For some reason, maybe it’s the loud drills or uncomfortable mouth contortions, a visit to the dentist isn’t considered to be the most pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Whether you’re gearing up for your next routine cleaning, recovering from a recent dentist visit, or trying your best to keep your teeth pristine in between visits, making sure your dentist doesn’t scold you the next time you’re back in her chair is teeth priority number one. More than that, a healthy smile means a healthy and happier you. Here are some things the dentist wishes you knew:
1. Daily oral habits are vitally important: Along with brushing at least twice a day, you should be flossing and using a quality toothbrush, with bristles that are not too soft and not too hard. When brushing, make sure you also brush your tongue, the inside of your cheeks, and gums.
2. Dental Check-Ups Include Oral Cancer Screenings: When you go for your regular dental check-up, your dentist and hygienist are also screening you for any signs of oral cancer. Every hour of every day, someone dies of oral cancer in the United States. This serious dental disease, which pertains to the mouth, lips or throat, is often highly curable if diagnosed and treated in the early stages.
3. Change Your Toothbrush: Manual toothbrushes become worn out after about 3 months and are not as effective as they once were. If you have gum disease, you should change your toothbrush every 4-6 weeks because bacteria can harbor in the bristles. You should always rinse your toothbrush out with hot water after every use and change it after you have been sick.
4. Maintaining Good Dental Health is Easy: Some people think that having good dental health takes too much effort. Seeing your dentist for regular dental check-ups and cleanings, brushing twice a day, flossing daily and eating a nutritional diet are the key factors in having healthy teeth and gums. Now, what’s so hard about that?
5. Gum (Periodontal) Disease Affects Your Overall Health: Gum disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults and has also been linked to heart disease and strokes. If diagnosed in the early stage, gingivitis can be treated and reversed. If treatment is not received, a more serious and advanced stage of gum disease, called Periodontitis, which includes bone loss, may follow. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and getting regular dental checkups and cleanings are the best prevention against gum disease.