“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
The quotation above applies to a lot of things in our daily lives, as it is more beneficial to work on preventing problems rather than dealing with them when they are already in existence.
This quotation also applies to dentistry and our dental health. It is easier, less expensive, and generally results to less discomfort to deal with preventive measures, compared to addressing dental problems when they have already developed.
Why is there a need for Preventive Dentistry?
Preventive dentistry focuses on preventing the development or stopping the progression of dental problems. This area of dentistry aims to provide the necessary information, tips, treatments, and practices so that patients will get the proper dental care to prevent problems from even beginning; or in cases when the problem has already started – preventive dentistry helps prevent the further progression of the disease.
Early detection of dental problems is the key to avoid having to deal with a more serious dental issue later on.
How is Preventive Dentistry Done?
- Preventive dentistry is a combination of personal oral health care done at home, and the health care provided by a dental health professional.
- The first part is undertaken by the patient as part of daily proper oral hygiene practices:
- regular and proper tooth brushing techniques, the use of dental floss and interdental brushes to remove any food debris that tooth brushing may not have eliminated, eating a healthy diet, and refraining from unhealthy habits that can harm oral health (such as smoking or using tobacco products).
- The second part of preventive dentistry is done by dental professionals (dentists and dental hygienists) in the dental clinic.
- This includes thorough dental examinations to help determine the presence of dental problems so that treatment can be started in the earliest stages, preventing the disease from getting more complicated.
- The detection of tooth decay, gum problems, and oral cancer screenings are part of preventive dentistry measures.
- Teeth cleaning is also part of preventive dentistry, since this procedure is important in thoroughly removing any food debris that can contribute to the development of tooth decay and gum problems.
- The use of fluoride to keep the teeth protected from decay, as well as tips on oral hygiene practices and balanced diet options, are included in preventive dentistry measures that have the goal of ensuring you will enjoy good dental health for a longer period of time.