What is preventive dentistry?
Preventive dentistry is the modern way of reducing the amount of dental treatment necessary to maintain a healthy mouth.
The two major causes of tooth loss are decay and gum disease. The better we prevent or deal with these two problems, the more chance people have of keeping their teeth for life.
The joint efforts of the dentist, the hygienist and the patient, can help to prevent the need for treatment, and so avoid the traditional pattern of fillings and extractions.
A course of treatment may be recommended to get your mouth into good condition, and a maintenance plan will be worked out to help you keep it that way.
Is prevention possible?
Yes. With modern dentistry and constant new developments, it is possible to prevent or considerably reduce dental disease.
What is involved?
Your dentist will first assess your teeth and gums, and discuss with you any treatment that is necessary. The main aim is to help you get your mouth really healthy, to try and prevent any dental problems returning. In a healthy mouth it is unlikely that decay or gum disease will continue to be a problem.
The inside of your mouth and your tongue will be examined with the help of a small mirror. The examination will also look at your neck and underneath your jaw. Dentists will carry out this examination as part of a routine dental check-up. Remember, your dental team can see parts of your mouth that you cannot see easily yourself.
How do I keep my mouth healthy?
To have a healthy mouth you need to:
- brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- cut down on how often you have sugary snacks and drinks
- visit your dentist every 6 months
- visit your hygienist every 3 months