Dental care is an important part of your overall health and wellness. By taking care of your teeth and gums, you can prevent many oral diseases and avoid expensive dental treatments later on.
To keep your mouth healthy, brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss once daily. Use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen tooth enamel and fight against cavities.
Oral hygiene is the process of maintaining your teeth, gums and mouth in good health. It involves brushing and flossing your teeth, avoiding sugars, drinking plenty of water and visiting your dentist for dental exams and cleanings at least twice a year.
A healthy mouth helps you to smile; speak clearly, taste and chew foods; and feel confident. It also protects you from diseases that affect the rest of your body.
It can also reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other health problems. And, if you avoid smoking and other tobacco products, you can help prevent oral cancer and gum disease.
Generally, good oral hygiene practices include brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing to remove plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth. A healthy diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and a limited intake of sugars can also support good oral hygiene.
Preventive dentistry is the practice of establishing oral health habits and taking preventative steps to reduce your risk of developing dental problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or loss of enamel. It involves regular professional cleanings and checkups, along with a variety of at-home hygiene procedures such as brushing and flossing.
It’s recommended that patients visit their dentist for a routine exam and professional cleaning at least twice a year. This is important to identifying any oral issues before they get worse and require treatment like a filling or root canal therapy.
Many dental insurance plans cover preventive services at 100 percent, with no deductibles or co-pays. These preventive visits can help protect your teeth and gums from the onset of tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontitis.
In addition, it can decrease your risk of other diseases that affect the mouth and other parts of your body, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. It also can save you from the high costs of hospital stays or missed work and school days.
Routine checkups are an essential part of a patient’s dental care. They help a dentist identify and address dental issues early enough to prevent serious dental problems in the future.
During the exam, a dentist will use a metal probe with a small mirror to look inside your mouth. They will be looking for swelling, sores, cuts or lesions, gum recession and tooth decay.
They may also examine your mouth for signs of oral cancer. By coating any lesions with a special dye and using a light, they can identify cancerous tissue.
If any oral health issue is identified, your dentist will recommend treatment. They can also give you advice on how to improve your oral hygiene and preventative dentistry, which can help you reduce the risk of developing serious dental conditions in the future.
The American Dental Association recommends visiting your dentist for routine checkups and cleanings every six months. However, the frequency of these visits will depend on a variety of factors such as age, diet, and habits.
Treatments are a key part of dental care. They are designed to treat a range of conditions, including cavities (holes in the tooth), gum disease, and oral infections.
For example, dentists often apply fluoride treatments to help prevent tooth decay and fight infection. They may also use topical antibiotic gels to help get rid of gum infections.
A variety of other treatments are used to improve oral health, including sealants and fillings. Fissure sealants are a type of plastic material that is painted on to the biting surface of the teeth. This barrier stops bacteria from entering the grooves and causing decay.
Some providers are trying to extend oral health services into other settings, such as the offices of physicians or other primary care providers. For example, Advantage Dental Plan sends its dental hygienists to Women, Infants and Children clinics so expectant mothers can get routine cleanings and treatment for cavity-causing bacteria before they have a baby.