Preventative care is the basis of your oral health. If you want to have a healthy smile, preventative care is something you need to make a priority. Dr. Kim Westermann of Westermann Family Dentistry, a dentist in Louisville, KY, explains its importance.
Catching Problems Early
Preventative care encompasses both care from the dentist and care in the comfort of your home. If you’re seeing the dentist regularly, that means every six months as recommended. When you’re seeing us regularly, changes and problems with your oral health can be caught earlier. Catching problems earlier means easier and less invasive treatment options.
During your bi-annual dental visits, we always do a screening for oral cancer. In its early stages, it can be hard to recognize if you aren’t trained to look for symptoms. Many times it appears as red or white patches on soft tissues in your mouth. They’re easy to dismiss as just ulcers, but a dentist can detect when it’s something more. No matter the form of cancer, it’s easier to treat the earlier it’s detected.
There are other issues that can be caught earlier as well. Especially for children, the dentist can see the differences in the smile from visit to visit. Dr. Westermann can determine if there are issues with their jaw development or if they would benefit from seeing an orthodontist. It’s proven that early orthodontic treatment can prevent more extensive treatment later in life.
Lastly, things like gum disease and tooth decay can also be hard to catch early on. You usually don’t know until you’re experiencing pain or more serious issues. Early stages of gum disease often manifest in bleeding gums, which you may not regard as an issue if you’re a hard brusher. However, it’s important to treat gum disease in this stage before it leads to something like tooth loss.
Keeping Your Mouth Healthy
Taking care of your teeth at home is crucial to making sure your mouth stays healthy. It’s a necessity to brush and floss twice a day, every day. Both brushing and flossing prevent plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. A buildup of either of these things is what leads to tooth decay and gum disease.
Flossing also helps eliminate food particles that get stuck in between your teeth. These smaller particles, especially if you’ve been eating sticky foods, can get lodged in places that can’t be reached with a toothbrush. If you have crooked or cramped teeth, this is especially important, as it’s even harder to get into these places.
Lastly, your diet is more crucial to your oral health than you may realize. If you’re not sure what to eat and avoid, ask your dentist the next time you’re there. The basics involve avoiding foods and drinks that are too sugary or acidic. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and a lot of water are all beneficial for your oral health.
Preventative Care at Your Louisville, Kentucky Dentist
Make sure you’re doing the right things for your oral health. Call us or schedule an appointment online.