Ace Dental

Why prevention is better than a cure when it comes to dental health

The old saying goes that prevention is better than a cure. And nothing could be more apt to describe looking after your mouth and teeth. Preventive dentistry focuses on good dental practises, such as daily hygiene habits, and regular dental check-ups to prevent tooth decay and other dental diseases from occurring.

What is preventive dentistry?

Preventive dentistry is anything that protects your teeth to prevent such conditions as gum disease and tooth decay, which are the two main causes of tooth loss. You can carry out your own preventive dentistry at home by making sure you regularly brush and floss your teeth, as well as making sure that you have regular check-ups and follow the advice of Ace Dental professionals.

Bi-annual visits to your dentist are important to make sure there are no problems, as well as having professional tooth and gum cleans from your dental hygienist. These can ensure plaque, bacteria and debris are removed even from the hard-to-reach parts of your mouth.

Even if you always brush your teeth twice a day as well as flossing between your teeth, it may still not be enough to prevent problems. That’s why it’s vital to visit your dentist at least once every six months so they can conduct a regular assessment of your dental health, helping to keep tooth and gum disease at bay.

What are the benefits of preventive dentistry?

As your dental health is closely interconnected to your overall health, preventive dentistry is essential not just for protecting your teeth, but can also promote a healthier lifestyle and better living. The main benefits of preventive dentistry are:

  • It lowers the risk of tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems
  • Regular check-ups can identify any issues early when they are easier to treat
  • Looking after your mouth and teeth can be beneficial for other areas of your health
  • Tooth decay has been linked to conditions such as heart disease and diabetes
  • It could even save your life. Your dentist can spot signs of mouth cancers if you attend regular check-ups
  • You can save costs as you are less likely to need invasive dental procedures
  • You are more likely to keep your natural teeth later in life
  • No one wants to have dental procedures such as fillings, crowns or implants and preventative dentistry can reduce the likelihood of such treatment
  • If you have already had restorative dentistry, following good preventive dentistry practises can make sure your new fillings or teeth last longer

What might I be offered during a check-up with my dentist?

Regular check-ups are vital to maintaining your dental health. During your six-monthly appointment, you may have:

  • A thorough clean such as a scale-and-polish or Airflow tooth polishing
  • X-rays to monitor the condition of your jaw and teeth
  • Advice from your dentist on the most effective way to look after your teeth at home
  • Your preventative check-up can also ensure early action is taken if you do need any restorative procedures

What age should you start practising preventive dentistry?

It’s really never too early to start taking proper care of your oral health. If you are a parent, we recommend that your children come to the dentist for their first check-up as soon as their first tooth erupts.

Severe tooth decay in childhood can have a negative impact in later life. Preventive dentistry at an early age can result in less extensive and costly treatments later in a child’s life, and into adulthood. Children may also be offered fluoride gels and varnish as well as a special sealant to act as a barrier to protect teeth which could be at risk of cavities or decay.

What else can I do to look after my oral health?

As well as brushing, flossing, rinsing with mouthwash and attending your dental appointments, you can also have a big impact on your dental health by making sure you have a healthy diet. Avoiding excessive sugar, including sugary drinks, can help prevent cavities and tooth decay.

By carrying out preventive dental practices both at home and with your dentist, no matter what your age, you can protect your teeth for as long as possible.

Call on 0800 849 4959 to find out how our team can help you improve your smile.

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