carbohydrates. They are easier for the bacteria to metabolize and causes bacterial colonies to grow faster. This leads to a higher incidence of cavities (tooth decay) and gingivitis (inflammation of your gums).
Eat a balanced diet high in more complex carbohydrates, such as fresh fruits and vegetables
Brush your teeth every day
This is a recommendation straight from the American Dental Association (ADA). Brush at least once a day but more ideally two or three times daily. Brushing is the primary way we remove excessive bacterial growth from our teeth. It is a very important method of protection.
Make sure to replace your brush three or four times a year and always use toothpaste which contains fluoride. Fluoride helps strengthen teeth because it incorporates into the enamel of the teeth and provides important molecular scaffolding.
Floss every day
The bristles of your toothbrush are limited in their ability to reach tight spaces between your teeth. No matter how hard you brush or how you try to angle your toothbrush, there are just certain spaces that a brush cannot reach.
Floss at least once a day. There are many options for those who have trouble with traditional floss, like flossers that are reusable.
See your dentist regularly
Finally, make sure you are making regular appointments to see your dentist. You should be making preventive dentistry appointments for a cleaning and X-rays at least yearly but preferably twice a year.
Preventive dentistry is the best way to stop dental issues before they happen, but even with the most excellent techniques, there are some dental issues that cannot be prevented with a toothbrush and floss. Make regular appointments with your dentist and remember that you are an important member of the treatment team. If you have questions, speak with your dentist for more detailed information pertaining to your personal situation.
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