Teeth, just like any other part of the body, may be protected against disease, decay, or loss. Preventive dentistry is the name given to the various techniques used by dental practitioners to keep teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.
Concerns about dental and oral health have exploded across the world. People are concerned with their dental health because they are more aware of the connection between teeth, their physical health, and their social life.
It is now possible to repair teeth before they cut through the gums, thus preventing crowded or misaligned teeth in children, as well as preventing cavities and gum disease in adults, thanks to advances in dentistry.
Why preventive dentistry?
The major objective of preventive dentistry is to keep teeth and gums healthy and maintain good oral hygiene so that it can reflect in good general health. This includes avoiding all types of dental problems like dental caries, gum diseases, teeth enamel wear down, teeth loss and repairing teeth injuries.
Today, there are more possibilities of dental and oral diseases than at any other time in history due to our high consumption of refined flours and sugar, making us vulnerable to tooth cavities and gum disease caused by sugar-eating bacteria assaulting the teeth.
There are quite a few physical conditions that are linked to oral health and gum diseases. These include heart disease, lung infections, diabetes, and even brain disorders.
Preventive dentistry is beneficial even for young children, who are like sponges and absorb everything they’re exposed to from a tender age. The behaviours established in youth will last a lifetime and aid in the maintenance of superior oral health. It will also be beneficial if youngsters are introduced to preventive dentistry at an early age because the temporary teeth and permanent teeth can then be taken care of in the best possible manner.
When you commit to doing something you believe in, the outcome is generally superior than when you comply with instructions blindly. When you are confident about the importance of dental treatment in your oral and overall health, you are more open to getting preventative dental care.
Prevention of crowding of teeth
Preventive dentistry is particularly beneficial for youngsters since it may detect problems early enough to avoid them from becoming severe and expensive to address later on. It may save time, energy, and money by detecting issues as soon as possible.
When you visit the dentist regularly every 6 months, the dentist can notice the growth of teeth trying to cut through the gums. Some children witness late falling off of deciduous teeth, thereby leaving no space for the permanent teeth to cut through.
In these cases, the dentist will remove the temporary tooth surgically so that the permanent tooth can emerge without getting crooked or bent. These extractions make it possible for let the permanent teeth to erupt in a favourable position.
This procedure usually is carried out after the child is 8 years of age. In some cases, the temporary teeth are lost before the permanent teeth can take their place due to various reasons. Here, the next tooth will move forward in the empty space making it difficult for the permanent tooth to erupt properly.
The dentist in such cases will put space maintainers between the teeth so that the next tooth cannot move from its place. These space maintainers are preventive measures to ensure proper alignment, with no crowding of teeth in children.
Prevention of tooth decay in children and adults
Preventive dentistry is the best way to keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free throughout your lifetime.
Dentists recommend brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing once a day for two minutes, scheduling regular dental visits every six months, and limiting sugary snacks and drinks between meals. Parents are also advised to supervise their child’s tooth-brushing until they turn age 7 or 8 because children younger than that might not brush effectively on their own. Fluoride treatments can also help prevent cavities in adults who cannot adequately brush their teeth due to physical limitations or medical conditions such as diabetes.
By following these guidelines, children and adults can help prevent tooth decay.
Sealants are a protective barrier that is placed onto the teeth to keep it safe from bacteria. These dental sealants are used to seal the deep fissures on the chewing surface of the teeth; usually molars and premolars which have pits on the surface and are prone to decay.
Dentists suggest application of fluoride on teeth in the form of gels which helps prevention of decays because fluoride is a mineral that makes teeth resistant to decay, especially in areas where the drinking water is not fortified with fluoride.
This is the process of reshaping, or recontouring, your tooth’s enamel using dental equipment. It may be used to correct shape, size, or minor flaws, such as chips in the tooth. Enameloplasty may improve your smile and help you maintain better oral hygiene by smoothing out regions that are difficult to keep clean.
Prevention of gum disease
The dentists perform deep cleaning of teeth which will dislodge plaque which has been deposited on the teeth as a result of bacteria working on food remnants stuck on teeth. This procedure is sometimes referred to as oral prophylaxis. Getting your teeth cleaned professionally every six months will prevent gums from getting diseased and promotes good oral health.
Correction of misalignment of teeth early on
Your dentist can predict misalignment of teeth long before it becomes a hazard for proper bite and impediment for correct speech patterns. The dentist will suggest ways of correcting improper bite before it is late which may cost more time and effort.
Who can avail of benefits from preventive dentistry?
People of all ages can benefit from preventive dentistry, but usually it is believed that the earlier you start visitations with your dentists, the better it will be for the child to get used to keeping the teeth and gums healthy. But apart from children, even adults get benefits as prevention is always better than cure. Good oral health is one of the factors contributing to good general health, and saving on time and energy as well as money if dental problems become more serious.
It is very important to follow the instructions of your dentist and take care of your oral health diligently to save yourself future distress and expenses.