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Understanding the Significance of Dental Routine and Preventative Measures

Developing and maintaining an effective oral health care routine is vital for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. This routine includes not only daily brushing and flossing, but also regularly scheduled professional cleanings and examinations. These services can detect and prevent dental problems from escalating into more severe issues, saving you time and money.

A primary goal of oral health care is to prevent caries, or tooth decay. Dental decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth that produce acid, leading to eroded enamel and tooth cavities. Fortunately, this condition is very preventable. Oral hygiene, combined with regular visits to the dentist for dental cleanings and examinations, can reduce a patient’s risk of tooth decay by controlling exposure to sugary foods and drinks and increasing disease resistance.

The best form of dental prevention is preventing dental problems altogether. The good news is that modern dentistry has an array of effective preventative tools, such as dental sealants and fluoride treatments, that can help you protect your smile from cavities and decay. Additionally, dental exams allow your doctor to identify potential issues, such as periodontal (gum) disease or oral cancer, in their earliest stages when they are typically easier and less costly to treat. 

In addition to detecting and treating oral health issues in their early stages, preventive visits can provide a variety of other health benefits. Studies show that poor oral health is linked to systemic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses. This is because the bacteria in your mouth can enter the bloodstream, elevating C reactive protein, a marker of inflammation that can cause cardiovascular and other health conditions.

Preventive dental measures include daily brushing, flossing, and using a fluoride-approved mouthwash. Daily flossing removes food particles and bacteria from areas that toothbrushes cannot reach. A diet that is rich in calcium-rich foods can reduce the chance of bone loss associated with aging, while limiting acidic and sugary foods and beverages can help prevent tooth decay. Routine visits to the dentist can also include a thorough exam and cleaning, checking current restorations such as fillings or crowns for defects, and removing plaque and calculus (tartar), which can only be removed by a dental professional with specialized tools. Dental examinations and cleanings can also catch and address other signs of general health concerns such as sleep apnea, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, among others. These steps may seem simple, but the effects of neglecting these habits can have a major impact on your oral and overall health. Contact Karen Rosen dentist for regular checkups and preventative services.

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