What’s preventive dentistry?

Preventive dentistry is the fashionable manner of serving to you retain a wholesome mouth. It lets you maintain your enamel, and means you have to have much less dental remedy. The 2 principal causes of tooth loss are decay and gum disease. The higher you stop or cope with these two issues, the extra likelihood you should have of preserving your enamel for all times. When the dental workforce and affected person work collectively, this can assist to forestall the necessity for remedy – particularly fillings and extractions. Your dental workforce might advocate a course of remedy to get your mouth into good situation, after which work out a ‘upkeep plan’ that can assist you maintain it that manner.

Can everyone profit from preventive dentistry?

Sure. Preventive dentistry will profit anybody with a few of their very own enamel. Individuals who haven’t any enamel can even profit, as a result of circumstances akin to mouth cancer and denture stomatitis might be noticed throughout common visits to the dental workforce after which handled. It’s wonderful for kids and younger folks, however it’s by no means too late to start out.

What’s concerned?

Your dental workforce will first examine your enamel and gums, and discuss to you about any remedy you want. The principle intention is that can assist you get your mouth actually wholesome. In a wholesome mouth it’s unlikely that decay or gum illness will proceed to be an issue.

  • The dental workforce will completely take away all plaque and tartar out of your enamel. That is typically known as a ‘scale and polish’.
  • The dental workforce will present you the perfect methods to brush, and the best way to clear in between your enamel utilizing interdental brushes or floss, to take away the bacterial ‘plaque’ which types continuously in your enamel. Once you eat or drink one thing sugary, the micro organism within the plaque flip the sugar into acid, which can trigger tooth decay. Plaque can even trigger gum irritation (swelling and soreness) if it isn’t recurrently and completely eliminated. The arduous tartar (or ‘calculus’) which builds up on the enamel additionally begins off as plaque.
  • You may be informed which oral care merchandise are the perfect ones so that you can use.
  • The dental workforce will in all probability discuss to you about your diet, and any habits you could have akin to smoking and consuming.
  • Your dentist can even ensure that all of your fillings are in good situation and that there are not any tough edges to make cleansing troublesome.

Will my dental workforce advocate remedy?

A ‘preventive dentist’ will typically advocate remedy to strengthen a tooth to verify it doesn’t break. For instance, if the dental workforce see {that a} tooth is cracked, or is weak and in peril of breaking, they could advise a brand new filling or maybe a crown or ‘onlay’ to guard it. That is all the time higher than ready till the tooth breaks, after which coping with it as an emergency.

What else can the dentist and hygienist do to assist stop tooth decay?

Fluoride helps enamel resist decay. Your dental workforce will advocate the suitable stage of fluoride so that you can use in your toothpaste. Fluoride varnishes could also be really useful for kids to assist stop decay. In case you are significantly prone to decay your dental workforce might advocate or prescribe a high-strength fluoride toothpaste. Kids as much as three years outdated ought to use a toothpaste with a fluoride stage of not less than 1000ppm (elements per million). Three-year-olds to adults ought to use a toothpaste that accommodates 1350ppm to 1500ppm of fluoride.

What are pit and fissure sealants?

The biting surfaces of enamel might be protected by making use of ‘sealants’. These make the tooth floor smoother and simpler to wash, and stop decay beginning within the difficult-to-clean areas. Your dental workforce will recommend whether or not this is able to be best for you. For extra info, go to our recommendation on pit and fissure sealants.

Can weight loss program have an effect on my enamel?

Meals and drinks containing sugar trigger decay. If you happen to reduce down on how typically you could have sugary snacks and drinks it will assist loads. Meals akin to cheese, fruit, nuts and greens are higher on your enamel.

A weight loss program that’s wealthy in fruits, greens and minerals can assist stop gum illness and defend in opposition to mouth most cancers.

What’s dental erosion?

Dental erosion is the lack of enamel brought on by acid assault. When the enamel is worn away it could possibly result in ache and sensitivity. Meals and drinks that include acid, akin to citrus fruits, fizzy drinks, smoothies, fruit juice and fruit teas, can all trigger dental erosion when you’ve got them typically.

Can I stop dental erosion?

Acidic meals and drinks might be dangerous when you’ve got them typically in massive quantities. Attempt to have acidic meals and drinks solely at meal instances and drink acidic drinks by way of a straw.

We advocate that you don’t brush your enamel for not less than one hour after consuming or consuming something. Each time you eat or drink, the enamel in your enamel turns into softer for a short time, and loses a few of its mineral content material. Ready for an hour or so will enable your saliva to slowly restore it to its pure stability.

Can smoking and consuming have an effect on my enamel and gums?

Sure. Smoking may cause tooth staining, tooth loss and mouth cancer, and make gum illness worse. If you happen to smoke, you might want to go to the dental workforce extra typically, however the perfect recommendation is to attempt to surrender. Alcoholic drinks can even trigger mouth most cancers and if you happen to smoke and drink you are extra in danger. Some alcoholic drinks include quite a lot of sugar, and a few combined drinks might include acids. To allow them to trigger decay or erosion if you happen to drink them typically and in massive quantities.

What can I do at residence?

It is vitally vital that you just sustain a great routine at residence to maintain your enamel and gums wholesome. We advocate that you just:

  • Brush your enamel very last thing at evening and not less than one different time through the day, with fluoride toothpaste – brush in the best way your dental workforce have proven you.
  • Spit out after brushing and don’t rinse, in order that the fluoride stays in your enamel longer. 
  • Clear in between your enamel with ‘interdental’ brushes or floss – brushing alone solely cleans as much as about 60 p.c of the floor of your enamel.
  • Use a mouthwash. Many mouthwashes include antibacterial components to assist stop gum illness, and fluoride to assist stop decay. Do not use the mouthwash straight after brushing. Utilizing the mouthwash in between the instances you sweep your enamel implies that your enamel and gums are protected for longer. 

Is there anything I can do?

Sure. You possibly can take different steps to assist stop tooth loss, decay and the necessity for remedy.

  • Minimize down on how typically you could have sugary meals and drinks.
  • Use a straw when you could have fizzy or acidic drinks – this helps the drink to go to the again of your mouth and reduces the acid assault on the enamel.
  • Chew sugar-free gum – it makes your mouth produce extra saliva and stops your mouth drying out. It may well additionally assist to cut back plaque and stop dental decay and erosion.
  • Go to your dental workforce recurrently, as typically as they advocate.

What oral care merchandise ought to I take advantage of?

There are actually many specialised toothpastes, together with complete care toothpastes and toothpastes made specifically to assist with plaque and gum illness, and sensitive teeth. There are additionally ‘whitening’ toothpastes.

Mouthwashes can assist, and there are differing kinds together with ones with anti-bacterial components.

Adults ought to use a toothbrush with a small- to medium-sized head and mushy to medium filaments (bristles).

Checks have proven that electrical or ‘energy’ toothbrushes with an oscillating, rotating motion are higher than guide toothbrushes at eradicating plaque. They will take away as much as twice as a lot plaque as a guide toothbrush. In case you are uncertain, ask your dental workforce for recommendation on the one which most closely fits your wants.

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Want extra recommendation?

If you happen to want free and neutral recommendation about your oral well being, contact our Dental Helpline by e mail or name 01788 539780 (native charge name within the UK).

Our Dental Helpline is totally confidential and has helped virtually 400,000 folks since opening over 20 years in the past. Contact our consultants by phone, e mail or on-line enquiry, Monday to Friday, 09:00 – 17:00.