4 Ways Preventative Dentistry Helps You Invest in Your Overall Health and Wellness

Preventative dentistry helps your whole body

The Power of Preventative Dentistry

Rather than waiting for a cavity to appear or for your gums to become inflamed and then treating the problem, preventative dentistry care takes a proactive approach. It’s all about stopping oral health problems before they even have a chance to develop and damage your smile.

Most preventative dentistry services are already familiar to most people, such as biannual checkups and cleanings, occasional X-rays, and topical fluoride varnishes. But there are also a few preventative dentistry services that you may not know about, like mouthguards or night guards and oral cancer screenings. 

We’re going to go over 4 reasons why establishing and investing in a solid preventative dentistry care program is worth it.

1. Routine checkups and cleanings with your dentist stop tooth decay and gum disease.

Regular dental checkups are one of the simplest forms of preventative dental care, but they are one that you absolutely shouldn’t skip.

The earliest signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and even oral cancer can develop relatively quickly, sometimes within the six-months period between checkups. Thankfully, when caught early on, most oral health issues can easily be treated and reversed, but only if your dentist has the opportunity to do so.

Seeing your dentist every six months for an examination and a cleaning with the hygienist is something you should never skip, even if your teeth feel great and you’ve been blessed with a generally healthy smile. As an added bonus, many dental insurance plans cover the cost of this form of preventative care, so it doesn’t cost you anything but some time out of your day.

2. Early detection of oral disease increases the effectiveness of treatment, and saves time and money.

As mentioned earlier, the sooner oral diseases are recognized, diagnosed, and treated, the better. Let’s take a look at a common scenario the average adult might face.

Lately you’re swamped at work thanks to an upcoming project deadline. Because of the stress, you’ve been indulging in your sweet tooth more often than you normally would. Some nights you’re also so tired that you’re forgetting to floss and you rush through brushing. You have an upcoming dental checkup and you decide to either A) prioritize your health and keep the appointment, or B) cancel the appointment with the intention of rescheduling for a later time.

Go with option A and your dentist notices that one of your molars has a small patch of tooth decay, but it hasn’t yet developed into a deep cavity. Because this issue was caught at such an early stage, all you may need is the simplest of dental fillings. You book the treatment appointment, and in about an hour your tooth is fixed and the issue is solved.

Go with option B and, now that several months have gone by, that once tiny cavity has developed into a bigger problem. You now have a toothache, and your dentist tells you that a root canal and crown are necessary. The good news is your dentist can save your tooth, but, unfortunately, it’s going to involve a more invasive procedure that takes up more of your time and money.

3. Being fitted with specialized oral appliances can protect your teeth or improve your sleep.

Oral appliances are customized mouthguard-style tools that are used to physically protect a person’s teeth from damage. Not everyone needs oral appliances, but some situations make them an absolute necessity for preventing dental damage.

People who play contact sports are at a much higher risk of dental injuries than the average person. Leaving teeth unprotected against physical impact can lead to broken teeth and infections or complete tooth loss. Frequent impacts can also harm your bite alignment due to consistent force against the jaw and temporomandibular joint (TMJ). 

Speaking of TMJ pain, if you have a TMJ disorder that triggers teeth grinding (better known as bruxism), oral appliances are highly recommended. In other situations, mandibular advancement devices help stop snoring induced by obstructive sleep apnea. Because these oral appliances are typically worn at night while sleeping, they’re often referred to as night guards.

A simple mouthguard or night guard can be the difference between a full, healthy smile and one that’s chipped, cracked, or has missing teeth.

4. Your at-home dental care routine is the key to maintaining optimal oral health.

Preventative dental care isn’t just about the services you receive from your dentist; it’s also how you care for your smile at home. Achieving and maintaining a bright, healthy smile is only possible by prioritizing your at-home dental care habits. It’s also a way to protect the time and money you’ve invested in dental restorations, cosmetic services, or orthodontic care.

Make sure your at-home routine consists of brushing twice a day for two minutes, flossing at least once a day, and using proper and thorough techniques during both steps. You might also add in a tongue scraper, mouthwash, or a water flosser to your routine. Some people also choose to brush after every meal, but be sure to wait 30 to 60 minutes after eating before you brush to protect your tooth enamel.

Dixon, Boles & Associates can help you achieve your healthiest smile yet with preventative dentistry.

Dixon, Boles & Associates is your destination for complete family dental care in Wilson, NC. Our team can help you overcome any active oral health issues you’re experiencing, and establish a preventative dentistry care plan that meets and exceeds your individual needs.

Schedule a checkup or new patient appointment today via phone or online request.

Dixon Boles & Associates