A preventive program is a cooperative effort by the patient and the dental professional to preserve the natural dentition and supporting structures by preventing the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental disease.
Preventing dental diseases, such as gum disease and cavities, starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet. Brushing twice a day removes plaque bacteria from the front and backs of the teeth, and flossing once a day removes plaque bacteria from between the teeth. When plaque bacteria is left in place, it hardens to form tartar crystals. Tartar crystals cannot be removed with a toothbrush or floss, and acts as an attachment point for more bacteria. Regular dental hygiene appointments are needed in order to remove the buildup of tartar and plaque from your teeth, and prevent the occurrence of disease. Gum diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, occurs in seventy percent of the population, and often progress painlessly until the late stages where they can lead to eventual tooth loss. Cavities can also occur on the teeth in areas where bacteria thrive. By using x-rays and a thorough visual examination, a dental professional is able to spot the progression of cavities in their early stages. Sealants and fluoride may also be recommended as preventative treatments which can protect the teeth from damage by bacteria and diet.
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