Preventative Dentistry: Why is Preventative Dental Care Important?
While a busy schedule can make it tempting to push off your dentist appointment, preventative dentistry is crucial to maintaining good oral health. Good habits and regular dentist visits can prevent issues from developing and help you avoid more time-consuming and expensive dental procedures down the road.
Many Americans recognize the importance of seeing a dentist, but not all of them take the time to set an appointment; according to a survey from Delta Dental Plans Association, 42 percent of Americans don’t see a dentist as often as they would like.
Why are preventative habits important?
The American Dental Association (ADA) states that “the most effective way to ensure optimal oral health is to prevent oral disease before it starts.” Preventative dental habits can ward off tooth decay and keep your gums healthy by preventing a buildup of plaque.
This is important because the plaque buildup that causes tooth decay can lead to cavities and put patients at a higher risk of developing gingivitis (a mild form of gum disease), which can later evolve into periodontitis. This more advanced form of gum disease can destroy both gum and bone over time and eventually lead to tooth loss; according to WebMD, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
In fact, older adults, in particular, should make sure they are following best practices for preventative dental care because they experience higher rates of both decay and gum disease:
- A Harvard Health Letter noted that factors like wear and tear, certain diseases, and some medications can all negatively impact oral health as we age.
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease.
Preventative Dental Care Habits
The ADA recommends practicing these simple steps to protect your oral health:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Clean between your teeth daily
- Eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks
- See your dentist regularly for prevention and treatment of oral disease
Preventative dental habits are an important and effective way to protect your oral health. Untreated cavities and gum disease can lead to more extensive and expensive dentistry, so prevention and early intervention is key to avoiding uncomfortable and expensive dental work that is needed to fix more advanced dental problems.
Preventative Dental Services
Preventative dental services include regular teeth cleanings and complete examinations. These services help prevent tooth decay and may decrease sensitivity. At DGY Dentistry, we respect that few of us have perfect habits, and are eager to help patients learn how to effectively clean their own teeth and maintain good oral health.
Who is a candidate for preventative dentistry?
Every patient can benefit from preventative dental services. Preventative dentistry such as teeth cleanings, routine exams, and X-rays are often covered 100% by insurance, although coverage can vary based on your plan and provider.
Our Ann Arbor dental office can contact your dental insurance provider to get a pre-treatment estimate for preventative dental services. We pride ourselves in clearly communicating your procedures and choices.
How often should I get a teeth cleaning?
To maintain optimal oral health, The ADA recommends that the frequency of consumer’s regular dental visits “be tailored by their dentists to accommodate for their current oral health status and health history.”
According to a University of Michigan study quoted by the ADA, the frequency of cleanings needed to prevent periodontal disease is dictated in part by individual risk factors; a low-risk patient, for example, could benefit even from one visit per year, while high-risk patients will need more frequent cleanings.
The ADA “encourages people to work closely with their dentists to identify any potential risk factors” and determine the frequency of their preventative care visits.
Preventative dental care near you
DGY Dentistry Ann Arbor is a world-class restorative, renewal, and preventative dentistry practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan, that employs an artistic and compassionate approach to dental care. Our array of preventive services start with regular cleaning and a complete examination, with an emphasis on helping patients find preventative habits that work for them.