You may have heard the term “preventative dental care” used before. But what is it exactly. Who does it? What can you do to ensure that you do your part? It’s all pretty straight forward to explain.
All Parts of Preventative Dental Care
The main goal is for you to be able to keep your adult teeth as you go through life. You need to have a healthy mouth to be able to stay generally well, too. The preventative care takes up several parts:
- Checkups – You need to see your dentist every six months, though they may want to see you more often if they notice that your teeth are not in the best shape. They will examine your mouth to see if there are any dead teeth, cavities, gum disease or even things like oral cancer.
- Teeth Cleanings – They will do a thorough cleaning, getting rid of plaque that is above the gum line. If you have been taking good care of your teeth, then this will be an easy visit. If not, be prepared for some discomfort – though they often offer topical anesthetics to make things go much more smoothly.
- X-Rays – This is done once a year. The dentist needs to do it so that they can make sure that there are no problems lurking in the tooth or under the gums. They are safe and now that they send them to a computer, much faster than in previous times when you had to wait for them to be developed in the office.
Who Offers It?
Your general dentist or family dentist will likely be the ones who do it. This is part of general dentistry and they will work with you to ensure that your mouth is as healthy as it can be. It falls under the umbrella of your routine twice-yearly check-ups. Pediatric dentists also offer this to help children have healthy mouths as they grow in their adult teeth – it’s important that they learn good brushing habits at an early age.
The other thing you need to check is if your dental insurance covers the full cost of preventative dental care or if you need to be ready to pay some of it out of pocket. You also should see if they only cover a certain kind of X-ray. Fluoride treatments tend to only be for children. There are limits on the amounts that the insurance will cover, so you need to be aware of what those are so that you won’t have to pay too much extra.
Other Things to Know
You might think that fillings would be part of the preventative dental care umbrella. Not so. Insurance considers it to be restorative dental care – which makes sense. The dentist is restoring your tooth to a degree by filling the empty space where the cavity used to be.
The main goal of preventative dental care is to keep you from needing any more extensive dental work like deep cleanings, dental implants, or dentures, to name a few. By doing this, you can also avoid things like diabetes. While the dentist can do a lot to help you, you need to play a big part in all of this, too. You need to have good brushing and flossing habits. It’s something you need to do consistently, though.
You may find brushing and flossing tedious, even for the three minutes that you need to do it each time, but it’s an important thing to focus on. Never can so little time reap you the rewards that you can get for having a healthy mouth for a lifetime. Having teeth and gums in great condition can help you avoid other diseases, sine bacteria can get into the bloodstream from unhealthy gums.
When it comes to preventative dentistry, the staff at Esthetix Dental Spa are excellent at it. They will make sure that every patient of theirs has the best oral health possible. Do you have questions about what you need to do? They will gladly answer them! If you live in the Fort Washington area of New York or near it, give them a call today to make an appointment – 212-795-9675.