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Going to the Dentist is Important

What is a preventive check-up and why is it important?

Preventive check-ups allow your dentist to keep up with changes to your health. Certain medical conditions can also affect your dental health, so it’s important that you inform your dentist of any changes in your health.

Preventive check-ups also allow your dentist to identify dental diseases early. This can help reduce any pain and the financial costs associated with more severe forms of dental diseases.

For example, gum disease that goes unnoticed can easily progress and result in pain, tooth loss and a higher dental bill when you finally get in to see the dentist. If caught early, gum disease is easier to manage and, in some cases, can be reversed.

What can I do at home for preventive care?

Good preventive care is about practicing good oral health habits at home. The good news is there are some great dental basics to keep your grin healthy.

  • Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid foods high in sugar or starch — they tend to stick to your teeth.
  • Drink plenty of water every day.
  • Brush gently at least twice a day, with special attention to the gum line. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Brushing the tongue cleans and refreshes your mouth and removes bacteria.
  • Floss at least once a day. You can also use an interdental cleaner—a special pick or brush you use between your teeth. Be gentle with your gums and don’t force the floss or cleaner between your teeth.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or earlier if it’s worn out. When you buy a new toothbrush (or any other dental product), look for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance on the label.
  • Visit your dentist or dental hygienist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.
  • Don’t ignore tender gums, sensitive teeth, or other mouth problems. They can become serious if left untreated.

The advice you got when you were young remains just as important today. Practice good dental health and your teeth can last a lifetime.

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“ADA Offers Tips for Enjoying Holiday Sweets and Keeping that ‘Sweet Tooth’ Intact.” American Dental Association, November 17, 2006. Accessed 2013.

“Finding Your Way to a Healthier You: Based on the [2005] Dietary Guidelines for Americans .”U.S. Department of Health and Human Services , U.S. Department of Agriculture. Accessed 2013.

“Diet and Dental Health.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. Accessed 2013.

“Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments.” National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, August 2012. Accessed 2013.

“Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body" American Dental Association. Accessed 2013.

“Bad Breath.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. Accessed 2013.

“Gum Disease.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. Accessed 2013.