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What is preventive dentistry and what role does play in good oral health

Our teeth are an integral part of our overall health and well being. A healthy set of teeth not only enables you to eat well and enjoy food but gifts you a pearly white and beautiful smile. So just like we eat well and exercise often to stay physically active and maintain a healthy weight, we need to take charge of our oral health too to keep dental problems such as cavities, decay and infection at bay. Neglecting the teeth can be really fatal as it can lead to dental plaque and tartar build up. The bacteria in plaque can damage the tooth enamel and gradually result in massive decay and thus they say prevention is better than cure.

Seeing your dentist regularly and adopting good oral health habits can help prevent the onset of other dental problems and expensive dental treatments such as tooth extractions and dental restorations in the future. Such a proactive approach can help avoid cavities, gum diseases, dental plaque build up, enamel wear, and more. This is what we call preventive dentistry. It is the practice of taking care of your teeth, gums and mouth to keep them strong and healthy. 

If you have been neglecting your oral hygiene, do not fret! It is never too late to get started on a new path and be on the right dental track. Below are some preventive dentistry habits which you can follow to keep your teeth and mouth healthy at all times.

1. Proper brushing and flossing

Practicing good oral hygiene and dental care begins right at your home. By simply inculcating good oral habits in your daily routine can help you keep your teeth for your lifetime. Brushing and flossing properly at least twice a day ideally right after meals helps prevent tooth decay and gum diseases. It helps eliminate plaque build-up which hardens and becomes tartar in the later stage. Brushing properly also helps stimulate the blood flow in your gums which helps to keep them healthy and prevent gum disease. So brush and floss properly and carefully and always buy a toothpaste that contains fluoride. This is because fluoride prevents cavities and makes teeth stronger.

2. Use a mouthwash to remove loose food particles

Mouthwash, is a liquid product used to rinse the teeth, gums, and mouth after brushing and flossing. It usually contains tooth protecting fluoride and antiseptic to kill harmful bacteria that can reside between your teeth and on your tongue. Besides  keeping your teeth strong and to fight off cavities, mouthwash can also help fight against bad breath. Please note that it’s only effective when used correctly. 

3. Limit the consumption of foods high on sugar

They say you are what you eat. So choose your meals and snacks carefully for good dental health. Foods and beverages that are high on sugar and carbs can cause serious damage to your teeth. They help feed the bacteria that causes plaque and thus contribute to gum disease and tooth decay. When we consume sugary foods, they interact with the bacteria to release acids that attack tooth’s enamel. When enamel starts getting dissolved or breaks down, it creates holes in the teeth and develops cavities. So do not consume sugary foods and beverages in excess as it causes cavities and destroys your teeth.

4. Use Mouth guards to minimize the risk of broken teeth

Mouth guards are coverings worn over teeth when playing sports or participating in outdoor activities. They help protect the teeth from harm and prevent mouth injuries. They can be bought at any sporting goods store. Besides preventing sports injuries, mouth guards also protect against teeth grinding or clenching while you sleep.

5. Visit your dentist every 6 months

Regular dental checkups can help ensure that your teeth and gums remain as healthy as possible. You should have a dental visit at least every 6 months for regular cleaning and inspection. 

While you may be following preventive dentistry habits at home, but a dental professional can check for plaque and cavities. He can check for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or other issues and assess the overall health of your teeth and gums. Also he can help remove dental plaque and tartar if any which cannot be removed with brushing and flossing at home.

6. Quit smoking and other forms of tobacco

Smoking and chewing tobacco is an important cause of gum disease and tooth discoloration. They can contribute to many oral health problems including plaque buildup, tooth discoloration, tooth loss and even oral cancer. Smoking weakens your body’s infection fighters and makes you more susceptible to infections. If you ever develop a gum disease, smoking can make it harder for the body to fight off the infection. So it is important to eliminate the habit completely to prevent gum disease and maintain healthy teeth.

A little preventive care and attention to the teeth can go a long way in preserving the tooth structure and natural smile. Thus one must follow preventive dentistry habits to reduce the risk of dental problems and gum diseases. Leading dentists in Newcastle focus on and preach about comprehensive preventive management of tooth decay and gum diseases. They make sincere and consistent efforts to educate their patients about preventive dentistry habits and thus help ensure a prolonged life-span of the patient’s warm and welcoming smile.

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