Published on May 3, 2016, Updated on November 22, 2017
Taking preventive dentistry steps now by practicing good brushing, cleaning, and oral hygiene habits will save you time and money on restorative care and emergency procedures down the line and help you maintain healthy teeth. It is worth your effort now to maintain healthy teeth and gums by seeing your dentist regularly to avoid more serious oral health problems and more extensive and expensive treatment.
Our Philosophy: Preventive Dentistry
Our goal at Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics is to keep your mouth healthy and your smile bright. The biggest part of achieving and maintaining healthy teeth involves your commitment to healthy practices and proper oral hygiene. To help you achieve and maintain these advised oral health standards, we believe in educating you on the principles, techniques, tools and regular maintenance needs to keep your smile and mouth health at their best. Your home efforts coupled with our efforts at our Erie office can help you avoid the negative effects of cavities, gum disease, enamel wear and more. Developing these positive, preventive dentistry healthy teeth habits starts an early age which is why the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child’s first dental visit should occur within six months after their first tooth erupts and no later than a child’s first birthday.
Key Steps in Preventive Dentistry
There are many facets of preventive dentistry to learn and practice for healthy teeth and gums. Here are a few of the major contributors to consider:
Make Good Food Choices
Eating patterns and food choices play an important role in preventing, or promoting, tooth decay. Heavy sugar consumption has long been associated with tooth decay. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), men should not have more than 38 grams of sugar per day and women should not have more than 25 grams. Children should have less than that. Part of Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics’ comprehensive oral health education plan also includes the vital role of nutrition for healthy teeth and bones. Along with limiting your sugar intake, make sure you are getting your vitamins. Your teeth need the vital nutrients vitamins supply to stay strong and healthy. Strive to eat a varied diet so you get all the vitamins your body (and teeth) need.
Get Dental Sealants
Dental sealants protect the narrow grooves of your teeth from plaque accumulation. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits that can trap food particles and that can’t be removed by your toothbrush bristles or through mouthwash. To avoid developing cavities, Dr. Nam can brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and maintain healthy teeth. Currently, the vast majority of Americans are not benefiting from this simple procedure that can save you from the costs and negative effects of tooth decay. According to current research, more than 68% of children ages 6-9 did not receive dental sealants on their first molars and more than 86% of children ages 10-14 did not receive sealants on their second molars. Preventive dentistry protocol advises parents of the importance of sealing these teeth to prevent problems.
Schedule Regular Fluoride Treatments
Studies show that currently more than 65% of children age 18 and under are not receiving the recommended two fluoride treatments a year for healthy teeth. Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens teeth and helps them to become more resistant to decay (cavities). You can help protect yourself or your child from getting cavities by making sure you/they drink fluoridated water and brush at least twice daily with fluoride-fortified toothpaste. For many children, this daily fluoride exposure is enough to protect them for a lifetime. During your 6-month or annual dental exam you can also receive a fluoride treatment to help keep your teeth strong and healthy.
Brush and Floss Daily for Healthy Teeth
One of the most important steps in preventive dentistry is brushing your teeth daily with fluoride-fortified toothpaste that has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Don’t forget to brush your tongue. This will help remove bacteria from your mouth and also help freshen your breath. Proper flossing is also a key habit to develop because your brush can only get to the front and back parts of your teeth. The sides of your teeth that rub up against neighboring teeth can only be cleaned by floss. The success of flossing is dependent on proper technique. At your next dental appointment, make sure you ask a Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics team member to instruct you on proper flossing steps so that you get the benefits you need.
Have a Deep Cleaning and Exam at Least Twice a Year
How often you should see your dentist is dependent on your risk level for dental problems. If you have higher risk factors than most, or if you suffer from current dental diseases or problems, you will need to see your dentist more frequently. If you’re at a low risk for dental problems, you may see the same benefits from only one deep cleaning per year. Dental cleanings and exams allow dentists to identify problems and take care of them right away. If you have dental insurance, find out what’s covered. Many insurance plans cover two preventive dental visits per year.
Call for a Preventive Dentistry Consultation
Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, located in Erie, CO, is passionate about helping you and your children achieve and maintain healthy teeth and beautiful smiles! We focus on prevention, tooth preservation and awareness and make every effort to treat our patients the way we treat members of our own family. We offer comprehensive care for your dental needs in a relaxed and efficient atmosphere. We look forward to meeting you and your family! Call us today to make an appointment.