We only get one set of permanent teeth needed to last a lifetime. Providing great care by daily brushing and flossing coupled with regular six months visits with the dentist will help to keep teeth looking great. But did you know that your overall well being is closely connected to your dental health?
You may feel that the ongoing lectures about brushing and flossing you get at your six month check up appointment are unnecessary, but those reminders are intended to stress upon you just how important preventive actions are when it comes to your dental health.
In addition to the brushing and flossing you should do daily, there are preventive treatments available from your dentist that can enhance what you already do for yourself.
- Fluoride Treatments – We get fluoride from drinking water, but with the many other beverages available coupled with bottled water, you may not get adequate fluoride (fluoride strengthens your dental enamel). This is particularly critical for children as their teeth are not fully developed, so topical fluoride treatments may be discussed during dental visits.
- Dental Sealants – Teeth that have not previously been impacted by dental decay are eligible for this preventive treatment. A sealant is painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth. Its purpose is to fill in the uneven spots on the surface of teeth sealing out the bacteria that can erode dental enamel leading to cavity formation. Dental sealants can wear away so they may need to be applied more than once.
- Regular Dental Visits – Every six months your dental provider is removing plaque that has formed since your previous visit. Plaque formation occurs when the foods and beverages we consume add to the bacteria already present on teeth. Daily brushing and flossing are great tools to limit plaque buildup, but most of us are still going to have some plaque on our teeth. Those twice yearly visits result in plaque removal; an oral exam will be looking for anything that requires correction like decay, gum recession, gum disease, or something serious like a suspicious lesion.
Many dental problems like gum disease and dental decay are preventable. Daily brushing and flossing, regular visits to the dentist, a healthy diet, regular exercise and ample sleep are all ways that contribute to a healthy smile, and are also necessary to help maintain good overall health.
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