Preventative Dental Care Facts

Preventative dental care is the practice of caring for one's teeth to keep them healthy. This helps to avoid cavities, gum disease, enamel wear, and more.

There are many forms of preventative dental care, such as daily brushing and annual dental cleanings. These practices are designed to ensure that teeth are clean, strong, and white. Children should be taught proper oral hygiene at an early age.

Below you will find information and tips about preventative dental care.

Dental Sealants

Sealants are thin layers of resin that are placed on the pits, fissures, and grooves of molars to prevent decay on these surfaces.sealants1

The majority of decay on back teeth starts in the grooves and pits of chewing surfaces, especially during the first few years after their eruption. Sealing these surfaces with composite resins prevents this kind of decay.

Sealants are one of the most effective methods of preventing decay on the surfaces where they are placed. Although it is still a possibility that decay may develop on surfaces in between teeth, sealants significantly reduce the overall chance of having cavities.

Oral Hygiene

Brushing and Flossing

Brushing and flossing are paramount to good dental hygiene. It is important that these activities be performed regularly and properly. We have created some easy to follow how-to guides to assist you.

Bad Breath

young woman checking her breath with her hand

There are a few different causes for bad breath. It ranges from stomach problems to diets and teeth problems. Most of the causes can be found in the mouth, they are:

  1. Tongue (when bacteria grows in between the papilla)
  2. Teeth cavities (especially when food particles get stuck in them)
  3. Gum diseases
  4. Extraction sites during healing
  5. Dentures when not cleaned properly
  6. Alcohol and tobacco

If you or someone you know is concerned about bad breath, the first step is a dental check up. Your dentist will be able to confirm or rule out teeth or mouth as the source of bad breath.

When the reason is found, treatment will be explained by your dentist. If the source of the bad breath is your mouth there is little chance that mouth washes or mints can treat the problem. They usually mask the problem for a short period of time. They can even sometimes make the situation worse (mouthwashes that contain alcohol cause dry mouth and that usually makes the bad breath worse).

These are a few other, non-dental reasons that cause bad breath:

  1. Sore throat
  2. Tonsillitis
  3. Some foods
  4. Infection of air passages.

Following a good oral hygiene routine and getting regular check ups with your dentist are best ways of preventing bad breath.

Dental Health & Your Diet

dietSugar is the main cause of dental decay when there is bacteria present. More important than the amount of sugar you take is the frequency of it.

Probably the worst thing you can do to your teeth is to hold a soda and have a sip every few minutes during a long period of time; the same is true for snacking. It is recommended that if you want to have a snack or a soda or juice it is better to have it after food, as dessert or have it in one sitting. Eating or drinking something sweet during a long period of time creates a constant supply of sugar for bacteria that cause tooth decay!

It is important to know all the sources of sugar. It is not just everything that is sweet but anything that can turn to sugar like pieces of bread. Cutting down your sugar intake is good for cavity prevention as well as general health.

When you have to have sugar! The best way to prevent cavities is to prevent the sugar from staying next to your teeth. Brushing after eating sugar, rinsing your mouth with Fluoride mouth wash or chewing sugarless gum can help. But nothing has the effect of avoiding sugar!

Is there any kind of food that prevents tooth decay? Well, not really. Some people believed that chewing foods like apple and carrots may have some plaque removal effect, but they still contain some sugar so any advantage of them is not clear.

Another group of food that causes significant damage to teeth structure is acidic foods. Things like lime, lemon and grapefruit, if in frequent contact with teeth, can cause serious irreversible damage (erosion) to your teeth.

Fluoride & Decay Prevention

fluoride1Many years ago scientists started to notice that children who were born and raised in areas with natural fluoride in drinking water had fewer cavities than children in other areas. Fluoride absorbed by your body when teeth were forming (during mother’s pregnancy to early childhood) integrates into the structure of enamel and makes it stronger.

After teeth eruption, fluoride found in your toothpaste, mouthwash, or in what your dentist places on your teeth still has a positive effect on your teeth. It strengthens the enamel and reduces the chance of tooth decay.

If you have children and live in an area that has no fluoride in its drinking water, you should consult your dentist and physician about fluoride tablets that are available for children.