Dental Care to Maintain Your Teeth Throughout Your Lifetime
A person’s smile is a very important aspect of who they are. A healthy and beautiful smile creates confidence and self-esteem. This can allow an individual to pursue career advancements or even new relationships.
A healthy smile is also important for overall health. It allows the ability to eat a well-balanced diet and also prevents a variety of health issues that can be caused by tooth decay or gum disease. To maintain a healthy and beautiful smile, proper dental care is necessary.
Regular Dental Cleanings
One of the most important steps to maintaining healthy teeth and gum is having regular dental cleanings performed by a professional. Individuals can easily schedule their regular cleaning with Foothills Family Dentistry.
During a regular cleaning, the hygienist will utilize various handheld tools to gently remove the plaque that has built up around the gum line and surface of the teeth. These cleanings are often performed in one visit and are usually coupled with their dental exam.
If gingivitis or periodontitis is suspected, a deep cleaning may be needed. Deep cleaning is more intense and could require anesthesia or multiple visits, depending on the severity of the problem. During this deep cleaning, calculus and plaque may be removed from the gum line. A more thorough cleaning may need to be performed to manage areas that are difficult to reach normally.
Removing this plaque and bacteria helps to prevent cavities from forming in the teeth. It also helps to protect the gum from inflammation and damage. During the cleaning, if the hygienist finds any issues, they will be reported to the dentist to be checked out during the exam.
In general, a dental exam should be performed every six months. However, different people may have different issues or risk factors that may require more or less frequent visits with the dentist. It is recommended that an exam is scheduled at intervals determined by the dentist.
In most cases, a dental exam will be performed after the regular dental cleaning. During this time, the dentist will check the teeth for cavities or other problems. They will also examine the gum for any sign of disease or inflammation.
During the exam, the mouth, face, and neck will be checked for any abnormalities. Often, a cancer screening will be performed to identify any signs or risk factors that need to be considered. In some cases, X-rays may be taken or other diagnostic tests performed to ensure the teeth, roots, and jaw are free of issues.
During this time, the dentist may discuss diet changes that may benefit the teeth and gum. They may even go over brushing and flossing techniques to ensure problem areas are addressed. If any problems are found, the dentist will discuss treatment options and schedule any necessary follow-up appointments.
Proper Dental Hygiene at Home
Visiting the dentist is only half the battle in maintaining healthy teeth. It is also important that individuals maintain daily oral hygiene habits throughout their lives. This prevents plaque and bacteria from forming and posing risks to teeth and gum.
It is recommended that a person brushes their teeth thoroughly at least twice a day. Individuals should use a soft bristle toothbrush. Hard bristle brushes could damage the enamel of the teeth and may even injure the gum.
To brush properly, it is recommended that the brush be held at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line. Then, move the brush back and forth to loosen and remove food particles. All teeth should be brushed, including all sides and the chewing surfaces of each tooth.
Unfortunately, brushing only removes the food particles at the surface. Food particles and bacteria can build in between teeth. Flossing at least once a day can help remove these particles. If the plaque is not removed from between the teeth, the sticky substance can accumulate and eventually harden, leading to gum disease.
Antiseptic rinses and water picks can also be beneficial in removing plaque and bacteria from the mouth. However, it is important to not rinse the mouth immediately after brushing. Rinsing can wash away the fluoride from the toothpaste. This can reduce its preventative abilities.
Prompt Care for Problems
If any dental issues are found during an exam, the dentist will usually make a follow-up appointment to correct those issues. However, it is important for individuals to pay attention to many of the warning signs of a dental problem With either of these situations, it is a good idea to schedule a dental appointment as soon s possible to prevent further complications.
Cavities are very common issues found during an exam. These issues can be easily repaired when they are small. The dentist will clear away any decay or debris from the cavity and apply a filling to seal the tooth. Unfortunately, cavities that are left uncorrected can become larger and more severe.
If the cavity makes its way to the pulp of the tooth, a root canal may be necessary. This procedure consists of making a hole in the crown of the tooth and then removing the pulp from the chamber. Once cleared, the dentist will then fill the chamber with a biocompatible material.
The hole is then filled with a temporary filling. A second appointment may be necessary to place a crown on the tooth. This restores the tooth to a more natural look and allows the patient to use the tooth as they normally did.
As with any dental procedure, it is always best to have it performed as soon as possible. Damaged teeth or gum disease issues can only get worse. Long delays in treatment could potentially cause the loss of the affected tooth or teeth.
In general, most dental issues can wait until the next available appointment. However, there are issues that can occur that cannot wait for normal business hours. When a dental emergency occurs, it is important to contact the dentist or their answering service immediately to get instructions for immediate care.
A true dental emergency can include a lost or severely damaged tooth due to trauma, excessive bleeding, or severe pain that does not stop. In these types of situations, if a dentist is not immediately available, a trip to the emergency room may be a good idea.
With prompt attention to various dental issues, regular dental visits, and proper oral hygiene, almost anyone can keep their teeth healthy and beautiful throughout their lifetime. Even if there have been issues or gaps in dental care, there are often treatment options available to help individuals get back on track to maintaining their healthy beautiful smile.