What is Preventive Dentistry?
Our goal is to be a conservative partner with you as you maintain a healthy mouth for life. Preventive dentistry involves the daily work you do to keep your teeth, gums and oral tissues healthy, as well as the preventive work we do in cleaning your teeth, providing education, and being a resource for fluoride and mouth guards.
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 common dental problems caused by 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!
- Our team at Anna V O'Keefe DMD PA have consistently seen our patients get better results with electric toothbrushes than with manual ones. Please see below for an explanatory video, but as Dr. O'Keefe often phrases it: a manual toothbrush is like a broom, and electric toothbrush is like a vacuum because it has more bristles strokes per second. It simply is easier to do a more thorough job when using an electric toothbrush.
- Clean between your teeth at least once a day. Toothbrush bristles just can't reach everywhere. Flossing is typically the most inexpensive and straightforward way to clean between your teeth, but talking with Dr O'Keefe and/or your hygienist will allow us to make more specific recommendations for your condition. Floss and mouthwash will help remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line, thereby preventing decay and bone loss.
- 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!