Preventive dentistry is the area of dentistry that focuses on those procedures and life practices that help people to prevent the beginning or progression of oral disease. It includes at-home dental care performed by patients, as well as dental care and education by professional dental staff in the office or clinic.
Preventive dentistry includes two aspects of dental care, both performed to help patients avoid dental disease or to catch it in its early, more treatable stages. Oral hygiene care performed by the patient at home in conjuction with what is done by the dental staff in their offices to help patients maintain healthy teeth and gums. In either case, the objective is to stop the development of oral disease or to find it at an early stage. Dental health professionals most often look for early signs of periodontal disease, dental decay, and other changes in the soft tissue of the mouth that could lead to oral cancer.
Care at our office:
Preventive care in our dental office includes prophylaxis, or the cleaning of the teeth. It includes examination of the teeth and soft tissue, using visual and tactile exams, x rays, and oral cancer screening. Sometimes, medications will be prescribed to help prevent dental disease. These include anti-inflammatory mouthwashes to prevent periodontal problems.
Preventive procedures often performed for children include the use of flouride supplements and applications. Dental sealants may be applied to children’s teeth, forming a barrier between tooth crevasses and bacteria to help ward off dental decay. Dr. Henderson might refer patients to a dental specialist, such as an orthodontist, to correct a patient’s bad bite. Experts state that children should be evaluated by an orthodontist by age seven.
An important part of preventive dentistry performed by dental professionals is educating patients about at-home care and nutrition. At-home procedures performed by patients that help ward off dental disease include regular and proper brushing, flossing and sometimes use of mouth rinses and at-home fluoride applications. Dr. Henderson and her staff also explain proper brushing and flossing techniques.
Tooth Brushing Technique (Referenced from – How to Brush Your Teeth | Crest)
You’ve been brushing your teeth your whole life, but are you getting the most from your efforts? The following technique will help you get the most thorough clean.
- On the outer and inner surfaces, brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle in short half-tooth-wide strokes against the gum line.
- On chewing surfaces, hold the brush flat and brush back and forth.
- On inside surfaces of front teeth, tilt brush vertically and use gentle up and down strokes with toe of brush.
- Brush the tongue in a back-to-front sweeping motion to remove food particles and freshen your mouth.
Remember to spend at least 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth, adding up to two minutes each time you brush.
Choose the Right Toothpaste
Crest toothpastes contain fluoride, which helps strengthen weak spots and prevent tooth cavities. And whether you’re looking for tartar protection, a rush of flavor, or dentist-inspired protection, we’ve got a toothpaste that’s right for you.
- Ready for a brushing experience that awakens the senses? Try our flavor experience toothpastes.
- Looking for solutions such as enamel protection? View our dentist-inspired products.
- Have sensitive teeth? Try our sensitivity toothpastes.
Change Your Toothbrush
Most dental professionals recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months. To remind yourself, write the date you should change your toothbrush in permanent marker on the handle.
Crest recommends Oral-B toothbrushes. Find the Oral-B power toothbrush that’s right for you.