The Importance of Preventative Dentistry
Too many of us tend to take our teeth for granted and place them low on our list of priorities when it comes to health care, yet investing a little more care and time in looking after them can pay big dividends in terms of avoiding pain, suffering and disease in the long term. Therefore you should not keep putting off visiting our local dentist in Vancouver, BC.
That is why preventative dentistry has started to spend more time in the spotlight in recent years. The realisation of the big role oral health plays in our body’s general state of health and how oral disease can cause serious health problems for us has changed the dental profession’s focus. From being largely treatment-orientated, it now pays greater attention to the necessity for a preventative approach to dental care, involving a partnership between the dental profession and patients.
Investing in the future
This approach involves both home-based oral hygiene programs as well as regular dental visits and check-ups by a Vancouver dentist. Particular emphasis is placed on the inclusion of children in this partnership from a very young age in the belief that early attention to oral care can mean far fewer dental problems later in life. Good oral care can not only lessen the chance of cavities, enamel loss and gum disease but also help to reduce secondary diseases connected with oral disease, such as diabetes, osteoporosis, respiratory and heart disease, and even cancer.
The preventative dentistry program
Preventative dentistry involves a three prong approach which includes oral hygiene practises, attention to diet and regular check-ups, with special emphasis on the first one.
- Brush your teeth for 2 minutes at least twice a day. A softer brush is best, and brushing should involve an up and down motion rather than a back and forth one. Be careful to clean the back and front surfaces of every tooth as well as the chewing area. Be gentle on the gums but be sure to take extra care to clean around the gum line.
- Floss every day using dental floss or an interdental brush. This is a very important step to remove any food particles and plaque stuck between your teeth where normal brushing can’t reach.
- Clean your tongue once a day. Use a tongue scraper or soft brush to clean your tongue from the back towards the front.
- Rinsing your mouth: Washing your mouth out with a teaspoon of salt added to a glass of water helps to loosen any debris left in your mouth. Try to do this after every meal and definitely before going to sleep. Just remember not to swallow the water.
Diet and lifestyle
Watch what goes in your mouth. A diet that includes a lot of acidic or sugary foods increases the chance of cavities and tooth erosion, consequently upping the risk of oral disease. Be extra careful to rinse your mouth after consuming these foods. Alcohol and smoking can also cause damage to your teeth.
A dental check-up, preferably every six months or at least once a year, enables your dentist to keep a close eye on what’s going on in your mouth with regard to cavities, filling breakdowns and the early signs of trouble, like gum disease or oral cancer. Early detection is important to effective treatment of these diseases.