Preventative dentistry is a proactive approach to preventing dental problems before they occur. It’s the best way to maintain good oral health and save money in the long run. In fact, studies show that for every dollar spent on preventative dental care, up to $50 is saved in restorative and emergency treatments. 

Several components of preventive dentistry work together to save you from the pain and expense of serious dental problems in the future. Read on to learn more about all the ways preventative dental care can save your smile and your wallet — and where to find the best preventive dentist in Half Moon Bay.

Here are Six Ways That Preventative Dentistry Keeps You Healthy

Routine dental exams are recommended every six months for most people. One of the most common questions we get at Half Moon Bay Family Dentistry is, “Why do I need a dental visit every six months?” While having exams may often seem like a chore, they are one of the best and most cost-effective ways to protect oral health. Some of the ways preventative dentistry keeps you and your mouth healthy are:

1. Dental Exams to Catch Problems Early

When you think about preventative dentistry, the first thing that comes to mind is often getting a dental exam. While regular dental exams are an essential part of preventative dentistry, they are only the first of many aspects of preventative dentistry. 

During a dental exam, your dentist can thoroughly examine your teeth, gums, and mouth to identify potential issues before they become major problems. 

2. Oral Cancer Screenings for Early Detection

Over 58,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year, and about 12,000 of those cases end up resulting in death. However, detecting oral cancer early can increase your chances of successful treatment and recovery. Your regular dental exam is the perfect time for your dentist to examine your mouth and throat for any signs of cancer, including lumps, bumps, or sores that do not heal.

3. Dental X-Rays

X-rays allow your dentist to see what's happening beneath the surface of your teeth and gums, which is just as important as examining what’s happening above the gumline. X-rays can detect problems like cavities, infections under the teeth, and bone loss. They can also help you and your dentist decide if you could benefit from orthodontic treatment.  

4. Professional Teeth Cleaning

While brushing and flossing are the most important ways to keep your teeth clean, there is something to be said about professional teeth cleaning. Getting your teeth professionally cleaned by a dental hygienist can remove tartar and plaque from areas of your teeth that you may be missing with your usual brushing and flossing routine, thus warding off potential cavities. Another benefit of professional cleaning is that it can remove superficial stains that can cause discolored teeth, keeping your smile bright and beautiful. 

5. Fluoride and Dental Sealants

Preventative dentistry is all about protecting teeth from damage and decay before they occur. Two effective ways to do this are with fluoride and sealants.

Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen tooth enamel and protect against tooth decay. It can be found naturally in nature and is added to drinking water, different kinds of toothpaste, and mouthwashes to help protect against cavities. It is also recommended during routine dental exams, especially for people who don’t drink fluoride-treated water. 

Sealants are another way to protect your teeth from decay. They are thin, plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. These surfaces are particularly susceptible to decay because they contain deep grooves and pits that can be difficult to clean. Sealants fill in these grooves and pits, creating a smooth surface that is easier to clean and less likely to harbor bacteria.

6. Pediatric Dentistry

Dental exams are important for everyone, at any age, but especially for children. Studies show that preventative dental exams can prevent up to 80% of cavities. 

Preventative dentistry also sets the foundation for good oral health habits for life and helps children develop a comfortable relationship with dental professionals. It is generally recommended that children have their first dental checkup by age one.

Preventive dentistry is important for oral and physical health. In fact, several conditions, including heart disease, pregnancy complications, and pneumonia, are linked to poor oral health. Keeping up with your routine dental exams, along with other healthy lifestyle habits, can prevent these and other conditions. 

Looking For the Best Preventative Dentist in Half Moon Bay?

At Half Moon Bay Family Dentistry, we believe that your oral health should be a comfortable and personal experience. That’s why our team, led by Dr. Gabby and Dr. Riley, is dedicated to providing this experience through a patient-focused approach that includes having a deep understanding of your lifestyle, risk factors, dental concerns, and smile goals. With this personalized understanding, our highly trained staff is able to give you the highest quality preventive dental care using premier technology, modern dentistry techniques, and dental sedation for your comfort. 

Ready to prioritize your oral health with the best preventative dentistry in Half Moon Bay?