Preventive Dentistry: The Do’s and Don’ts of Good Oral Health

Woman getting teeth flossed by dentist
Young female patient visiting dentist office. Beautiful woman with healthy straight white teeth sitting at dental chair with open mouth during oral checkup while doctor working at teeth.

Did you know that 92% of adults will have a cavity in their lifetime? It’s true, and unfortunately, cavities are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dental maladies. Luckily there are ways that you can avoid dental problems like cavities…Preventative dentistry.

Preventative dentistry is an essential component of good oral health. To help you better understand why oral health is important, we have created this simple guide. So, if you are ready to learn more, then let’s get started!

Why Is Oral Health Important?

Your mouth is the gateway to your body’s overall health. In fact, poor oral health is often a sign of health issues lurking in the body. Your mouth contains various bacteria. Most of the bacteria are good; however, bad bacteria can build up in your mouth if there are issues with your oral health.

The trouble with poor oral hygiene and health goes beyond a few simple cavities. Poor oral health is linked to issues such as:

  • Pneumonia
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Endocarditis
  • Cardiovascular Disease

If left untreated, oral complications can lead to infection, disease, or death. This is why preventative dentistry is so important. Let’s take a look at some ways you can be proactive!

Proper Brushing and Flossing

You’ve been brushing your teeth your entire life, but are you brushing them correctly? Studies show that 1 out of every 10 people does not know how to brush their teeth properly. If you couple those numbers with the fact that nearly 32% of people never floss, you have a recipe for bad oral health.

So, what can you do? To start, you must brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss at least once per day. However, sometimes our busy lives prevent us from being able to brush and floss. This is another reason to make sure that when you do brush that you do it the right way.

The Proper Techniques

To brush, start with a pea-sized dab of toothpaste on your brush. Never use hard-bristled brushes as they can damage your gums and wear on the enamel of your teeth. Treat your teeth like a cube and brush all sides evenly with the brush held at a 45° angle. Be sure to brush your tongue as well to remove any food debris and excess bacteria.

The whole process should take around 2 minutes. Be sure to time yourself to give yourself a better idea of what 2 minutes of brushing feels like time-wise.

When you floss, break a strand of dental floss roughly 18-24 inches in length. Using both hands, wrap the floss around your middle fingers and then grip the floss with your index fingers and thumbs. Work your way between all of your teeth, and make sure that you are using a new portion of floss as you go.

Breaking the Bad Habits

Bad habits like eating sugar foods, smoking cigarettes, chewing gum, drinking certain beverages, and more can lead to serious oral health issues. It is important to understand the effects of these habits on your teeth, mouth, and health overall.

Smoking

A recent study revealed that people who smoke have an 80% higher chance of developing Periodontal Gum Disease. Gum diseases can lead to loss of teeth as well as other oral health concerns.

The carcinogens in cigarettes not only cause unsightly stains on your teeth, but they can also lead to mouth sores, bad breath, cancer, and other diseases. Quitting smoking can help resolve oral health concerns and improve your health.

Beverages

Beverages like tea, coffee, and red wine all contain Tannins. The Tannins in these beverages cause staining to your teeth, so if you choose to drink these beverages, try using a straw to better avoid contact with your teeth. Don’t forget to brush your teeth at the end of the day. Sugary beverages like soda should be avoided.

The sugar in drinks like soda builds up in your mouth and leads to tooth decay. When choosing a beverage, the best choice is always pure uncarbonated water.

Eating and Chewing Gum

Sugar causes tooth decay and cavities. Foods high in carbohydrates like chips essentially work the same way as sugary foods and cause cavities. Fruit is good for you but also contains sugar, so it is crucial that you brush your teeth at the end of the day.

If you choose to chew gum, be certain that it is sugar-free. Keep in mind that although gum might be sugar-free, it is often loaded with sugar-substitutes and preservative ingredients that can be difficult on the body.

Other Concerning Factors

Other factors require extra attention regarding your oral health. Certain medical conditions require extra care to prevent oral health problems. Let’s take a look!

Pregnancy

According to the CDC, 60-75% of pregnant women have Gingivitis. If preventative dentistry doesn’t occur, gingivitis can lead to the loss of teeth. So, during pregnancy, women must visit the dentist as needed and maintain good oral health care at home.

Medications

Certain medical conditions require the use of medications that might cause issues like soft-tissue sensitivity, abnormal bleeding, dry mouth, and more. If you are taking a medication that could affect your oral health, it is important that you stay vigilant about your oral hygiene.

Diabetes

People with diabetes often suffer from dry mouth and gum-related diseases like gingivitis. It is important to manage blood sugar properly to prevent these complications from getting out of hand. Always talk with your dentist about any medications you are taking and discuss a treatment plan with your dentist.

Proper Preventative Dentistry

These key points in preventative dentistry could end up saving your teeth! With that being said, the most important factor is finding a reputable dentist, like Dr. Rinaldi, and visiting regularly!

At Rinaldi Dental Arts, our dedicated team is committed to helping our patients achieve their oral health goals. Our services including both cosmetic and preventative dentistry. So, if you are ready to make your smile goals happen, contact us today and schedule an appointment!