What Is Preventative Care?

· 5 min read

Two kids playing at a beach with healthy smiles

The short answer to the question “What is preventative dental care?”: 

Preventative care is the ongoing care for your teeth and gums to maintain a happy and healthy mouth. It involves regular dentist visits for cleanings and exams, along with excellent dental hygiene habits at home.

The goal is to decrease the risk of gum disease and tooth damage.

You may be wondering why it’s such a big deal…

Well, a smile is unique and one of a kind. Sort of like an awesome wave caught once in a lifetime.  ????

A beautiful and functional natural smile is priceless.

And if you were to put a price tag on a smile…

Let’s be honest: Tooth replacements and restorations are expensive and time-consuming!

Preventative dentistry helps decrease the risk of:

  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth damage
  • Enamel damage
  • Cavities
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth loss
  • Infections
  • And other health issues (some serious like heart disease and stroke)

But let’s back up a bit:

Think of how important your teeth are in your daily life – they help you eat, speak, and smile. Now imagine if your teeth hurt, were progressively worsening in condition, or if they were missing…

The saying is true – you don’t know what you have until it’s gone!

At Smile Surfers Kids Dentistry, we’ll help you understand what preventative dentistry really entails and why it’s so important for young children.

What does preventative care mean?

Preventative dental care is a lifetime of excellent dental habits that make for a beautiful and healthy smile, including the gums and teeth.

It’s important for all ages, from young to old. And even if you have tooth replacements like crowns or dentures, it’s still essential to maintain good oral hygiene and visit the dentist for check-ups.

Benefits of maintaining preventative healthcare include saving time and money, maintaining confidence, and protecting one of your best assets – your smile! It’s important to note that oral health is a long-term process that requires work at home and the dentist.

Ideally, preventative dentistry starts from a young age.

Dentists and guardians must teach kids to care for their teeth so that as children get older, they can enjoy a healthy, natural smile that’s both beautiful and functional.

Yes, children are the future, but the habits we teach them affect their future.

Young kids have teeth in pristine condition, and it’s much easier to prevent problems than treat them. It’s also less expensive.

How to maintain good dental health at home:

  • Eat and drink healthy
  • Floss and brush with a soft-bristle toothbrush and use an FDA-approved toothpaste
  • Wear a mouthguard for contact sports or nightguard for teeth grinding

Dental preventative care services at the dentist include:

  • Professional cleanings
  • Dental exams
  • X-rays
  • Oral cancer screenings
  • Additional services as needed like fluoride treatments and sealants to protect teeth

The goal of preventative dentistry is to keep gums and teeth healthy now and in the future.

Early detection makes treatment easier, faster, and less expensive because advanced dental issues may become painful and complicated if untreated. Early diagnosis and treatment help save teeth and prevent existing problems from worsening.

An example of this:

For young kids who’re still learning to brush, the back molars may be hard to reach, and cavities may form. To prevent cavities, dentists may apply a barrier of protection to teeth called sealants.

While sealants are typically used on children, adults may also benefit from them to prevent cavities on a healthy tooth or one with early signs of tooth decay.

This is just one technique of prevention.

At a regular dental check-up, the dentist works closely with each patient to answer any questions they have, gives tips on ways to improve oral hygiene, and helps motivate younger patients to form healthy habits at home.

Remember to visit the dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and exams, and go in for recommended appointments as needed.

Is preventative care covered by insurance?

Many types of dental insurance providers cover preventative dentistry.

Believe it or not, dental care goes beyond just the look of your smile. Oral health is closely connected to overall health and well-being.

So don’t take biannual dentist visits for granted!

You may be thinking, “but I brush and floss really well every day.”

You deserve a big pat on the back, but even the best toothbrusher may be missing hard-to-reach spots where plaque and bacteria are hiding. Your dentist can find this build-up and remove the bacteria before it wreaks havoc on your teeth and gums.

Dental issues such as tooth decay or gum disease get progressively worse, and certain types of problems like damage from periodontitis are not reversible.

The good news is: It’s never too late to get oral health back on track!

Even if you’ve missed appointments or haven’t kept up with dental hygiene, you can get on the right path to better dental hygiene.

For adults and children, regular dental check-ups and cleanings are vital to oral health and overall health.

Looking for preventative dentistry for kids in Sumner or Richland, WA?

Our pediatric dentists are here to help your little surfers form a lifetime of happy and healthy smiles!

What are our preventative dental services? Our dentists at Smile Surfers do more than just check and clean teeth; we inspire and teach children to form healthy habits for a lifetime.

This includes giving nutritional advice, answering questions, teaching about the connection between oral health and overall health, and more. Together with parents and guardians, we create effective systems for great dental care.

The dental habits your child picks up at a young age will shape his or her smile… literally.

Our convenient hours and locations in Sumner and Richland make it easier to get to the dentist.

Schedule your visit today for preventative treatment dental care:

We serve the following areas:

  • Sumner
  • Puyallup
  • Lake Tapps
  • Bonney Lake
  • Lakeland Hills (part of Auburn)
  • Richland
  • Kennewick
  • Pasco
  • Umatilla/Hermiston

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