How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy and Strong for Life: The Ultimate Guide to Preventive Dentistry

preventive dentistry

You are taught to brush your teeth from childhood and throughout your life in order to prevent dental diseases. This maintenance of your oral hygiene along with your regular dental exam is known as preventive dentistry.

In this article, we aim to answer your major concerns regarding preventive dentistry

The Fundamentals of Preventive Dentistry

A.    Daily Oral Hygiene Practices

1.     Brushing Techniques and Toothpaste Selection

Brushing teeth is a necessary feature of your dental hygiene regimen. You have to:

·         Clean your teeth with a soft bristle brush at least two times a day, lasting two minutes each time.

·         Replace your toothbrush with a new one every three months.

·         Use toothpaste that contains fluoride. 

Brush your teeth in the following manner: 

·         Start by placing your toothbrush horizontally on your teeth and tilted 45 degree angle towards your gums.

·         Move your brush left and right in small strokes.

·         Clean the inner, outer and chewing surface carefully. 

2.      Flossing Techniques and Dental Floss Types

Flossing is recommended at least once each day to clean between the teeth where the brush cannot reach.

·         Pull out a long strand of floss around 19 inches to 20 inches.

·         Wrap it around the middle finger of one hand, and then grip it with the index finger of the same hand and the thumb of the other hand.

·         Pass the floss between the teeth lightly, not too forcefully; otherwise the gums will be bruised.

·         To remove the floss from between teeth, release the strand from either hand and allow the free end to pass freely outside.

Different types of floss are available in the market, some of them are

·         Waxed and un-waxed floss: Waxed floss threads are bonded together so that they can glide across tighter surfaces without breaking strands. Some people prefer un-waxed ones because the individual filaments clean more effectively.

·         Super floss: it is used to clean wide open spaces between teeth, bridges and braces areas.

·         Water floss: it ejects a stream of water between teeth and clears food particles and plaque. If you experience bleeding or gum damage with other floss variants this one is recommended for you.

·         Flavoured and un-flavoured floss

3.      Mouthwash and Other Oral Rinses

Mouthwash is advised in addition to brushing and flossing to wash away and eliminate harmful microorganisms and protect your teeth, gums, and tongue. Mouthwash is also recommended to combat foul breath.

Some people use mouthwash on a daily basis, while others use it on alternate days; nevertheless, it is always recommended to check your dentist before using any mouthwash, so they can recommend the best one for you and the recommended frequency.

The following are the fundamental directions for most types of mouthwash:

1.       Begin by brushing and flossing your teeth properly.

2.       Measure out 5 teaspoons of your oral rinse into a cup.

3.       Pour the contents of the cup into your mouth and swirl it around.

4.       Mouthwash isn’t supposed to be consumed, and it won’t function if you do.  So, don’t swallow.

5.       Gargle approximately 30 seconds before rinsing.

6.       Empty the mouthwash into the sink.

B.    Healthy Diet and Lifestyle Habits

1.      Foods and Beverages that Promote Oral Health

·         Drinking fluoridated water is the best and the easiest way to prevent caries and wash away food particles

·         Fresh fruits and vegetables are among the best foods for healthy teeth because of their abundant vitamins and minerals and additional teeth cleansing benefits. For example cranberries, apples, pears, carrots, spinach, lettuce, kale and celery

·         Calcium-rich foods include low-fat or fat-free milk, yoghurt, and cheese, fortified soy beverages, canned salmon, almonds, and leafy vegetables, all of which help build strong teeth and bones.

·         Eating sugar free gums can help to clear out food particles and ingredients like xylitol helps to prevent cavities.

2.      Foods and Beverages that Harm Oral Health

•        Avoid sticky items that adhere to your teeth, such as candy, chocolate, and caramel.

•        Starchy foods such as potatoes and bread

•        Sugary beverages, such as canned juices and soft drinks

·         Acidic foods such as lemon which some people put straight to the teeth as a home remedy.

C.     Regular Dental Check-ups and Cleanings 

Regular dental check-ups and cleaning are advised every six months to maintain your oral health. Your dentist will do an oral examination and x-rays if necessary and perform appropriate treatment, so you don’t have to endure painful episodes in the future. Along with this dental cleaning is also necessary for good dental health and function. A hygienist or dentist will clean and floss your teeth throughout these appointments to eliminate hardened buildup, plaque, and germs. Dental cleanings, when paired with regular brushing and flossing at home, assist attain and preserve healthy teeth and gums.

D.    Additional Preventive Dentistry Services 

•        Your dentist would advise you to have dental sealants and fluoride treatment to reduce the possibility of tooth decay. They are also an excellent type of preventative care, as they may help you preserve your teeth from future costly dental operations caused by bacteria accumulation or plaque deterioration.

•        Mouth guards are often used to protect teeth from trauma.

•        Because of the inability to clean various areas, people with misaligned teeth are more likely to develop caries and gum disease. In such cases, orthodontic braces are recommended to assist you improve your dental hygiene.

E.     Common Dental Problems and How to Prevent Them

The general health of the teeth, gums, and mouth is referred to as oral health. The issues that influence them include;

·         Tooth Decay and Cavities 

·         Gum Disease 

·         Tooth Sensitivity 

·         Bad Breath

To prevent all of these problems you need to maintain good oral hygiene and maintain a good balanced diet, as discussed before.


So, preventive dental care reduces your chances of acquiring tooth decay, gum disease, and other major dental issues, as it encourages proper dental hygiene behaviours such as brushing and flossing. Seeing a dentist for a screening every six months assures that any possible oral health concerns are detected early. Even if you take excellent care of your teeth, you should visit your dentist every six months for a checkup.

A checkup provides you with peace of mind and assures that you have no hidden oral health concerns.