Investing in preventive care is the best thing you can do to keep your teeth healthy and avoid extensive, expensive treatments.
What exactly is preventive dental care?
To understand how preventive care can save you money, you first have to understand what preventive care is.
Preventive dental care is the practice of paying special attention to your teeth with the goal of keeping them healthy. Instead of reacting to problems, you’re taking steps to avoid issues in the first place.
A care plan focused on preventive dentistry includes the following.
Brushing your teeth twice a dayThe most important preventive habit you can adopt is to brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. I recommend brushing after breakfast and after dinner. Your dentist can recommend you to the best type of toothbrush for your individual needs. However, in general, make sure you’re using a soft toothbrush and replacing it 3-4 times throughout the year.
Flossing dailyFlossing allows you to reach tight spaces in your mouth and clear out bits of food that are stuck between your teeth. This is important because as food sits between your gums and teeth, bacteria begins to form. This can lead to gum disease, cavities, and other issues. There are several types of flossers available — from handheld to loose string. During your next dentist visit, ask for a flossing demonstration to make sure you have the right technique.
Visiting your dentist every 6 months
Speaking of dentist visits, another very important preventive care habit is regular exams and cleanings. Most people should have a dental exam and cleaning every 6 months. If you’re at high risk of dental problems, you may benefit from more frequent visits.
These routine appointments allow your dentist to identify problems before they develop into dangerous issues and take care of them right away. It’s also a great opportunity for you to ask your dentist questions or bring up any concerns.
Remember: dental health happens when you work together with your dentist!
Eating a balanced diet
- Sugar-filled drinks and foods
- Sticky candy
- White bread
Watching for changesThe final element of a dental care plan focused on prevention is to never ignore a problem. You need to work closely with your dentist to understand the signs of common problems like gum disease and cavities. If you do notice a problem, feel pain, or notice any changes in your dental health, it’s important to seek care from your dentist immediately. Don’t wait until that little pain in your mouth grows into to a big problem.
So how exactly does preventive care save you money?
The earlier you identify potential dental concerns, the more options you have to deal with them, or avoid issues all together.
- Tooth decay/cavities
- Root canals
- Gum disease
- Tooth staining