What Is Preventive Dentistry?
What Can I Do To Keep A Healthy Set Of Teeth?
Preventive dentistry encompasses all those simple procedures aimed at either preventing problems before they get started or with simple treatments that prevent a larger problem from developing. No one wants to spend hours in the dental chair having complicated and expensive treatment done, so regular visits and good preventive maintenance will always save time and cost in the long term and keep your healthy smile on your face.
Preventive dentistry starts with you and good home care and your dentist will be able to show you the best way to achieve this. Brushing, flossing, mouthwashes, inter-dental cleaners are all excellent aids to good home care, but you must know how to use them to your best advantage.
How Does My Diet Affect My Teeth?
Your diet, the types of foods you eat and drink, and how often you eat are major factors influencing dental health. In these days of fast food, and pre-packaged meals, the 24 hour per day availability of food is not only a problem for our waistlines, but the teeth and gums can suffer from a poor diet, or constant snacking.
Your dentist can help you understand which foods are bad news for your teeth, and how to minimise the damage our modern diet can do to your teeth and gums.
Does Medication Affect My Teeth?
Many people on long term medications for their health problems will need regular preventive dental visits.
Many medications will affect the health of the teeth and gums, particularly those that affect the quality and quantity of saliva that your body produces. People with low salivary flow or poor quality saliva have a higher rate of dental decay and more severe gum disease. They will need special home care routines to maintain their oral health and may need specialist care.
How Often Should I Visit The Dentist?
Most people should attend the dentist every 6 months, but many of our patients that we have been looking after for a long time come yearly, as we know they have healthy mouths, low risk of problems, and have demonstrated a high level of home care.
Is Preventive Treatment Important For Children?
Preventive care is most important for children during their growing years. While the permanent teeth are developing, baby teeth are present and are important to guide the position of permanent teeth erupting into the mouth. Baby teeth are small and delicate and decay quickly if not looked after. Often decay starts between the baby molar teeth where it can’t be seen without x-rays until it is too late and the tooth has been badly damaged.
The permanent teeth are most susceptible to decay in the first 1-2 years after they appear in the mouth. This is the best time for fissure sealants and fluoride treatments to strengthen the enamel and seal any pits and grooves where food will catch and start a cavity developing.
What About Babies And Toddlers?
Your child’s first teeth are very important and must be cared for, as decay can start early in life, and can be very damaging to the health and well-being of young children. Thankfully, we rarely see severe decay in young children now, as water fluoridation, and better education of new parents has improved the health of our children’s teeth. Your dentist at Dr John Campbell & Associates can give you lots of help and information about caring for your toddlers teeth.
Can You Catch Orthodontic Problems Early?
From an early age we can detect problems with the development of the teeth and jaws, tooth alignment and space problems that may lead to a need for orthodontic treatment. Many of these issues can be identified and corrected, returning growth to normal, and reducing the need for more complex and costly treatment later on. It is not necessary, nor is it wise to allow orthodontic problems to wait until all the permanent teeth are through. In many cases, waiting too long before starting orthodontics will lead to a compromised result, longer treatment time, and an increased risk that healthy permanent teeth will need to be removed to achieve straight teeth.
Your dentist will be able to give you the best advice and the most appropriate preventive dental treatment to keep you and your family’s teeth and mouths feeling and looking great.