A Guide to Preventive Dentistry
Exploring the importance of preventive dentistry at every age
As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. This is most certainly the case with modern healthcare, where prevention is considered the most effective strategy in managing our health. Regular checks on your health and well-being could uncover a condition or illness which, if left, could become a challenging, expensive, stressful and protracted health issue. It’s much more timely, cost-effective and straightforward to address health concerns in their earliest stages than when the problem has grown and may involve a long period of sickness and treatments before recovering to full health is achieved.
If you’re due for a check-up, what’s holding you back? If you’re one of many Australians who have a fear of dentistry, please call The Point Dental. We are the leading centre for dental fear patients in Melbourne and are here to help. It’s crucially important to look after your mouth. So don’t put it off another day. Call The Point Dental today.
Prevention is better than cure
When we think about prevention strategies, we may think of safety measures such as seat belts, safety wear in the workplace and danger signs on the roadside. Preventive measures such as these allow us to assess whether there is a problem such as a risk of injury, and we can take the appropriate steps to manage that issue and reduce the likelihood of that danger. It’s the same way with dentistry. When you commit to preventive care measures, you are putting yourself in the best possible position to maintain excellent overall health.
In addition, preventive dentistry may help you avoid unnecessary procedures or even surgery that arises from neglected teeth and gums and the associated downtime required for recovery.
A definition of preventive dentistry
Preventive dentistry is a healthcare strategy designed and built over many hundreds of years and is at the heart of modern healthcare principles around the world. Preventive healthcare helps medical practitioners to catch the earliest signs of illness, infection and disease to treat them and return to good health as soon as possible.
Regular dental check-ups and cleans are the best way to ensure your mouth and gum health are at their optimum. Appointments are usually inexpensive or may even be covered by your health insurance, fast and painless. Both adults and children are recommended to take preventive action when it comes to their teeth. Even children with ‘baby teeth’ will benefit from checks that may pick up cavities, gum diseases, bite and alignment issues or poor cleaning techniques that can be caught early and corrected before bad habits set in.
Preventive care for healthy teeth and gums as you age
At The Point Dental, your preventive dentistry check-up will generally involve:
- A detailed assessment of your mouth checking for any cavities, cracks or signs of gum disease
- An oral cancer screen of your mouth
- Photos to show you any areas of concern
- Dental x-rays (when necessary)
- Thorough cleaning
- Preventive application of fluoride
We aim to detect any potential issues before they worsen and advise you of a recommended course of action.
Preventive dentistry for kids
As mentioned, preventive dentistry is recommended for children and adults alike. The preventive measures used for children differ slightly from adults’ approach as their teeth are in a different growth stage than adults. Components of children’s preventive dentistry may include:
- Assessment of any issues such as cavities, cracks or gum disease
- Dental x-rays (when necessary)
- A thorough cleaning to remove the build-up of plaque
- Application of fluoride to help prevent cavities
- Discussion regarding the potential need for spacers to hold space for emerging teeth and/or mouthguards for sport
- Education to ensure your child understands how to care for their teeth properly and gums at home
We aim to ensure your child has a stress-free experience at their visits to The Point Dental, so all our dentists and hygienists are trained to manage children’s fear and concerns gently and patiently. Starting preventive dentistry early can really help to normalise dentist visits so your child will readily attend their twice-yearly appointments. So call and make an appointment today and find out how we manage dental fear and anxiety in kids. As Melbourne’s leading centre for dental fear patients, you can rest assured that your child is in safe hands with us.
A check-up at your dentist does more than ensuring good mouth health
Preventive dentistry prevents more than just cavities. Did you know the health of your mouth has a direct correlation with your overall health? Your mouth is used for so much more than just talking and eating. It can also tell us something about your general well-being. A regular dental check-up and clean can reveal other underlying health concerns caused by poor mouth hygiene.
The following illnesses have been linked to an increase in oral bacteria and periodontitis (the inflammation associated with a severe form of gum disease):
- Cardiovascular disease
- Pregnancy and birth complications due to periodontitis
Conversely, some diseases and conditions in the body can be detected by regular dental check-ups. These include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
Care at home between visits
Preventive dentistry is a straightforward measure that could save you time, money and ill-health in the future. Caring for your teeth between visits will also help you to maintain excellent teeth and gum health. The Point Dental Clinic recommends the following oral hygiene practices to keep your mouth healthy at home:
- Twice daily brushing with a soft-bristled brush
- Use of fluoride toothpaste
- Daily flossing
- Use of mouthwash to remove remaining food particles
- Eat a healthy diet with limited sugars
- Replace your toothbrush every three months (or sooner if bristles are worn)
- Twice yearly dental check-ups and cleaning
- Avoid tobacco
Call today to learn more about our preventive dentistry program, and discover how we manage dental fear. We have tried and tested approaches to dentistry for patients who experience fear or anxiety over dentists visits. For more information or to organise a check-up and clean with one of our friendly dentists, call The Point Dental today.