Preventive dental care is any action that helps you avoid oral health problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or tooth loss. Because the actions are preventive, they can save you time, money, and pain by keeping your teeth and gums healthy and strong.
Professional preventive care occurs in your dentist's office. Your dental provider may offer preventive treatments, such as routine dental cleanings, sealant applications, and fluoride treatments to help maintain your dental health.
There are also preventive measures that you can take at home. Most people know that it is important to brush and floss regularly to remove plaque and food particles. However, there are additional at-home actions that you can take to protect your oral health. Here are a few of them.
Rinsing Regularly With an Antimicrobial Mouthwash
There are multiple types of mouthwash available over the counter. One of the most useful varieties includes mouth rinses that are anti-bacterial. These rinses tend to include alcohol or chlorhexidine as an active ingredient. Many dentists prefer chlorhexidine-based rinses because they are less drying to the mouth.
By rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash, you kill decay-causing bacteria in the oral cavity. Bacteria incite tooth decay by releasing acids after feeding on debris in your mouth. The acids dissolve the minerals of the tooth enamel, causing the formation of cavities. To help prevent decay, you can rinse following each brushing session.
Wearing a Mouthguard at Night
Many people grind their teeth at night. If you suffer from nightly dental grinding, your dentist is likely to notice that the chewing surfaces of your teeth have been worn down or flattened. To protect the teeth from further damage, they may suggest a night guard for your mouth.
This specialized mouthguard provides cushioning that prevents the grinding pressure from damaging the teeth of the upper and lower palettes. The guard, which is often customized to fit the contours of your mouth, is worn while you sleep.
Many bruxism sufferers are unaware that the teeth-grinding episodes are occurring since they are often sound asleep when the grinding takes place. Nonetheless, dental grinding can significantly damage the teeth, even resulting in chipped or broken tooth material. If the break in a tooth extends through its roots, the tooth is not salvageable and must be extracted. Wearing a mouthguard is a simple step to help preserve the health of your teeth.
To learn more preventive dental care measures that you can take at home, schedule a consultation with a dental office in your local area, like Christiansen Dental.