You may have heard the phrase ‘taking a preventive approach’ to your dental care but what exactly do we mean? Taken literally, preventive dentistry is when we try to prevent problems, such as decay or pain, from starting in the first place.
We encourage our patients to visit us for regular dental health examinations so we can spot any potential problems early, before they become painful or more expensive to treat. We give you advice on the ways you can take an active preventive approach. How often depends on your current dental wellbeing, so it could be anything from every three months to annually.
We can help by…
- Providing oral health education, such as brushing advice, flossing tips, dietary guidance and smoking cessation care. Decay happens when sugars in food and drinks react with the bacteria in plaque, forming acids. Every time you eat or drink anything containing sugars, these acids attack the teeth and start to soften and dissolve the enamel. Most of us can benefit from cutting down on the amount of sugary snacks, foods and drinks we have and also trying to have these at mealtimes rather than throughout the day.
- Asking you to fill out medical history forms on a regular basis. So many health issues are linked with gum disease - from arthritis and bacterial lung infections, to strokes, diabetes, heart disease and problems with pregnancy. Knowing your medical history helps us treat you personally and helps keep you safe.
- Offering affordable dental health plans that are a great way to spread the cost of regular dental and hygiene appointments. Dental treatment may not be cheap but dental care is reasonable if you maintain healthy teeth and gums. The best way to do that is to attend regularly for the least expensive but most valuable appointments - dental and hygiene examinations.
- Providing fissure sealants to our younger patients to help protect the biting surfaces of their teeth, which can be tricky to keep clean when they are just learning effective brushing techniques.
- Offering custom-made sports guards. Unfortunately sports-related tooth injuries are something we see all too often. Mouth guards slow down and absorb any impact, reducing the force to the teeth, jaw and skull. They protect the lips and cheeks from laceration against the teeth. Fractured teeth can be extremely costly in terms of money and time off school or work. They can be painful and uncomfortable and aesthetically inferior.