Dental health professionals know that preventative dentistry refers to the practice of caring for one’s teeth and gums in order to maintain good oral health. Experts recognize tooth decay and gum disease as the two main causes of tooth loss, and preventative measures are the best way to ensure their patients maintain a mouthful of healthy teeth for life. Preventative dentistry can be practiced in a wide range of ways including regular brushing and annual visits to the dentist.
If you are pursuing a dental assistant career, you will soon learn all about preventative dentistry. Read on for a quick guide to how it works, why it is recommended by dentists and what it encompasses.
Dental Assistants Recognize the Benefits of Preventative Dentistry
Dental assistants know that patients who practice preventative dentistry will benefit by reducing their risk of getting cavities, gingivitis and a wide range of other dental problems. Preventative dentistry goes far beyond simply protecting the teeth, also working to prevent oral diseases like mouth cancer and denture stomatitis. Professionals who have had dental assistant training know that it is never too late to practice preventative dentistry.
Understanding How Diet Can Affect Oral Health
Dental assistant school graduates know that one of the most common causes of tooth decay is sugar consumption. This means that regularly munching on foods that have very high sugar contents will harm the teeth if the proper care is not provided afterwards. While brushing often is a clear way to prevent decay, experts know that snacking on foods like cheese, fruit, nuts and veggies naturally helps cleanse the teeth, and can also aid in preventing gum disease and mouth cancer.
Dental Pros Are Well-versed in Prevention Strategies
Experts holding a dental assistant diploma know of many preventive oral care strategies that can be practiced both at the dental office by a professional, as well as at home. Some of these include:
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Brushing and flossing twice a day
- Fluoride treatments and the use of fluoride toothpaste
- Regular visits to the dentist
- Dental cleanings and screenings once every six months
- Occasional x-rays to look for hidden signs of problems
- Sealants can prevent teeth from decay
- A mouth guard should be worn during sports and can be worn while sleeping to protect teeth from breaking or grinding
Additionally, dental pros recommend that smoking and drinking alcohol be avoided altogether, since these are sure-fire ways to negatively affect the health of your teeth and mouth. In fact, they can both cause dry mouth, tooth discoloration and plaque buildup. Smoking alone is known to cause gum disease, tooth loss and oral cancer.
Can you think of any other preventative dental strategies that you might suggest to patients once you have earned your dental assistant diploma?