The key to a healthy and beautiful smile is preventative care! While dentists can do amazing things to treat dental issues like cavities and tooth loss, preventing problems before they start is always a better option.
Daily brushing and flossing are the most important things patients can do to keep their mouth healthy.
PROFESSIONAL DENTAL CLEANINGS
Another crucial component of preventative care is having a regular professional cleaning by your dental hygienist. The American Dental Association recommends visiting the dentists twice a year at the minimum. At these twice-yearly appointments, patients receive the gold standard of teeth cleaning. Here are a few reasons why professional cleaning services at your dentist’s office are so important:
- Dental hygienists use special tools to remove plaque that are more effective than your toothbrush at home. When plaque builds up it can harden and then become tartar — and tartar can only be removed at the dentist’s office with a scaler. Scalers are hand-held instruments that scrape tartar away both above and below the gum line.
- Taking advantage of dental cleanings is a way to make the most of your insurance premium. If you are going to be paying for dental insurance, you might as well use the cleanings that are within coverage.
- Regular dental appointments are opportunities to be screened for oral cancer. The Indian Society of Periodontology reports that compromised oral health may prove to be a risk factor for certain cancers of the mouth. Like with all types of cancer, your odds are better the sooner it is diagnosed.
- At each of your dental visits, your hygienist tracks the condition of your mouth. This means that they can look for any indications of a problem and detect them when they are more easily treated.
- A lack of professional dental cleanings can contribute to the development of gum disease. Research has shown that gum disease is linked to other issues like heart disease.
- You can only see your mouth from certain angles at home. A dental hygienist using a special mirror can see every angle of your mouth to give it a complete examination.
- Professional flossing. You know how when you get your hair blown dry at a salon it looks amazing but when you try it at home but it just never looks quite the same? The same goes for flossing! There is just something about a professional that makes it that much better!
- Fluoride. At the end of a professional cleaning, you have the option to receive a fluoride treatment. Fluoride protects teeth and fights cavities and applying it topically only takes a few minutes.
- Sometimes a cleaning involves x-rays, which are key for detecting cavities and other dental issues.
- Deep cleaning can remove coffee, tea and tobacco stains, leaving you with a whiter, brighter smile.
ATHLETIC MOUTH GUARDS
Another part of preventative care is protect your teeth from injury. Mouth guards are used in sports to cover your teeth and tongue. Typically when one receives a blow to the face, it affects the upper teeth which is why mouth guards protect this area.
While you can buy mouth guards at a sporting good store, your dentist can give you a custom mouth guard that will fit more comfortably. Mouth guards are especially important for those with braces or other orthodontic appliances.
NIGHT GUARDS FOR BRUXISM
The American Sleep Association reports that as many as 10 percent of people suffer from bruxism, also known as teeth grinding. Bruxism can significantly damage teeth and much of this damage can be done at night when you are not conscious.
Night guards are plastic mouth guards you can wear to protect your teeth from grinding. A night guard from your dentist’s office will be made with high-quality materials and will be fitted to your mouth perfectly. Comfort is key, especially, in night guards so that they don’t affect your sleep quality.