The Two-Sided Coin Of Preventive Dental Care

Preventive dental care cannot be all about your dentist's work to preserve the health of your teeth and gums. You have to do your part, too. This is a two-sided coin that has to be worked from both sides. Understanding why you have to help with preventive care and the role your dentist plays is important. 

Your Side of the Preventive-Care Coin

There are a mountain of reasons why you should be doing your part to care for your own mouth. Brushing twice a day removes all of the bacteria that can cause infections and damage your teeth. Flossing removes food stuck between teeth and in your gum pockets, where smaller bits of food can hide and create rot, cause bad breath, and create infections. Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash helps destroy any remaining bacteria that could fester and grow overnight, especially if you have sleep apnea, you snore, and/or sleep with your mouth open at any point during the night. 

Additionally, your job in caring for your teeth and gums prevents many other health problems. Your teeth and mouth have direct lines to your cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. It has been proven that not caring for your teeth can cause vascular disease, cardiac disease, and health problems with your heart, and it leads to more infections in your lungs and body. Your dentist cannot brush and floss for you; that is up to you.

Your Dentist's Side of the Preventive Care Coin

Your dentist makes sure that you have a professional cleaning completed twice a year to remove plaque build-up on your teeth. He or she may also perform a deep cleaning on your gums if there are early signs of periodontal disease. Mid stages of periodontal disease may still be reversed if you visit your dentist as scheduled and the dentist spots this issue.

In addition to cleaning teeth and gums on the professional level, your dentist also does minor to major restorative care (i.e., fills cavities to prevent further deterioration of your teeth) to ensure a longer life for all of your teeth. Crowning and repairing broken teeth may be considered preventive care as well, especially when the broken teeth have minor breaks or hairline cracks in them. In short, your dentist is doing all of the preventive work you cannot do yourself at home and is relying on you to do what you should do and need to do at home.