Love Your Smile: Practice Preventive Care Posted on February 10, 2017 in General oral health Show your smile some love by giving it what it really needs: preventive dental care. Regular preventive care can help you avoid costly and serious dental problems and keep your smile healthy. Of course, it's important to maintain a daily routine of brushing twice daily and flossing once a day. But here are some other preventive dental care strategies to practice with your family: Schedule routine dental appointments. Visit the dentist regularly to help ensure that any oral health problems are detected and taken care of before they become more serious and expensive. During routine visits, your dentist will screen for oral cancers and symptoms of other health issues that can be difficult to spot on your own. Consider fluoride treatments. Fluoride is a mineral that helps teeth become more resistant to cavities. Your family can take advantage of its benefits through fluoridated toothpaste and most tap water, but some people could use additional fluoride treatments. Talk to your dentist about whether you or your family members should have fluoride treatments. Ask about sealants for children's teeth. Sealants are plastic coatings that protect difficult to reach areas on teeth from decay. They are applied to permanent molars as soon as they erupt in the mouth, usually between the ages of 6 to 8 for first molars and 10 to 12 for second molars. While sealants are not necessary for all children, they are particularly beneficial to those who are at higher risk for tooth decay. Ask the dentist if sealants are a good choice for your children. Use your dental benefits. At dental appointments, make sure you take full advantage of the benefits your dental plan provides. The good news is that many plans cover cleanings and exams at 100 percent, and some cover fluoride treatments and sealants as well. You will also maximize your dental plan by using a Delta Dental PPO network dentist. Be sure to practice preventive dental care. Your mouth and wallet will thank you!