Preventative Dental Care & Oral Hygiene
Preventive dental care starts with the patient, as every decision you make affects your dental health! How you care for your teeth and gums, how often you care for them and how effective you are at caring for them. What you eat and what you put in your mouth (e.g. pencils, ice, nuts, popcorn etc.). The type(s) of fillings you get – which can affect tooth wear opposite the filled tooth, affecting the forces in your bite. Also your lifestyle – how you sleep, your posture, and how you handle stress. All of this plays a role, in between how often you see your dentist and hygienist.
Good Dental Hygiene Visits Include:
- Periodontal health exams
- Plaque and tartar level evaluations and removal
- Elimination of bacteria in the mouth
- Oral cancer screening
- Cavity assessment
- Evaluation of existing restorations for breaks, leaks, cracks, and fractures
- Evaluation of both soft and hard tissues in the mouth
- Evaluation of your Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ), your jaw joints, to evaluate health and function
How to Stay Healthy
Good nutrition for your body’s systems, good sleep habits (which can be adversely affected by your weight, body shape, muscle tone, lack of exercise, stress, clenching of your jaws, grinding of your jaws), hydration levels and muscle tone all contribute significantly to a person’s state of health. These things apply equally to oral health as they do in your overall health. But there are more specific things that one can do to stay dentally healthy, and happy.
First and foremost, remove plaque on your teeth at least every 12 hours by brushing and flossing – use an electric toothbrush. We recommend Sonicare (and we carry them in our office).
The two things that, by themselves, contribute the most to the level of your oral health are:
- A) Have a dental checkup at least twice a year.
Make sure that your visits include at the least the types of things that are listed above.
- B) Be proactive!
Many of us have lots of restorations, fillings, crowns, etc. Nothing that is used in the mouth is strong enough to last forever; we just don’t have materials that can stand up to the strength of the forces in our mouths. We never want to wait until something breaks and then fix it. Plan ahead and start to address things in increments before they break or cause pain. This will also help you budget for your necessary dental health plan, without the unnecessary pressure of issues that could have been prevented!