- Why dental prophylaxis is important
- Dental prophylaxis - what you can do yourself
- Dental prophylaxis - what the dentist does
Strong and healthy teeth into old age - who regularly throughout his life dental prophylaxis can often fulfill this dream. And not only saves the cost of expensive dentures, but also avoids time-consuming and often painful caries and periodontitis treatments. Read here what belongs to a complete dental prophylaxis, what you can do for yourself and what the dentist supports you with.
Why dental prophylaxis is important
Millions of bacteria live in our mouths. Many of them are useful, for instance for the digestive process. However, some can seriously endanger our health. These harmful microorganisms feed on the sugar in our food and convert it into acid. The acid attacks the enamel and makes it permanently porous to the dreaded caries hole.
Also, the gums can cause bacterial disease - chronic inflammation such as periodontal disease or gingivitis in addition to the oral cavity in the long term damage other organs of the body. Fortunately, nobody is helpless. On the contrary, with a comprehensive dental prophylaxis can be caries and gum disease effectively prevent.
Caries and periodontitis
Read more about tooth decay here. Comprehensive information on periodontitis can be found here: Periodontitis
Dental prophylaxis - what you can do yourself
Caries and periodontitis bacteria are found mainly in plaque, a mixture of food remnants and dead cells. To get rid of them, you have to remove this topping again and again, because it is formed after each meal new.
Maintain teeth and gums regularly
A cornerstone of dental prophylaxis is the daily thorough dental care at home. This includes, first of all, brushing the teeth twice daily with a suitable toothbrush and a fluoridated toothpaste.
Clean teeth properly
Here's how to brush your teeth properly: brush your teeth
In addition, you should regularly clean the interdental spaces with dental floss or an interdental brush.
Dental floss and interdental brushes
How to use dental floss and interdental brushes correctly, read here: Dental floss, interdental brushes
If this is too costly for you, you can also use a mouthwash for dental prophylaxis. However, this should contain either a tin / amine fluoride compound or chlorhexidine. Because only these substances have proven to be germicidal.
Read here how mouthwashes work and when they are recommended: Mouthwash
To eat and drink tooth friendly
In addition to home-based dental care, you can do a lot more for effective caries prophylaxis and prevention of periodontal disease (periodontitis prevention). A vital role is played by the healthy diet: Tough foods such as cereals, vegetables, fruits and lettuce must be chewed long and thoroughly, stimulating salivation and thus acid neutralization in the mouth.
By contrast, you should largely refrain from using sugary foods and drinks. Because these supply the harmful oral bacteria food and thus promote their acid production. If you get ravenous, you better choose products with sugar substitutes for your teeth.
Fruit juices are also not optimal for dental health due to the acid they contain. Therefore, you should consume these drinks only in moderation and after consumption for dental prophylaxis rinse the mouth with water.
Sufficient fluoride absorb
Scientific studies show that fluoride protects teeth from decay. Therefore, for effective dental prophylaxis, dentists recommend cleaning teeth with fluoride-containing toothpaste. Other fluoride sources are fluoridated salts or mineral waters. However, one should take care not to take too much of it parallel to avoid overdosing.
What exactly is fluoride, how it works against caries and whether the regular use of fluoride is associated with risks, read here: fluoride in toothpaste
Fat cells produce inflammatory substances. Therefore, overweight people are at an increased risk of developing periodontitis. For reasons of dental prophylaxis, pay attention to your weight and avoid excess weight.
Do not smoke
Smokers also have an increased risk of developing periodontitis. Because nicotine narrows the vessels in the mouth. As a result, the gums are poorly supplied with blood and supplied, which in turn weakens the immune system against invading bacteria. In addition, nicotine can accelerate the degradation of the jawbone in the presence of periodontitis.
Treat periodontitis-promoting diseases
The risk of contracting periodontitis also increases with a weakened immune system. Therefore, you should for dental prophylaxis strengthen your immune system through a balanced diet, regular exercise and adequate intake of vitamins.
Studies have also shown that diabetes and osteoporosis favor gum disease. As a diabetic you should therefore make sure that your blood sugar levels are well adjusted. Osteoporosis patients can prevent periodontal disease by taking calcium and vitamin D.
Dental prophylaxis - what the dentist does
In addition to home-based dental care, regular dental visits are part of comprehensive dental prophylaxis. Twice a year you should for prophylaxis - dentist and health insurance are at your disposal for information. The costs for the semi-annual check-ups are covered by the health insurance companies.
Check-ups for dental prophylaxis
In the dental prophylaxis examinations, the dentist looks closely at teeth and gums with the help of mirrors and dental check marks with regard to caries and periodontitis. So he can already see the first signs and treat them immediately, so that the diseases do not spread further.
In addition, as part of dental prophylaxis, the physician assesses your individual caries and periodontitis risk based on your diet and dentistry habits as well as existing chronic illnesses and advises you on how best to reduce them.
He may recommend fluoride- ing the teeth with special gels or paints for dental prophylaxis, which are applied directly to the dentist's office and protect the teeth against tooth decay.
By the way: Even children are entitled to dental check-ups. From the age of two and a half years until the age of six, they are entitled to three studies on dental prophylaxis. After that, the health insurances pay the costs for semi-annual dental prophylactic examinations as well as for adults.
For dental prophylaxis, especially in children, dentists also use fissure sealing. The sealing of fissures (small cracks) and dimples on the particularly caries-prone occlusal surfaces of the molars protects the child's teeth against the penetration of the caries bacteria.
Professional teeth cleaning (PZR)
Toothbrush and floss are not everywhere. Some places in the mouth are so difficult to access that they can only be cleaned with the help of professional instruments. A professional dental cleaning in the dental office also removes stubborn deposits in difficult places in the mouth. In most cases, specially trained dental hygienists or dental prophylaxis assistants carry out this treatment. For effective dental prophylaxis, many experts recommend a PZR twice a year. Some health insurances cover at least part of the costs of this form of dental prophylaxis.
Professional tooth cleaning
How exactly a PZR runs and whether the treatment makes sense, you will find out here: Professional teeth cleaning