Preventative Dental Care
DENTAL HYGIENE FOR ADULTS
The ADA says that on average, adults aged 20 to 64 have at least three teeth missing or in stages of decay. Yet, with all the recent advances in dentistry, we should be able to maintain good oral health and keep our own teeth longer than ever before.
So what are adults doing wrong when it comes to preventative dental care? You may need a refresher on dental preventative care if you find yourself making any of these statements:
“Since I’m an adult, I need to brush only once a day. Right?”
“My insurance doesn’t cover dental, so I don’t visit the dentist unless there’s a problem.”
“Cavities are for kids!”
“I’ll worry about my teeth when I get older.”
“Flossing? I don’t have time.”
ORAL HYGIENE RULES STAY THE SAME
Adults are at just as much risk of tooth decay and more at risk for gum disease than children. That is why the rules for taking care of teeth haven’t changed much from when you were a kid.
- Brush twice a day, especially after meals
- Floss daily (once you’re in the habit, you won’t want to skip a day!)
- Eat nutritious meals
- Limit snacks and beverages between meals
Fluoride is the best preventative dentistry available. The reason it gets a bad rap is because it can be dangerous if you ingest it in large quantities. The fluoride the dentist applies is not systemic (where you swallow it), it is applied topically and quickly hardens. It adheres to your tooth where the fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel and prevents small cavities from getting worse. The fluoride is brushed off after 4-6 hours of it being absorbed into the enamel of the tooth. The ADA and the major health organizations in the world today still say it’s one of the top ways to prevent tooth decay.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DENTAL INSURANCE
If you have dental insurance, check your plan’s coverage. Most dental plans today cover preventative dental care for a simple business reason: Preventing tooth decay and gum disease is cheaper than trying to fix it! Be sure to take advantage of whatever preventative dentistry treatments are offered by the dentist.
NO INSURANCE? NO EXCUSE.
We know adults still need dental care even if they don’t have dental insurance. Dental insurance is not like medical insurance where the majority of the medical cost is covered. Dental insurance works more like a coupon. It gives you a little savings which is better than no savings at all. Not having insurance is not a reason to ignore your dental needs. Our office understands this and will work with you so your dental problems can be addressed without the worry. See our financing page for options, then make an appointment today!
CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE AGING MOUTH
Just like with the rest of our body, risks and needs shift as we age. Get started on a regular regimen of professional and at-home dental hygiene now so that if something more serious arises later, your mouth will be in the best possible shape for dealing with it.
A healthy mouth is the easiest mouth to change cosmetically, too. If you’ve been waiting until your child’s college is paid for to take care of your own smile, wait no longer! Give us a call and let us talk about all your options.