10 Things Your Dentist Wishes You Knew
All patients have questions for their dentists before visits. So, we thought we’d go ahead and tackle some of those burning questions you may be anxiously holding on to concerning everything from basic dental care to the prevention of more serious issues. Here’s what your dentist wishes you knew before walking into the office:
- Nutrition affects dental health – As your doctor has surely told you time and time again, proper nutrition is key to maintaining optimum health, and the same goes for maintaining optimum dental health. This means cutting back on sugary drinks and non-nutritional foods, as these combine with bacteria in your mouth to produce enamel-attacking acids, which can lead to cavities and gum disease.
- Brushing twice a day is key to cavity prevention – The practice of good oral hygiene means properly brushing your teeth at least twice each day to remove cavity-causing plaque. Plaque is that soft, sticky substance that builds up on your teeth. It’s caused by food debris and bacteria. Flossing should also be a part of your daily routine, as it helps to remove this plaque from in between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Together, these healthy habits help prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
- Your toothbrush has an expiration date – That’s right! You should be replacing your toothbrush about every three months. If you’re already battling gum disease, your toothbrush needs to be changed every four to six weeks, as there will be more bacteria build-up. And, you should replace your toothbrush after bouts of sickness.
- Gum disease affects your overall health – Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. What you may not know though is that it’s also linked to even more serious problems like strokes and heart disease. Fortunately, if caught early, gingivitis can be treated and even reversed. If left untreated, however, it can lead to advanced gum disease, which includes bone loss.
- Bad breath may be a sign of a dental issue – For most people experiencing chronic or persistent bad breath, some sort of dental problem is to blame. In cases such as these, no amount of chewing gum or mouthwash will mask the odor for good. The only cure is to seek dental care, and stick to healthy, daily hygiene routines.
- Regular dental care is the best preventive care – Regular dental cleanings and check-ups are vital to maintaining not only a healthy smile but your overall health. These check-ups prevent cavities, gum disease, root canals and so many other dental issues. So, don’t put off scheduling your next appointment!
- Dental problems NEVER get better without treatment – If your dentist prescribes a treatment plan for a dental issue they’re concerned about, stick to it! Dental issues will not simply heal themselves without proper care. They’ll only get worse and become more serious issues.
- Dental checks ups include screenings for oral cancer – During your routine check-up, your dentist will also screen for any signs of oral cancer, a serious dental disease that affects the lips, mouth and throat. Fortunately, if diagnosed early, it can be treated. The key to prevention, of course, is to stick to your regular check-ups and avoid the use of tobacco products.
- Root canals are not scary, painful procedures – Contrary to past beliefs, root canals are not the panful ordeals they may have once been. Modern technology and methods allow these procedures to be carried out relatively pain-free. They’re as painless as having a simple cavity filled.
- Maintaining oral health is simple – Maintaining optimum oral health is easier than you think and really requires little effort. Just stick to your daily routine of brushing and flossing, and schedule bi-annual visits with your dentist.
With this information in-hand, we hope you’re more prepared for your next visit and are ready to take your oral health into your own hands!