Preventative Dentistry: What It Is And What It Does

Most people have heard of preventative or preventive dentistry before, but may not understand what it really means. Most people understand that preventive measures, such as brushing and flossing properly can help reduce the amount of plaque and tartar that settles on the teeth, but it is much more than just that. This type of dental help is meant to prevent damage, disease and decay of the teeth and gums, while maintaining proper chewing functions. While good oral hygiene and maintenance are important, it starts with the dentist.


During the primary preventive care, learning how to properly floss and brush are paramount. This typically happens as a child, but many adults have been brushing incorrectly for years, so it is never too late to ask for more information and learn the proper way to do it. You’ll also learn about mouthwashes and rinses that could prevent tartar and plaque.

Typically, being taught to eat less sugar is also part of the preventive care option because sugar is notorious for causing decay and cavities. Children typically have fluoride treatments, which can reduce tooth decay by placing small amounts of fluorine into the teeth and into the water supply.


The secondary part of Preventative Dentistry includes detecting disease and potential diseases, which can prevent the disease becoming worse and complications. This is typically done through having a dental exam, x-rays and other tests performed that will be able to tell if you have a problem or could have a problem in the future. These problems can include cavities, decay problems and gingivitis. Cleanings are also part of the process, because they will remove plaque and tartar that can’t be removed by traditional flossing and brushing.


Tertiary prevention includes reducing the impact of diseases that you already have. Many Americans have gingivitis and other tooth or mouth problems without realizing it. Once you are diagnosed with these problems, it is important to keep up with primary and secondary care options so that the problems don’t get worse. However, sometimes medication or other treatments are necessary. Examples include dentures, implants, bridges, fillings and other help.

All of these options can reduce problems within the mouth and reduce complications from diseases. This can help you have a healthier mouth and in some cases, a healthier body or better quality of life.

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