Most dental problems can be prevented with regular, proper at-home dental care and visits to the dentist. Dental checkups twice a year can help catch small problems before they become serious issues.
What Is Routine Dental Care?
Routine dental care includes at-home dental health habits and regular dental checkups with your dentist. These habits are designed to prevent cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss, while your dental appointments allow your dentist to detect and treat oral health issues before they become more serious.
At-Home Dental Care
Brushing and flossing your teeth at home is an essential part of maintaining good dental health. You brush your teeth twice a day, and you should floss once a day. If you don't brush and floss regularly, bacteria and plaque can build up between teeth and lead to tooth decay. Food particles can also get stuck between teeth and cause bacteria buildup. If these food particles are left in your mouth, they can break down and cause cavities to form on or around your teeth. If you already have a cavity, it will only get worse without treatment from a dentist, so it's important to see your dentist right away if you notice any changes in your oral health. Dental fillings can help treat cavities and prevent further damage to your tooth.
In addition to brushing and flossing every day, you should also visit your dentist for a checkup twice a year. During these visits, your dentist will clean your teeth and examine your mouth for signs of problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, or oral cancer. Your dentist will also screen you for issues such as bite problems, TMJ, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders that can contribute to other health issues. By visiting your dentist regularly, you can ensure an optimal level of health for your teeth and gums.
During a routine exam, your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth to look for any signs of decay or disease. Your dentist will also clean your teeth, removing plaque buildup from the surface of the teeth and along the gum line. Plaque is a sticky substance that feeds off the sugars in the foods and drinks you consume. Over time, plaque can cause cavities if not removed. Plaque can also harden into tartar which can only be removed by a dental professional. In addition to removing hardened deposits from the teeth, your hygienist will also provide a thorough polishing of the surface of your teeth, helping to polish away minor surface stains and create a smoother surface. This helps to prevent staining, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Once it has been determined that you are cavity-free, your dentist will typically recommend a six-month follow-up appointment for your next cleaning.
Why Is Preventative Dental Care Important?
Preventative dental care is important because it helps you to avoid future dental problems. By visiting your dentist regularly, you can make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy and clean. Regular cleanings and checkups are vital for protecting your oral health and preventing tooth decay and other concerns. Regular dental exams and cleanings can typically be scheduled every six months or once per year, depending on your needs, but some patients require more frequent visits.
To have a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Shirley Zao, please schedule an online appointment or call us at (925) 847-8790, and we will be happy to help.