What Is Preventive Dental Care?
The majority of people in the United States avoid going to the dentist until there is something wrong with their mouth or smile. This is the exact opposite of what you should do. To maintain a healthy smile, it’s important to visit a dentist twice a year to receive preventive dental care.
What Is It?
Preventive dentistry is a field that focuses on keeping the teeth, gums, and other soft tissues free of problems that could cause health concerns later on. The most common examples of preventive care are the cleanings and exams performed by your dentist regularly. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), every individual should have two of these appointments each year to maintain optimal health.
Preventive care is also done at home. Most people are taught to brush and floss their teeth twice a day to keep them free of plaque, bacteria, and other materials. Unfortunately, few individuals take care of their teeth as recommended. The point of brushing and flossing is to prevent tooth decay and gum disease from occurring. However, many people only brush once a day – if that – and the majority refuse to floss.
Preventive dental care possesses numerous benefits for the average individual. The human mouth is one of the dirtiest parts of the body – you might have heard the rumor that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than yours?
While a dog’s mouth isn’t cleaner, humans can build up plenty of disgusting germs and bacteria when they fail to clean their mouths regularly. By brushing, flossing, and engaging in other forms of preventive dentistry, you can keep your mouth clean and avoid developing bacterial infections or the dreaded gum disease.
Besides avoiding germs and bacteria, partaking in regular care also preserves the health of the teeth. Every day, food and drink leaves behind a sticky substance called plaque. Plaque adheres to the teeth and can eat through the enamel, or the hard outer layer that protects internal soft tissue and nerves. Over time, leaving plaque on the teeth causes decay.
By brushing, flossing, and visiting a dentist for regular exams and plaque removal, you can stop decay and avoid a host of problems like cavities, infections, and even permanent tooth loss.
Finally, you can even help prevent more serious overall health issues by keeping your teeth free of plaque. Eating and drinking while having plaque has been shown to correlate with high risks of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and even diabetes. If these health issues run in your family, then it would be a good idea to start brushing those pearly whites sooner rather than later.
Who Should Receive Preventive Dental Care?
Preventive dental care is meant for everybody regardless of age, gender, or background. The ADA believes the best time to start seeing a dentist is when the first tooth erupts or a child reaches 12 months of age. Afterward, you should strive to see the same dentist twice a year in perpetuity.
However, there are often concerns about affording quality care or even seeing a dentist at all. One of the advantages of preventive care is that it is far less expensive than restorative or cosmetic treatment. Most insurance plans will cover it, and even dental offices themselves charge low prices so people can keep their teeth healthy and clean.
If you’re worried about covering costs for regular preventive treatment, you can even sign up for systems like CareCredit to get assistance with paying on time.
How to Receive Treatment
It can be challenging to find the right dentist for you. Luckily, unless you are looking for a specialist, it is easy to find a preventive care dentist near you. After all, the majority of ‘general’ dentists are practitioners of preventive dentistry with a few restorative and cosmetic elements thrown in.
If you are seeking a dentist in Spring Valley, consider paying a visit to Main Street Dental Care. Our highly qualified specialist and staff can teach you the ins and outs of proper care while also helping to eliminate plaque, bacteria, and even decay.