Protect your smile with preventive dentistry
Preventive dentistry is an important step toward helping keep your teeth strong and healthy, while minimizing cavities and gum disease. Preventive dentistry may also help identify dental issues in their early stages — such as decaying teeth, chipped teeth and receding gums — allowing problems to be addressed and treated early before they become more serious health issues. Below are five preventive habits to help keep your pearly whites strong and healthy.
- Visit your dentist twice a year. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends visiting a dentist every six months for a cleaning and oral exam. During your dental exam your dentist may take X-rays of your teeth to help detect signs of dental problems not visible to the eye, such as cavities between teeth. Your dentist may also recommend fluoride treatments to help strengthen teeth and prevent decay.
- Floss and brush daily. Floss first to help loosen debris that can be brushed away with your tooth brush. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, too. This may help remove bacteria from your mouth and freshen your breath.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. This may help protect your teeth by providing them with the nutrients they need to stay strong and healthy. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to help rinse out food particles.
- Steer clear of potential tooth-damaging habits. Activities such as smoking, chewing tobacco and consuming excess sugar can wear down tooth enamel and encourage the bacteria that produces plaque.
- Talk to your dentist about additional preventive dentistry considerations. Depending on your lifestyle or other health issues, you may benefit from additional preventive measures. For example, if you participate in sports, your dentist may recommend a custom-made mouth guard to help protect your teeth. If crooked teeth or a misaligned bite make eating difficult, you may be able to correct the issue with orthodontics. Sealants and fluoride treatments can help strengthen enamel and protect teeth from decay.
In addition to following these preventive steps, be sure to contact your dentist right away if you experience any tooth pain, tooth trauma or other oral health issues.
Remember that you can use your CareCredit credit card at participating providers to help pay for the cost of dental care for you and your loved ones. Use our Acceptance Locator or download the CareCredit Mobile App to find a nearby dental provider who accepts CareCredit.