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Preventive Dental Care

Child on the dental chair during surgery

Preventive dental care is important throughout your life, no matter your age. By practicing good oral hygiene at home and scheduling regular checkups with your dentist, you can help keep your smile bright and healthy for many years to come. Here are a few simple ways that you can prevent the build-up of plaque and cavities:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque from the tooth surfaces. Also be sure to brush the top surface of your tongue; this will remove any extra plaque-causing food particles, and help keep your breath fresh!
  • Clean between your teeth by flossing at least once a day. You can also use a mouthwash to help kill bacteria and freshen your breath. Decay-causing bacteria can linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Floss and mouthwash will help remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
  • Eat a balanced diet, and try to avoid extra-sugary treats. Nutritious foods such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese, or fruit can help keep your smile healthy.
  • Remember to schedule regular checkups with your dentist every six months for a professional teeth cleaning.
  • Ask your dentist about dental sealants, protective plastic coatings that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
  • If you play sports, be sure to ask your dentist about special mouthguards designed to protect your smile.

If it’s been six months since your last dental checkup, then it’s time to contact our practice and schedule your next appointment!

Brushing Instructions

Brushing: Step 1 Illustration

Brushing: Step 1

Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum.

Brushing: Step 2 Illustration

Brushing: Step 2

Brush gently in a circular motion.

Brushing: Step 3 Illustration

Brushing: Step 3

Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.

Brushing: Step 4 Illustration

Brushing: Step 4

Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth.

Flossing Instructions

Flossing: Step 1 Illustration

Flossing: Step 1

Wind about 18 inches of floss around your fingers as shown. Most of it should be wrapped around one finger, and the other finger takes it up as the floss is used.

Flossing: Step 2 Illustration

Flossing: Step 2

Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide about one inch of floss between your teeth.

Flossing: Step 3 Illustration

Flossing: Step 3

Holding the floss tightly, gently saw it between your teeth. Then curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and gently slide it beneath your gums.

Flossing: Step 4 Illustration

Flossing: Step 4

Slide the floss up and down, repeating for each tooth.

Preventative dental care is the cornerstone of maintaining optimal oral health throughout life. From childhood through adulthood, adopting good oral hygiene habits and regular dental check-ups can prevent dental problems, save you money, and contribute to overall well-being.

What Is Preventative Dental Care?

Preventative dental care encompasses a range of practices and treatments aimed at preventing dental problems before they occur or worsen. It includes both at-home oral hygiene practices and professional dental care provided by dentists and dental hygienists. The primary goal of preventative dental care is to maintain healthy teeth and gums, prevent dental diseases such as cavities and gum disease, and address oral health issues early to avoid more extensive treatments later on.

Components Of Preventative Dental Care

  • Daily Oral Hygiene: Proper brushing and flossing are fundamental to preventing dental problems. Brush your teeth at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and along the gumline.
  • Healthy Diet: A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains supports oral health. Limit sugary and acidic foods and beverages, which can contribute to tooth decay and erosion.
  • Fluoride Treatment: Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay. Many toothpaste brands contain fluoride, and fluoride treatments may be recommended by your dentist, particularly for children or those at higher risk of cavities.
  • Dental Sealants: Dental sealants are thin protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars) to defend them from decay. They are often recommended for children and teenagers but can benefit adults as well.
  • Regular Dental Check-ups And Cleanings: Routine dental visits are crucial for preventative care. During check-ups, dentists examine your teeth, gums, and mouth for signs of dental problems and provide professional cleanings to remove plaque and tartar buildup.

Benefits Of Preventative Dental Care

  1. Prevents Tooth Decay And Cavities: Proper oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups can prevent tooth decay and cavities, reducing the need for fillings, root canals, or tooth extractions.
  2. Prevents Gum Disease: Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a common oral health problem that can lead to gum recession, tooth loss, and other health complications. Preventative dental care helps keep gums healthy and reduces the risk of gum disease.
  3. Saves Money: Preventative dental care is often more cost-effective in the long run than treating dental problems that have progressed to more advanced stages. By addressing issues early, you can avoid the need for costly dental procedures.
  4. Maintains Overall Health: Poor oral health has been linked to various systemic health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections. Preventative dental care contributes to overall health and well-being.
  5. Promotes A Confident Smile: A healthy smile boosts confidence and self-esteem, allowing you to smile, speak, and eat comfortably without worrying about dental problems or embarrassment.

Dental Check-Ups And Professional Cleanings For Patients Of All Ages In San Jose, CA

Dentistry for Children and Young Adults offer regular cleanings and check-ups so people of all ages can maintain good oral health. These routine visits allow dental professionals to monitor oral health, detect issues early, and provide preventive care and education. For children and young adults, these visits ensure healthy development and proper alignment of teeth and jaws. As individuals transition into adulthood, these check-ups continue to be vital in preventing gum disease and addressing emerging dental concerns. By prioritizing preventive dental care, Dentistry for Children and Young Adults supports a lifetime of healthy smiles. Remember, taking care of your teeth today can save you from potential oral health problems tomorrow. For dental exams and cleanings for one or more members of the family, call us today at 408-226-0323.

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