There is no dentistry as good as no dentistry.
The real aim of good dentistry (and all good medicine) is to eliminate the need for its existence. While we have many techniques and tools at our disposal to bring teeth back to health and proper function, the thrust of the profession is the prevention of unnecessary dental problems. We know that nothing we can do to repair and restore damaged and diseased teeth is as good as what nature intended for us.
Preventive measures could help avoid a large percentage of dental diseases. And most, if not all, of the burden of prevention falls on the individual. Your dentist can help by treating what is necessary, making certain no new problems are developing, and advise you on how to ma intain dental health. The dentist can help, too, with motivation—no one’s infallible, and the dentist can help keep your enthusiasm for home dental care high and, as a consequence, your dental bills low. Practically all of the billions of dollars spent each year by Americans on dentistry is spent on restoration rather than prevention; dental floss and toothbrushes are a tiny investment in comparison.
Though we recommend brushing for two minutes twice daily, we place the most emphasis on a thorough brushing before bedtime. During the day you swallow up to 2,000 times, night we swallow as little as 20 times, making your mouth a breeding ground for germs that can lead to cavities and gum disease. Pay close attention to brushing, flossing, but at rinsing and cleaning your tongue every night- especially if you’ve eaten sugar. Sugar sticks to teeth and creates an ideal environment for germs to proliferate in.
(See our article How to Brush Correctly for a detailed guideline).