An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure … this saying could not be more true when it comes to caring for your teeth and gums. Daily care coupled with twice yearly visits to the dentist for a thorough teeth cleaning and dental exam are considered the first line of defense when it comes to oral health.
It starts in the womb; hopefully mother is doing her part to help with the development of healthy teeth. We rely on caregivers during the first few years of life to provide essential protections for baby teeth; proper care of primary teeth sets the stage for permanent teeth to emerge.
Preventive dentistry involves several aspects. The patient can practice prevention with a daily oral hygiene regimen that includes brushing twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing daily to remove food debris missed when brushing.
Diet is important to oral health. An occasional treat is okay, but sugary snacks and beverages should not be consumed daily. A healthy diet should be made up primarily of vegetables, fruits, dairy, proteins, and healthy grains. Water should take center stage when it comes to beverages … unsweetened coffee and tea can be consumed daily, but they can stain enamel. You can flavor water with fruit or sugar free additives for variety.
The role your dentist plays is an important one. The first visit with the dentist should occur around twelve months. That early exam is needed to make sure your child’s oral health is on track. Subsequent visits coordinated with proper home care are going to provide the best chance for maintaining great teeth and gums.
Additional Preventive Action
As your child ages there are additional actions to be taken. Your dentist can provide topical fluoride treatments to help maintain enamel strength. The chewing surfaces of teeth can benefit from the extra protection available with dental sealants. Sealants penetrate the natural pits on teeth blocking harmful bacteria from breaching tooth surfaces.
Decay prevention is doable. Neglect and poor diet choices can interfere with maintaining great oral health. Daily brushing and flossing, along with regular dental visits will help promote a healthy smile designed to last a lifetime.
If it’s time to schedule your next teeth cleaning and exam, contact the office of Dr. David Kuban today.