Have you experienced an excruciating toothache and regretted not going to the dentist sooner? In most cases, severe tooth pain does not develop overnight unless you have had an accident or fall that affected your teeth. Your tooth pain could be the result of prolonged neglect of your dental health. The only solution to avoiding chronic and acute dental issues is preventive oral health care.
Preventive dental care comprises any practice that you follow to maintain your oral health. This includes regular dental care and oral hygiene habits that can help you prevent unwanted dental issues, pain, and discomfort. Preventive dental care is what all dentists advocate. They say preventive care is always better than reactive care.
Preventive Oral Health Care And Its Significance
Dental healthcare awareness has remarkably improved over the years. Yet, many Indians are still not prioritizing preventive dental care, which helps detect oral health problems early. This preventive step gives sufficient time to identify, treat, and reverse the issue. Preventive dental care is the best way to save yourself from unwanted pain, discomfort, and the expenses you may incur with the reactive treatments.
Furthermore, taking steps to promote your oral health has various benefits, from improving your physical health to improving your social life. It helps in:
- Identifying and treating oral health problems
- Understanding the medically approved dental care products.
- Preventing serious oral diseases such as oral cancer
- Gaining professional advice on dental care, diet, and tooth-cleaning techniques.
These benefits of preventive dental care are just the tip of the iceberg. In the big picture, early prevention and intervention can positively impact your overall well-being for a lifetime.
Simple dental care procedures
Maintaining good oral hygiene is not as difficult as it seems. Dentists recommend five basic steps to ensure great oral health:
- Brushing twice a day for at least two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Replacing your toothbrush as frequently as needed.
- Flossing once a day, especially before bedtime.
- Regularizing dental visits to keep your oral health in check.
- Eating a healthy diet and avoiding sugary foods, fizzy beverages, and snacks.
Apart from simple oral care steps that you can do from the comfort of your home, your dentist may also recommend some preventive care procedures. These procedures are mostly done during your routine dental visits.
Preventive Dentistry: Professional Dental Health Solutions
Regular dental check-ups at a dental clinic start with an examination of your oral cavity by your dentist. A routine oral examination will entail the following assessments of your teeth and gums. It detects:
- Signs of decay, damage, discolouration, wear and tear, and abscesses
- Signs of gum diseases, infections, receding gums, sores, and cysts.
- Signs of dental stains, cracks, and chips in the teeth can affect your smile.
An oral examination also includes:
- Measurement of gum-tissue pockets that occur due to periodontal diseases.
- Assessment of the strength and volume of the jawbone below the gum lines.
- Assessment of the jaw placement, the bite, and the health of your jaw muscles.
- Inspection of the neck for swollen lymph nodes, cysts, and early signs of oral cancer.
In short, an oral examination allows your dentist to decide the next course of preventive treatment, which involves several procedures.
Dental cleaning procedures:
Dental cleaning is done twice a year to keep your teeth shining as good as new. Some of the preventive dental treatments that facilitate oral hygiene include:
- Removal of Calculus or Tartar
Tartar is a hard, calcified plaque that builds upon the tooth's surface, giving it a dirty and unhealthy appearance. It usually forms below or above the gum line and can only be removed with dental tools.
Plaque is the result of prolonged dental neglect and improper brushing habits. Plaque occurs due to the combination of food remnants, saliva, and toxic bacteria. Unless removed, the bacteria can cause gum inflammation and dental cavities.
Polishing your teeth once or twice a year will render your teeth cleaner, brighter, and healthier. The procedure can effectively remove stains and plaque build-up on your teeth.
Fluoride treatments are generally suggested for children. It is a dental measure that prevents early tooth decay. The treatment aids in fortifying the root enamel in the years when children are highly prone to cavities. Generally, fluoride treatments require only a single appointment. It is the most economical way of avoiding more painful and costlier procedures in the future.
Dental sealants are a simple but effective solution to prevent cavities in your child's teeth. When these thin, protective coverings are painted to the surface, they guard the teeth against infections due to bacteria and food particles.
Fact: Dental sealants reduce the risk of decay in your molar by nearly 80%.
Dental X-rays: Detailing Your Oral Health Status
A dental x-ray is the simplest and most painless procedure to gain a comprehensive understanding of your oral health. Nowadays, many dental clinics are using advanced digital machinery to take digital x-rays that are clear and accurate. A dental x-ray can reveal even the smallest symptoms and hidden cavities that are not visible in an oral examination.
A dental x-ray reveals:
- Tooth decay
- Gum diseases
- Impacted teeth
- Jaw injuries
- Bone damage
- Damaged tooth roots
Your dentist can gather a wealth of information from your dental x-ray and accurately diagnose your oral health status.
To sum up
Preventive dental care plays a significant role in the early detection and screening of oral cancer. Early detection greatly increases the chances of a quick recovery without major damage to your oral cavity.
If you have never had preventive dental care check-ups, we recommend you book your appointment with your dentist right away. At 4 Squares Dentistry, Gowrivakkam, we go by the adage, "Prevention is better than cure." Our expert dental team gives top priority to preventive dental care, which could mean a world of difference to your overall health. Book an appointment today to address your potential dental problems before they become a major issue.