Preventive Dentistry – Why you need it

By Dr. James Forester | Jan 18, 2022 | General Oral Care, Gentle Dentistry
Preventative Main

Your car is due for the routine 3,000-mile preventive maintenance. You call your local Jiffy Lube or your car dealership to schedule an appointment.

As you’re sitting in the room waiting for your car to get finished, many things are running through your head: “Why are these appointments necessary anyway? If I don’t bring my car in, will it just shut down and not work? I’m here every 3,000 miles—it’s almost as if I’m here more often than at my doctor’s office for checkups.”

Well that last statement can be a problem. If you find yourself scheduling routine maintenance for your vehicle far more often than regular doctor checkup visits, maybe it’s time to rethink your priorities. This is especially true for dental checkups.

Preventive dental care is majorly important, not only for your oral care, but for the health of your entire body (we’ll explain more later on how preventive oral care keeps your body healthy). And this is precisely what we’ll talk about today—preventive dental care.

checkupWhat do we mean by preventative or preventive dentistry?

Do you remember when you were a teenager and your dentist or hygienist would tell you, “Come back to see us in 6 months”? It wasn’t because he or she would miss your beautiful face during those 6 months and need to see you. It wasn’t because he or she just wanted to keep their schedule busy.

No. Regular 6-month appointments are very important. Teeth cleanings every 6 months is just one way we keep an eye on what’s happening in your mouth (and whether or not you’ve been flossing!). Teeth cleanings remove plaque buildup and tartar from the tooth’s surface, leaving you with a clean, shiny smile.

In addition to teeth cleanings, polishing, and fluoride treatment, preventative dentistry also includes things you do on your own to prevent cavities:

  • brushing 3-4 times per day
  • flossing 1-2 times per day
  • replacing your toothbrush 3-4 times per year so you can brush effectively
  • brushing your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath
  • eating a balanced diet, including fruits and vegetables
  • drinking plenty of water throughout the day

For more on preventative dentistry, visit this link.

GingivitusWhat can preventative dentistry do for your family?

What’s in it for you? Why make a trip to the dentist’s office once every 6 months? Simple answer…preventive dentistry decreases the chances of:

  • cavities
  • enamel loss
  • gingivitis
  • periodontitis

You see, when our hygienists and dentist are able to assess your teeth and gums on a routine basis, we can catch any minor issues before they become major, more costly and timely dental problems.

For instance, when we routinely take x-rays, we can see a small area where a cavity is starting to form. Then we can remove that cavity and place a small filling. However, if you only had x-rays taken every 5 years, that small cavity would turn into a big cavity in five-year’s time. This could mean you’d need a crown or another restorative dentistry option to remove the big cavity.

So you see, it’s much easier and wiser to keep up with your oral care maintenance appointments, just like you do with your car, SUV, or truck.

Brush Teeth 1Preventing disease to keep your mouth AND body healthy

As we mentioned early on in this article, preventative dentistry is important for the health of your entire body. It’s true.

According to a news release on May 13, 2015 by the American Dental Association, there needs to be “a greater emphasis on preventing disease.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that 27% of adults who are over the age of 20 have untreated caries. That is not good. Untreated cavities can turn into huge problems, which is why the ADA believes prevention is key.

So again, preventive dentistry is crucial to whole body health. For instance, if you are showing signs of gum disease and your dentist cannot assess the situation at your 6-month appointments, you can be faced with bad consequences.

HEART DISEASEWhat do we mean when we say bad consequences?

If gum disease is not diagnosed and treated properly early on, it can lead to more damaging issues, such as periodontal disease. More critically, untreated gum or periodontal disease can prompt or exacerbate health conditions, such as:

  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • digestive problems
  • stroke
  • heart attack
  • premature birth
  • pancreatic cancer
  • respiratory disease

thumbs upNow do you see the incredible correlation between preventive dentistry and whole body health?

Lifetime Smiles offers dentistry for the entire family!
At Lifetime Smiles, Dr. Jim Forester and our dental hygienists care about you. We care about your dental health, as well as your total body health (we practice comprehensive dentistry at Lifetime Smiles). We get to the root of the problem instead of just constantly fixing the same issue over and over again in hopes it’ll go away.

We care about your entire family. Just remember that preventative dentistry appointments and habits apply to every member of your family (not just the adults).

Teach your kids and teenagers about the importance of everyday brushing, flossing, and the other habits we talked about in this article. If you need to schedule a pediatric dentistry appointment with Dr. Forester, just give us a call.

Ready to take control of your oral health?

Are you ready to take control of your oral health and overall health on a routine basis, just like you do with your 3,000-mile car maintenance appointments?

Your health is a lot more important than your vehicle’s “health.” We’re not saying car maintenance isn’t important, but this is your health we’re talking about here! Do the right thing. Do the right thing for your kids, spouse, teenagers, and yourself.

If you live in or near Johns Creek, GA and you’d like to schedule your preventive dental appointment, call us at 770-282-9239. Our contact information can also be found on this page:

We look forward to meeting you.