Preventive dentistry is the modern way of reducing the amount of dental treatment necessary to maintain a healthy mouth.
It helps you to keep your teeth. The two major causes of tooth loss are decay and gum disease. The better we prevent or deal with these two problems, the more chance people have of keeping their teeth for life.
The joint efforts of the dentist, the hygienist and the patient, can help to prevent the need for treatment, and so avoid the traditional pattern of fillings and extractions.
A course of treatment may be recommended to get your mouth into good condition, and a maintenance plan will be worked out to help you keep it that way.
Is prevention possible
Yes. With modern dentistry and constant new developments, it is possible to prevent or considerably reduce dental disease.
What is involved
Your dentist will first assess your teeth and gums, and discuss with you any treatment that is necessary. The main aim is to help you get your mouth really healthy, to try and prevent any dental problems returning. In a healthy mouth it is unlikely that decay or gum disease will continue to be a problem.
- The hygienist or dentist will meticulously remove all plaque, calculus and debris from your teeth and polish your teeth.
- The dentist or hygienist will show you the best methods of brushing and flossing to remove the bacterial 'plaque' which forms constantly on your teeth and gums. Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that forms constantly on the teeth and gums. When you eat or drink something sugary, the plaque turns the sugar into acid, which will cause tooth decay. Plaque will also cause gum inflammation if it is not regularly and thoroughly removed. The hard tartar (calculus) which builds up on the teeth also starts off as plaque.
- You will be advised which oral care products are the best ones for you to use.
- The hygienist will probably discuss diet and any habits such as smoking and drinking with you.
- Your dentist will also make sure that all your fillings are in good repair and there are no rough edges to make cleaning difficult.
How do I keep my mouth healthy
To have a healthy mouth you need to:
- brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Effective cleaning with brushing aids between teeth
- cut down on how often you have sugary snacks and drinks
- visit your dentist as regularly as is recommended by them
Courtesy of the British Dental Health Foundation – www.dentalhealth.org