Preventive dental services maintain your teeth and gums. Proactive oral care involves daily flossing and brushing, and semi-annual cleanings and exams. The practice of these tasks are designed to avoid gum disease, cavities and enamel wear – which often leads to sensitivity.
Preventive dental services include:
Regular oral exams, usually every 6 months
The dental exam itself is a form of prevention, as the purpose of the appointment is to detect the potential for dental decay, both during the oral exam and upon reading any dental images (x-rays) taken.
What’s your role in preventive dental care?
Developing healthy dental habits starts with you.
Floss daily to get food that’s stuck between teeth before it turns to plaque.
Brush your teeth at least 2 times a day—usually morning and night--using a soft-bristled brush and a fluoride toothpaste. Your dentist can recommend the best toothbrush and toothpaste for you. They can also instruct you on how to properly brush.
Use a mouthwash to rinse out food particles after flossing.
Avoid acidic foods that can harm tooth enamel.
Be cautious with hard foods, like some candies, foods with bones, seeds, or pits that could damage or chip teeth.
Don’t smoke or use tobacco products--these can lead to cancer and other dental problems.
Use a mouthguard when participating in certain sports.
If you grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist for a nighttime mouth guard to help reduce gum recession.