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What Is Preventive Dental Care?

You know your insurance provides coverage for preventative dental care, but what you don’t know is what procedures it includes. Preventative dental care is designed to preserve the health, appearance, and function of your teeth. This type of care helps you avoid cavities, loose teeth, and other problems that require much more costly, invasive procedures. Certain types of preventative care require a visit to your dentist. However, there are many others that you can do in your own home. Brushing and flossing are two of the most famous examples of preventive dental care.

What is the goal of preventive dentistry?

Preventative dentistry aims to enable every patient to have a healthy mouth. From the teeth to the gums, preventive dentistry is designed to keep every vulnerable part of your mouth healthy. This is done through a combination of in-office procedures, patient education, and at-home care guides. Together, you and your dentist can put together a plan to protect your teeth and address any concerns you already have.

In-office procedures for preventive care include sealants and fluoride treatments. Fluoride is a helpful chemical that aids your teeth in rebuilding themselves. Remineralization is the process through which your teeth can regain their lost enamel. It’s an effective way to heal teeth and get strong, pearly whites again. Sealants literally seal the pits and crevasses in your teeth and provide a protective layer through which plaque has to eat through before it can get to your teeth.

Education involves answering any questions that patients have, explaining the importance of good oral hygiene, and helping them choose food that will protect their teeth. For example, many people think diet soda is fine for your teeth because it has no sugar. Actually, diet soda can be extremely harmful to teeth because it’s so acidic. Any questions about toothpaste, toothbrushes, or flossing should be answered by your dentist as part of your preventive dental care.

How much is a dental exam?

The cost of a dental exam varies widely depending on your insurance (or lack thereof) and any services that go into exams. A standard exam typically costs around $50 to start with. X-rays and other tests are not covered by that basic fee and will be priced accordingly by your dentist. You can call a dentist and ask about their rates, and ask for them to run the cost of any additional services by you before they’re done.

What are ways you can practice preventive care?

The simplest way you can practice preventive care is through brushing and flossing your teeth. Make a habit of brushing your teeth after every meal and flossing at least once a day. This prevents plaque from building up on your teeth. Plaque slowly breaks down your teeth, leading to dental decay and cavities.
You can also practice preventive care by choosing your meals with care. Cutting down or eliminating sugary or acidic food can protect your teeth for years to come. If you do want an acidic spaghetti sauce or sweet treat, make sure to rinse and brush your teeth afterward.

Preventive dental care now can stop big problems later. Talk with your dentist about any questions you have about oral hygiene. Additionally, consider fluoride treatments or sealants to help protect your teeth. Lastly, take your dental care into your own hands. Choose to brush and floss every day.

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