Like many other healthcare specialities, prevention is often better than cure in dentistry. While modern dental professionals can treat a wider range of complex conditions and issues than ever before, they are still careful to emphasize the importance of preventative dentistry to patients.
The idea of preventative dentistry is that dental professionals encourage patients to take active care of their teeth through healthy oral hygiene habits, regular dental visits and preventative treatments in order to limit the risk of developing serious dental problems. In doing so, they help to save patients a lot of time, money and discomfort.
Dental assistants play a huge role in preventative dentistry, assisting in treatments and helping to educate patients about proper dental health. If you are considering this career, keep reading to learn more about what preventative dentistry involves and why it’s so important.
Dental Assistant Program Grads Promote Preventative Oral Health Habits
One of the most important components of preventative dentistry is ensuring patients adopt a regular dental health routine. By brushing and flossing on a daily basis, they can dramatically reduce harmful plaque buildup which could cause tooth decay or gum disease.
In addition to encouraging regular brushing and flossing, it’s important that patients are educated in how to do it correctly. Brushing too hard or for too long can wear away tooth enamel, while flossing too aggressively can damage the gums. Dental assistants are often tasked with demonstrating the proper techniques to patients.
The Role of Nutrition in Preventative Dentistry
During their Level II dental assistant training at KLC College, students complete a module called Preventive Dentistry and Nutrition. The reason these two areas are grouped together is because they often go hand in hand. Dietary habits can have a huge bearing on how likely a patient is to experience dental problems.
In order to limit risks, dental assistants should encourage patients to limit the amount of sugars and carbohydrates in their diets, as these foods can increase the risk of tooth decay. They should also promote a diet that is rich in certain vitamins and minerals that can help strengthen teeth. Calcium is arguably the most important, as it strengthens tooth enamel, but Vitamin D is also crucial, since it increases mineral density and helps our bones to absorb calcium. Dairy products are an excellent source of both. Vitamin A, which is found in root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes, can play a big role in oral health too, because it helps to keep gums strong.
The Importance of Regular Check-Ups and Preventative Dental Treatments
While good oral health and nutrition will severely lessen a patient’s risk of developing dental problems, it is still important they have regular check-ups. This is a crucial part of preventative dentistry, as it allows dental professionals to identify any issues early, making them easier to treat.
A dentist will be able to catch the early warning signs of many dental problems through a physical examination, and can also use x-rays to spot issues which are not visible to the naked eye. Graduates of KLC College’s Level II dental assistant diploma program are qualified to perform dental x-rays in the province of Ontario.
Dentists may also provide a number of preventative treatments for patients, such as topical fluoride therapies, which can make teeth stronger and more resistant. For younger patients, dental sealants are another option, and help to protect the chewing surfaces of teeth from wear and decay.
Do you want to become a dental assistant?
Contact KLC College today to find out more about the career training we provide.