For all those who want to stay healthy, maintaining oral health is as important as physical health. However, not many are quite happy about dentist visits.
Are you one of those who, at the sound of a dental drill, hear your heartbeat in your ears or physically cringe when pointy objects explore the depth of your oral cavity?
Then you must read on, for this article is about preventive dentistry, which will help you save from the dentist’s office anxiety.
What Is Preventive Dentistry?
Preventive Dentistry is about taking specific measures that allow you to keep your teeth safe from possible future infections for as long as possible. It is the least scary field of dentistry, and you can manage most of the prescribed activities easily at home.
With Preventive Dentistry, there are no more hassles of going to the dentist’s office every other day; no more trouble of drills exploring your teeth; and, no more sitting on the dental chair with your mouth open for hours.
What Is Included In Preventive Dentistry?
For an individual with a low caries risk, the basic steps include:
- Brushing your teeth: According to the ADA (American Dental Association), you must brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes. Use a medium to soft-bristled brush and fluoride-rich toothpaste. It also recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
- Flossing at least once a day: Often, the most neglected part of one’s oral hygiene, flossing, was declared “an important oral hygiene practice” by ADA in 2016. Because flossing not only helps remove trapped food particles interdentally but is also essential for the gums’ health.
- Reducing Sucrose: Sucrose being the most cariogenic sugar, one should try to maintain a low-sucrose diet with reduced frequency of snacking in between meals.
- Visiting your dentist twice a year: Even when there are no visible oral health problems, you must visit your dentist twice a year, ideally. Such visits allow the patient to work closely with their dentist facilitating the detection of a carious tooth in its early stage. It also enables an early action plan that could potentially save the tooth.
Although the basics for preventive dentistry stay the same, the regimen changes with risk factors. Your dentist assesses the risk factors during your bi-yearly checkup.
The Dentist’s Role
As the name suggests, Preventive Dentistry is a field of dentistry that prevents dental infections. What makes this different from other branches of dentistry is that the patient can carry most of it at home by themselves.
While a dentist’s role is mainly limited to supervision and guidance, the onus is on the individual to stick to the daily dental regimen and maintain oral health. However, when the caries risk is high, two new steps are added to the regimen. Your dentist carries them out at their office.
- Fluoride Varnishing: Involves coating the teeth with fluoride-rich material that prevents the development of a carious lesion.
- Fissure Sealing: Involves sealing all high-risk fissures in the teeth, thus preventing the accumulation of microorganisms.
Why Is It Important?
“Prevention is better than cure.”
Preventive dentistry is vital for good oral health. Your mouth is the gateway to your body. Everything that enters your stomach goes through the mouth. Hence, if your mouth is not healthy, can you expect the rest of your body to be healthy? Maybe not.
Edited by love4wellness