Preventive dentistry is the best route to good oral health. You may think going to the dentist ranks No. 1 in this regard, but what happens between visits can be just as important, if not more crucial.
The key to a healthy mouth is diligence. People who make a habit of daily brushing and flossing maintain healthier teeth and gums on average and suffer fewer diseases related to poor oral hygiene. Relying on office visits alone is not enough to avoid painful problems and costly procedures down the road.
Purging Bacteria from Your Mouth Leads to Better Oral Health
Most of us brush daily because we want to avoid halitosis or bad breath. In reality, it is the cause of bad breath which needs to go. Bacteria constantly forms in your mouth. When not addressed, bacteria grows unchecked and leads to cavities, sensitivities, and gingivitis. It is this bacterial growth that causes the flowers to wilt when you exhale. Eliminating the bacteria freshens your breath and creates a healthy environment in your mouth.
Significant Preventive Care Occurs in the Dentist’s Office
Preventive care in the dental office includes an annual cleaning of your teeth and gums, a complete dental examination to check for signs of disease or decay, and x-rays to diagnose problems with tooth development. If you ignore your mouth’s condition the rest of the year, such negligence quickly manifests itself in the dental chair.
Fluoride Varnish Works on Many Fronts
Fluoride varnish is another preventive dentistry technique that helps fight tooth and gum disease. It consists of a painted-on solution that adheres to your teeth for a few hours. The fluoride slowly treats your teeth and leads to better oral health with little effort on your part. Fluoride varnishes are administered during routine dental appointments and are especially recommended for children. However, varnishes are an effective and popular treatment for adults with tooth sensitivity.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene at Home Between Appointments
At-home preventive care starts with brushing, but most people do not brush often enough and brush improperly. To gain the most benefit, you should brush after every meal unless you have eaten something acidic. Brushing removes particles and food which lead to bacteria. It makes sense to get rid of anything that can potentially harm your teeth as soon as it arrives, instead of waiting hours or days.
Flossing is another extremely preventive practice that is employed too infrequently. Like brushing, flossing removes post-meal food prone to lodging between your teeth where it can cause decay. Floss after every meal. It may seem laborious at first, but once it becomes a habit it is hardly a nuisance.
Although maintaining a regular schedule of preventive dentistry can feel like overkill, the benefit to doing so is worth the effort. Keeping your mouth clean will lead to less expensive dental procedures in the future and guarantee better breath.
See author’s Google+ Profile: Maria Marzo DDS
Fluoride Varnish for Caries Prevention, APHA.org
Is Brushing Your Teeth After Eating Good for You?, Colgate.com