The practice of dentistry involves a number of separate but interrelated processes. Dentists are trained to recognize, diagnose and treat disorders involving the structures in the mouth – including the teeth, the gums, the jaw and the underlying bone structure.
In addition, dentists specialize in helping their patients prevent dental problems in the first place. This preventative care is at the heart of good oral hygiene, and one of the reasons you should visit the dentist at least twice a year.
It is important to visit your dentist at least twice a year. Routine checkups and cleanings are the best way to keep your teeth looking and feeling their best. During your routine visits, the dentist will evaluate your oral health and look for early signs of problems you may have missed. Routine dental appointments can:
You may think your teeth look great, but there could be problems lurking under the surface. Gum disease often causes no symptoms, and the damage it does starts at the gumline where problems are not always visible. Regular dental care allows you to spot these problems early – when they are most treatable.
There are probably lots of dentists in your area, but it is important to choose the right professional. Look for a dentist who has obtained the proper accreditations and training, and one who has a caring attitude. If you are choosing a dentist for your child, you will want one with experience treating young patients.
A good dentist will also keep convenient hours, allowing patients to visit after work or on weekends. A convenient location is important as well, so look for dentists who meet your criteria and are within a reasonable driving distance.
Regular dental checkups are important, but you need to care for your teeth properly between visits. Brushing and flossing regularly are important to good oral hygiene – you should brush your teeth four times a day (after each meal and before bedtime) and floss at least twice a day.
Eating a healthy diet is another way to improve your oral hygiene and prevent cavities and gum disease. Keep sugary foods and drinks to a minimum, and choose healthy snacks like fresh fruits and low fat dairy products.
Your child should have his or her first dental visit between the age of six and twelve months. It is during this period of development that your child’s baby teeth will start to erupt, and a thorough evaluation by a pediatric dentist is essential to ensure good dental health.
Everyone should visit the dentist every six months – including children, teenagers and adults. Scheduling a routine wellness checkup twice a year is the best way to keep tabs on your oral health and make sure there are no undetected problems.
Cavities are among the most common oral health issues, and they happen when tiny holes form inside the tooth. These tiny holes form when plaque is allowed to build up on the exterior of the affected tooth. Once in place, the sticky plaque bacteria combines with the sugars and starches in the foods you eat and produce a corrosive substance that eats away at the enamel protecting your teeth. Cavities must be treated quickly to prevent them from further damaging your teeth.
If your dentist determines that you have a cavity, he or she will probably repair it with a filling. Fillings are composed of a number of synthetic materials, and they are inserted after the dentist has removed the decayed portion of the tooth. Depending on the nature of your tooth decay, the dentist may use fillings made of gold, ceramic or composite materials.
Brushing your teeth regularly is the best way to protect yourself from cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. You should brush your teeth four times a day – after breakfast each morning, after you eat lunch, after dinner and a fourth time before you turn in for the night.
Your toothbrush wears out more quickly than you might think. Even if your toothbrush still looks good, it may no longer clean your teeth the way it should. You should replace your toothbrush every three months, so you might want to keep a reminder in your bathroom.
Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease, and it starts when plaque is allowed to build up on your teeth. The sticky plaque bacteria can cause damage along the gumline, eventually loosening the underlying structure of the teeth and leading to tooth loss. Certain medications, tobacco use, a poor diet, neglect of oral hygiene and other factors can make gum disease more likely. The best way to prevent gum disease is to have your teeth checked and cleaned by your dentist every six months.
Routine dental care is even more important when you are wearing braces and other supportive appliances. The dentist will need to check your braces frequently to make sure they are straightening your teeth and improving your smile.
Just call our office to schedule your next appointment.