Your oral health is about more than just having a nice smile, and in-fact oral health is interconnected to most other facets of human health and wellbeing.
However, as important as oral health is, it doesn’t have to be hard.
After finding the right general dentist to check in with at least twice a year, you should focus on preventive dentistry.
What is Preventive Dentistry?
Preventive dentistry is the act of caring for your oral health in a way that aims to keep them healthy and prevent any issues that may arise to the best of your ability.
The aim of preventive care is to decrease the possibility of things like gum disease, the wearing down of your enamel, cavities, preventable injuries, and more.
Some more basic forms of preventive oral care include basic hygienic acts like brushing and flossing. Others include services that administered by a general dentist during routine visits. Routine visits to see a dentist are also a part of good preventive oral care practices.
How Preventive Dentistry Helps You Stay Healthy
Preventive dentistry can have an impact on your body as a whole, not just your mouth.
Here are 6 aspects of health that preventive oral care can have an impact on:
1. Brain Health
Your brain health is one of the more surprising things that oral health can have an impact on. When your mouth health isn’t taken care, oral bacteria can begin to hurt your brain’s ability to remember things.
Over time, these oral bacteria can begin to aid in the cause of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
2. Lung Health
Your oral health can have a pretty heavy impact on your lung health in a few different ways.
Having unhealthy teeth and certain bacteria in your mouth can cause you to have issues breathing.
If you have issues with your gums, like gum disease, you’re more likely to have respiratory infections like pneumonia and COPD.
3. Heart Health
Another significant part of your general health and wellbeing that’s impacted by a lack of good oral hygiene is your heart health.
If you suffer from poor dental health you could be at greater risk for irregularities in your heart function or even heart disease.
4. Skin Health
Your skin can also lose its luster thanks to bad oral health.
If your teeth and gums are not properly taken care of, your gums may begin to recede and you may begin losing bone density in your face. These issues can add years to your appearance and cause the overlying skin to wrinkle and sag.
5. Ensures a Healthy Pancreas
According to a study done in 2007, there’s a correlation between gum disease and pancreatic cancer.
In the long-run, oral health is just as important as any other aspect of your wellbeing.
6. Ensures a Healthy Kidney
If you begin to lose your teeth you could be increasing your risk for kidney disease as well.
Adults with fewer teeth have a higher risk of kidney disease than their peers with healthy and full smiles.
Methods of Preventive Dentistry
Since preventive oral care is so important, you’re going to want to know how to do it.
Here are some of the best tips for keeping your smile healthy:
Set Expectations of Good Oral Hygiene Early
One of the best ways of ensuring that dental health is a priority is by teaching children good oral hygiene strategies at a young age.
By teaching kids to brush, floss, and rinse early on it will optimize dental health throughout their lives.
Early on in life is also a good time to establish a routine of regularly seeing a general dentist so that it is something perceived as the norm.
Visit Your General Dentist for a Comprehensive Exam
Another tip to good preventive dentistry, as mentioned above, is regular visits to see your general dentist.
During these trips having a comprehensive exam done will allow the dentist to determine if you are showing any early signs of gum disease or tooth decay. The best way to prevent further issues is to catch these problems at the earliest time possible.
Use Dental Sealants to Prevent Cavities
Dental sealants are like plastic covers for your teeth and are especially good for younger individuals.
The need for dental sealants can be determined by an exam that will tell whether or not the ridges on the chewing surface of the teeth are too deep to be able to be cleaned properly. In the case that they are too deep, brushing will most likely not be enough to prevent things like cavities.
The procedure to place dental sealants can be done by a general dentist and should only take a matter of minutes.
Use an Antibiotic Mouth Rinse
Using an antibiotic mouth rinse can help to cut down on any bacteria that may be hanging out in your mouth and causing bad breathe among other things.
You can obtain an antibiotic rinse through a quick trip to your local general dentist.
Fight Bad Breath
If you suffer from chronic bad breath or halitosis then there’s probably a bigger underlying problem.
By visiting your general dentist and having your teeth professionally cleaned and any problems attended to, you’ll be doing yourself a favor in the long run.
Another key aspect of preventive oral care is to prevent injuries to the best of your ability.
Most general dentists will recommend that if a patient is playing sports, especially contact sports, that they wear a mouth guard to reduce the likelihood of costly and painful oral injuries.
Get Flouride Treatments
Flouride treatments done on a yearly basis can help to strengthen your teeth and is another key player in preventive dentistry.
A fluoride treatment can help to prevent your teeth from eroding and will help you to fight off potentially harmful bacteria.
Visit a General Dentist for Preventive Care
Now that you know the importance of preventive dentistry and some tips on how to accomplish it, you should be on your way to a happier and healthier smile.
However, if you aren’t seeing a general dentist every six months or so, you should be.
Give us a call and set up an appointment today! Your teeth will thank you.