Preventive dentistry helps patients avoid the costly and invasive procedures often needed to treat serious dental conditions. Maintaining dental health helps patients look and feel their best, and can have a positive effect on their overall health.
Preventing dental problems requires a lifelong commitment. To begin developing proper dental-hygiene habits, a child should visit a dentist shortly after the first teeth emerge. Parents also play an important role in helping their children develop and maintain good dental-hygiene habits..
At-Home Dental Hygiene
To maintain healthy teeth and gums, patients should brush their teeth at least twice a day; brushing before going to bed at night is essential. The American Dental Association recommends brushing with toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush for at least two minutes. Every tooth should be gone over thoroughly.
Flossing at least once each day to clean the spaces between the teeth and under the gums is also recommended. In addition, using over-the-counter mouthwash can freshen breath and help protect the mouth from disease.
Eating balanced meals and fewer sugary snacks can also help improve dental hygiene. Other home dental aids are available to help keep teeth as healthy as possible in-between visits to the dentist. Dentists provide patients with specific instructions for at-home care of the teeth; it is important to follow these instructions to ensure good dental health.
Dental X-rays are a vital part of a dental examination There are two main types of dental X-rays: those taken with the X-ray film inside the mouth (intraoral) and those taken with the X-ray film outside the mouth (extraoral). Intraoral X-rays are the ones most commonly used. They provide detailed evidence of the growth of developing teeth, the health of tooth roots and surrounding bone, including the jaw. They also help the dentist zero in on any cavities. Extraoral X-rays, while they also show the teeth, primarily focus on the jaw and skull. They are therefore more helpful in diagnosing malocclusions, impacted teeth, and possible temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD).