Even with today’s excellent products available for home oral health care, a number of patients still suffer from any number of dental issues.
While there are some people who genetically aren’t born with strong teeth and are more susceptible to oral health issues, for a good percentage of oral health problems, the problem is simply a poor oral health care routine.
A regular at-home routine should include the following:
Even the most diligent home routine is not enough to ensure your teeth remain free of decay and gum disease bacteria. Visiting your dentist annually for a thorough exam and having your teeth cleaned at least twice a year by a qualified hygienist will allow them to diagnose and treat more serious issues in the very early stages when treatment can be accomplished using less invasive techniques.
A checkup not only gives your dentist and hygienist a chance to assess the health of your teeth and gums but also gives the office the opportunity to update your dental records.
An adult checkup usually includes these services:
Children should start seeing a dentist after the first tooth erupts into their mouth. If not before, they should definitely begin check-ups by age 2 or 3. Although not as comprehensive, they are still the best way to diagnose and treat issues before they become bigger problems. Starting earlier also allows your child to become comfortable with their dentist before they get old enough for more thorough examinations.
Cleanings typically happen during the same appointment as your comprehensive oral health exam. After your dentist has performed the exam, a hygienist will perform a gum disease screening – and evaluate the health of the gums and bone. From here the appropriate type of cleaning and be diagnosed based on your individual needs.
The first phase of a standard cleaning will have your hygienist using an ultrasonic or hand scaler to remove tartar and plaque from on and between your teeth and your gum line. If during this initial process, you need to take a break or begin to experience any pain or discomfort, make sure you let your hygienist know. This will allow them to adjust the settings or be aware of problem areas as they go.
After the scaling is complete, each tooth will be polished using a special paste. The process will complete each tooth one at a time until all have been treated.
Finally, your teeth will be flossed and your hygienist will let you know if there are any areas you may need to pay more attention to during your routine at home oral health care.
During your visits, your dentist may advise a dental sealant and/or fluoride supplements, especially for children whose teeth are naturally softer and more susceptible to decay.
Dental sealants are clear plastic coatings that are “painted” onto the back molars. They work as an extra shield against the sugars that cause decay. Both children and adults can benefit from having sealants applied to the harder to clean back teeth to reduce the possibility of cavities.
Although easy to apply, the sealants will wear off eventually, so they will need periodic re-application to continue the benefits.
If you play a sport, you know what protective equipment you may need to protect your body from injury. Pads, helmets, proper footwear, and even gloves, all designed to best ensure your safety. Just make sure, when you’re gearing up to protect yourself, you remember to protect your teeth as well by making a mouth guard part of your regular equipment list.
You should know what your options are for the best possible mouth protection you can get. The standard boil then bite guard available at sports supply stores can be very effective, especially if you are a recreational athlete versus an amateur or professional athlete.
If you are looking for a better fit and optimum protection, dental practices have the ability to fabricate a custom guard that is based on your personal dental impression. The result is a snug and comfortable fit.