February 9th of each year is National Toothache Day. While none of us are likely to put up decorations to commemorate the day, it is a good opportunity to talk about your teeth and preventative care, so that you don’t end up making an emergency trip to the dentist in Jacksonville, FL.
Preventative care is all about preventing oral health problems like cavities, gum disease, or that dreaded toothache.
What is Preventative Dentistry?
Preventative dentistry involves a proactive approach to your oral health. Daily brushing and flossing, keeping up with your twice-a-year visits to the dentist, and undergoing professional teeth cleanings are all a part of preventative dentistry. The goal is to avoid cavities, gum disease, oral infections and other problems in the first place.
Daily Brushing & Flossing
The most important part of preventative care for healthy teeth is your daily tooth brushing sessions. Teaching children the proper way to brush their teeth at a young age is an important part of making this a lifelong habit. Don’t forget to replace your toothbrush three or four times per year, or when the bristles start to show signs of wear.
Daily flossing is the second-most important part of preventative care for your teeth. Flossing allows you to clean out bits of food in those hard-to-reach places between the teeth. It’s also important to floss the correct way. If it’s time for a refresher course, just ask your dentist in Jacksonville, FL for a demonstration during your next appointment.
Nutrition & Your Teeth
Healthy teeth require proper nutrition, just like any other part of the body. Eating a balanced diet is an important part of preventative care for your teeth. Try to reduce your sugar intake, including simple carbs, because this will be better for your teeth in the long run. A balanced diet allows your teeth to get the proper nutrients they need to stay healthy. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water every day as well.
Keep Up with Those Dental Visits
Dr. Tiffany Shields in Jacksonville, FL recommends that patients come in twice a year (or more often in some cases) for appointments to keep their teeth healthy and strong. A professional teeth cleaning will be a part of the preventative care that you receive. If patients put off coming in for teeth cleanings, it can lead to gingivitis or periodontal disease over time. These conditions have been scientifically proven to be linked to heart disease, strokes, and other inflammatory conditions.
A professional teeth cleaning removes the plaque buildup from the teeth that cannot be removed through daily brushing alone. This contributes to a healthier looking smile, because cleaning can remove stains that begin to build up. You will have a whiter and brighter smile after a cleaning, and the plaque removal also results in fresher breath.
Benefits of Preventative Care
Taking good care of your teeth and gums can greatly reduce the future risk of developing cavities, gingivitis, gum disease and other problems. There are also many secondary conditions related to your oral health that can be avoided with preventative dentistry. This includes heart disease, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, diabetes and certain types of cancers.
You should also keep up with your regular dental checkups while pregnant. Poor oral hygiene has been linked to low birth weight and premature births. Be sure to tell our staff that you are pregnant prior to an appointment. We will take every possible measure to ensure that you have a safe visit with us.
Preventative dental care also saves you money in the long run.
By maintaining a strict oral hygiene regimen and coming in for your regular appointments, your dentist in Jacksonville, FL will be able to spot potential problems early. And early treatment is almost always more cost-effective than putting a treatment off until later.
Contact Smiles by Shields for Your Next Appointment
The health of your mouth and teeth is our number one priority at Smiles by Shields. If it’s been a while since you had any preventative care done for your teeth, contact our office and schedule an appointment.