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What Is Preventative Dentistry? An Overview for Students at Dental Assistant School

April 4, 2018

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If you’re keen to become a dental assistant, then you’ve probably heard of preventative dentistry. In dental care, preventative practices refer to those that help maintain oral health as well as catch potential problems in their early stages. In other words, preventative dentistry is a proactive approach to caring for one’s teeth, gums, and general oral hygiene.

Practicing preventative care is important because it helps people avoid the discomfort and costs that could come with serious problems down the line. It also helps people enjoy healthy smiles throughout their lives.

Since there is a lot that can be done to practice proactive oral care, preventative dentistry encompasses a number of things. These include the implementation of a proper dental hygiene routine at home, regular examinations including cleaning and diagnostic screenings, and more. To learn about some of these preventative approaches and the important role they play, keep reading!

The First Steps to Preventative Care Begin With Oral Hygiene at Home

Graduates of dental assistant programs know that carrying out regular and proper oral hygiene at home makes up the foundations of preventative dental care. Every day, harmful plaque can build up on teeth, which is why removing it is necessary to prevent it from irritating gums and causing tooth decay. Moreover, if plaque is left on teeth for too long, it can harden into tartar, a harmful substance that can only be removed by a dentist.

Practicing good oral hygiene to prevent unwanted dental problems means brushing at least twice a day using proper technique. It also means flossing to reach any plaque and food remnants in the tight spaces between one’s teeth. Finally, rinsing with mouthwash helps remove the bacteria that causes plaque to form in the first place.

Regular Dental Checkups Play an Important Role in Preventative Dentistry

Sometimes individuals may neglect care at home. They may not utilize proper techniques, and some tooth decay or gum irritation may manage to sneak in. Professionals with dental diploma training know this is where regular dental checkups and cleaning can have a big impact.

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Regular dental checkups are an important component of preventative dentistry

While frequent visits to the dentist are no substitute for home care, they can help address bad habits or catch problems in their early stages. Dental visits are very important because they allow dentists to examine the mouth for any signs of problems as well as remove any tartar and stains. If dentists do detect any problems in their nascent stages during such a visit, early treatment is always easier and less expensive, and it also saves clients a lot of discomfort.

Typically, it’s recommended that individuals visit the dentist for a checkup and a cleaning once every six months. However, individuals who may be at risk of developing certain problems may need to schedule visits more frequently.

Graduates of Dental Assistant School Know Patient Education Is Essential

Care at home and regular checkups form the bedrock of preventative dentistry, but professional dental assistants are aware that there are a number of other ways that the teeth and gums can be proactively protected.

For example, another important component of preventative dentistry is oral hygiene education. This can be a lifelong process for individuals. If an individual get braces, for example, then their routine may also need to be modified. Even seniors may need to re-learn how to carry out their oral hygiene routine if they get dentures or if another change affects their oral care.

Overall, prevention is a better approach than addressing a problem once it has already taken root, so practicing preventative approaches is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Are you interested in attending dental assistant school?

Contact the National Academy of Health and Business to learn about our programs!

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