Preventive Dentistry: The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Oral Health

We all have checklists of what we do to protect our health and preserve our bodies. We eat healthily, drink plenty of water, and exercise as often as possible. We visit the doctor for an annual exam and visit our dentist every six months for a professional dental cleaning and oral evaluation. Right? In reality, we may aspire to do everything, but life can get in the way. However, we’re here to tell you that taking the time to visit the dentist for preventive dentistry is the best thing you can do for your oral health.

What is preventive dentistry?

Let’s cut to the chase: There is no substitute for your natural tooth. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body, but once a cavity forms, your dental enamel can’t regrow. Of course, with the advancements in dental technology, many excellent treatments exist, such as tooth-colored fillings and dental crowns. But though we customize these dental restorations to look, feel, and function like your natural teeth, they’re only substitutes.

This is why prioritizing your oral health is so vital. Preventive dentistry involves more than those biannual trips to the dentist, though. It is a combination of the following:

  • Practicing good oral hygiene at home by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once daily, and rinsing with a fluoridated mouthwash
  • Choosing healthy foods such as cheese, milk, yogurt, leafy greens, apples, and pears
  • Visiting the dentist for professional dental cleanings and oral evaluations

These steps together give you a greater chance of preserving your natural pearly whites. And it provides other health benefits, too, because your oral health directly influences your overall health.

3 Huge Benefits of Preventive Dentistry

The health of your mouth influences the health of the rest of your body. Studies link untreated oral health problems such as cavities and gum disease to systemic diseases. That’s why visiting the dentist is so important!

1. It catches issues early.

Preventive dentistry allows dentists to identify potentially serious issues early on when they are easier to treat or cure. And when you visit Metro East Dental Care, we go the extra mile to check for early signs of oral cancer at your routine cleaning appointments.

2. It saves you time and money.

Preventive dentistry saves you time, money, and hassle. Without it, dental issues may require expensive and time-consuming treatment by the time you notice any problems. Though restorative dentistry is a big part of what dentists do, you can avoid many of those treatments by working together with your dentist to protect your natural teeth and gums. And though some patients avoid going to the dentist because they feel it is too expensive, the plain truth is that visiting the dentist for a professional cleaning is far less costly than having to replace teeth down the road. Many dentists offer membership plans for patients who don’t have dental insurance, and Metro East Dental Care is no exception. Trust us—dental fillings are far less expensive than dental implants.

3. It is easier than ever.

The best preventive dentistry is easier, more comfortable, and more precise than ever. Digital X-rays allow dentists to see and treat cavities early on. In addition, cone-beam imaging can produce 3D images of your teeth, nerve pathways, soft tissues, and bone in one scan. And there is so much more, all designed to help you be more comfortable in the dentist’s chair and get out of the dentist’s chair faster.

Great home care complements the preventive dentistry you receive at our office.

We can help preserve your natural teeth as much as possible. This doesn’t mean that you will never get a cavity, however. According to the CDC, approximately 90% of adults over age 20 have had at least one cavity. And about 1 in 4 adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have an untreated cavity right now.

Leaving a cavity untreated can exacerbate poor nutrition because it can be painful to bite and chew. Bacteria buildup on the teeth and gums can cause gum disease, which is correlated with diabetes, heart disease, cancer, respiratory illnesses, and more. And tooth loss can affect your appearance, lowering your self-esteem.

So take the time to brush twice daily for two minutes each time using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and be sure to use the right brushing technique. Floss once daily, preferably before bedtime, to loosen food particles between the teeth and gums.

Please request an appointment for your next preventive dental cleaning. Your family dentist in Granite City is happy to work with you on an approach to preventive dentistry that will preserve your natural teeth for as long as possible.