So much of our daily lives are impacted by oral health. For many of our Edmonton patients, having a healthy smile provides encouragement and improves confidence. By taking daily preventative measures to improve your oral health you may be able to avoid serious complications like cavities, gum disease or dental emergencies.
What is Preventative Dental Care?
You’ve probably heard it time and time again: brush and floss daily! But that’s only part of the preventative care picture. There are steps you can take daily, monthly and even yearly to ensure your smile is healthy. Preventative dentistry is a combination of routine dental checkups and daily habits like brushing your teeth, flossing, and using mouthwash.
Tips for Preventative Dental Care at Home
Better oral health begins at home! The good news is that the time and effort required to practice proper daily hygiene is not as daunting as you might think. For some patients the most difficult part is establishing a routine. Once you understand the steps and frequency of proper daily oral hygiene, you can begin to practice a routine that will soon become a healthy habit.
Brush at Least Twice Daily
Frequent brushing is one of the most important and effective preventive measures you can take on a daily basis. Brushing your teeth removes bacteria and plaque that can quickly build up between meals and overnight. Brushing frequently can help prevent cavities and gum disease. You should brush at least twice a day, but it is recommended that you also brush after every meal.
Use a soft bristle brush and brush in a semi-circular motion. Do not apply a lot of pressure or brush too vigorously, or you may damage your gums.
Floss at Least Once Daily
Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease, and brushing alone can’t reach every nook and cranny of your teeth and gums. Flossing can reach the spaces that toothbrush bristles can’t. By flossing at least once a day, you can avoid the build up of tartar in hard to reach places between your teeth and in the gumline.
Looking for even more reasons to floss? It can help prevent bad breath!
Some patients don’t like the taste or sensation of mouthwash, and may opt not to include it in part of daily preventative dental care. There are numerous over the counter mouthwashes available, and even some prescription mouthwashes for use in specific cases. Dr. Li can help you choose a mouthwash that will work best for your dental health plan.
How Can a Dentist Help Me Improve My Dental Health?
Preventative dentistry gives you and your dentist insight into dental health throughout the year, so that complications like cavities can be caught before they become more serious. As part of a preventative dental care plan you may receive:
Dental x-rays help identify hidden cavities or other problems lurking deep within your teeth and gums. Dr. Li uses digital x-rays, which are a fast and convenient alternative to traditional dental x-ray machines. Every patient’s care plan is different, so the frequency of getting dental x-rays will vary depending on your unique situation.
Routine Teeth Cleaning
Teeth cleaning is typically performed by a dental hygienist who will remove tartar and plaque from your teeth using various dental instruments. Teeth cleaning is an important part of preventative dentistry because it gives our care team an opportunity to closely examine your oral health and reduce build up between cleanings.
We recommend that patients have their teeth cleaned once a quarter, every 6 months, or at least once a year depending on your clinical condition and current oral health.
Regular Dental Examinations
Regular dental examinations allow your dentist to track your oral health and identify potential problems year over year. Dental checkups may be performed during the same appointment as a routine teeth cleaning, but might be scheduled separately if your dentist wants to take a deeper look into your oral health. If you feel pain in your mouth or suspect there is a sudden problem with your teeth or gums, please contact us for an examination.
Being proactive about your dental health is a team effort! Dr. Li and her staff can help you achieve your dental health goals through our preventative dentistry program. Contact our friendly care team today to schedule a consultation. Dr. Li will evaluate your oral health and create a preventative dental care plan that fits your unique situation. Call us at 708-705-9866 or click here to contact us online.