In dentistry, prevention is even more important than in most of medicine. It isn’t just that prevention is less expensive than restoration. Unlike other tissues in your body, tooth enamel cannot truly heal. The body’s mechanisms to repair it are very limited. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. And repairs are less functional than your natural enamel.
That’s why we take preventive dentistry very seriously at Oasis Dental Arts. If you are looking for a Scripps Ranch dentist who makes preventive dentistry a priority, please call (858) 271-1010 or contact us online today for an appointment with Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi at Oasis Dental Arts.
A Multifaceted Approach to Prevention
The best preventive dentistry utilizes multiple approaches to protect your teeth from decay, gum disease, and trauma. At Oasis Dental Arts, we recommend a combination of:
- Diligent home hygiene
- Good oral health habits
- Regular checkups and hygiene visits
- Professional preventive treatments
With this combination, you will be more likely to retain your teeth for life. And you’ll enjoy other benefits from your good oral health. People with good oral health are less likely to suffer dementia, heart disease, cancer, and other serious health problems as they get older. They live longer and enjoy a higher quality of life at all ages.
Do Your Part for Oral Hygiene
Preventive dentistry works best as a team effort. One of your parts is performing thorough oral hygiene regularly at home. For most people, this means brushing twice a day and flossing every day.
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day: in the morning and in the night. To brush properly at these times, brush with a fluoride toothpaste. Brush for at least two minutes, making sure to brush all the way down to the gums. An electric toothbrush is recommended. But no matter what kind of toothbrush you use, make sure you’re using a soft bristled brush and not brushing too hard.
Brushing after every meal is a good idea, but it’s not always necessary to use toothpaste, which can be damaging if used too often.
Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles that your toothbrush can’t reach: between teeth and at the gumline. Flossing every day helps protect you against gum disease and cavities between teeth, which can be hard to treat. (Although, thanks to our laser cavity detection DiagnoDent, not hard to find.)
There are many types of floss, and all work well. Find one that’s easy and comfortable for you to use. Some people get better results with interdental cleaners or water flossing, and we may recommend these if appropriate.
You should always rinse your mouth with water after brushing. However, we don’t generally recommend over-the-counter mouthwashes. Biotene is the only over-the-counter mouthwash we recommend, and it’s not for everyone. Don’t use a mouthwash unless we recommend it.
Good Oral Health Habits
In addition to oral hygiene, there are many things you can do at home to help protect your teeth. Your diet is probably the most important factor in your risk of tooth decay, and you can control it.
Eat fewer sugars and simple starches to reduce your risk of tooth decay. Also drink fewer acidic beverages like fruit juices, sports drinks, sodas, and wine.
But just as important as what you eat is when and how you eat. Snacking and sipping acidic drinks throughout the day can badly damage your teeth. Finish snacks and drinks quickly. Then follow up with a quick brush or just a water rinse if the drink was highly acidic and might have softened your enamel.
Regular Checkups and Hygiene Visits
Making your twice-yearly checkups is very important for your oral health. Professional cleaning can remove hard deposits known as tartar or dental calculus that you can’t remove at home, but can shelter oral bacteria. In addition, your checkups let us identify cavities when they’re small so we can preserve more of your tooth enamel.
Your checkups also allow us to identify other tooth problems, such as clenching and grinding. And they let us make recommendations for changing your oral hygiene routine.
Professional Preventive Treatments
Sometimes, you might need a little extra help protecting your teeth from decay and other damage. We offer a number of preventive treatments at our office.
Sealants used to be recommended only for children, but we are recognizing their value for adults as well. These clear plastic coatings keep food and bacteria from reaching hard-to-clean parts of your teeth that are more likely to develop decay.
Fluoride is an important catalyst for restoring your enamel. Surface fluoride is an important treatment to protect your teeth from decay and help them maintain their strength.
One of the best ways to protect your teeth from trauma is to wear a mouthguard whenever you participate in sports, whether competitive or recreational. Professionally made mouthguards provide you the best protection for your teeth.