General Dentists – Educating Patients About Preventative Care
When it comes to keeping teeth healthy and clean, general dentists encourage preventative care at home as well as at a dental office. Although most people understand the concept of oral hygiene, there are different techniques to use and steps to take that can help teeth look and feel great. Here are some of the ones most commonly recommended by dentists.
Maintenance at home
Because dental office visits typically only take place every six months, home maintenance is required to keep teeth healthy in between appointments.
Just moving a toothbrush around on the teeth is not enough to get them sufficiently clean. Instead of simply brushing the crown part of the tooth, make sure to brush along the gum line as well, where food is more likely to get caught and stick. It is also important to brush the teeth all the way in the back of the mouth and not just the front ones that are more visible and easier to reach. Brushing at least twice daily with an appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste is recommended.
Although some people consider flossing an unnecessary step or something to be done only when a food particle gets lodged in between the teeth, it is actually a critical component of proper dental hygiene. Bacteria tends to collect near the roots of the teeth along the gum line, and that is also where plaque build-up occurs. Flossing properly can get rid of the bacteria and plaque a toothbrush is unable to reach.
Dental office treatments
Even people who take excellent care of their teeth at home still need to visit a dentist regularly. There are some components of proper preventative care that can only be completed by a dental professional.
The specialized training and tools used by dental professionals allow them to get rid of plaque and tartar in a way that no amount of brushing and flossing can. Without this kind of routine cleaning, plaque and tartar can slowly build up and cause significant damage to the teeth and gums.
In many cases, people have oral issues such as cavities or gum disease but are unaware of them. General dentists can examine the teeth and identify areas of decay or other issues that need fixes.
Any dentist can benefit from looking at X-rays of a patient's teeth as well as performing a visual exam. An X-ray shows not only the outside of the teeth but the root and nerve as well, so it can display problem areas not visible with the naked eye.
General dentists can provide treatments like teeth cleaning, oral exams and X-rays for patients that visit a dental office as part of an oral preventative care plan. Home maintenance like tooth brushing and flossing is also required to ward off tooth decay and keep the teeth looking clean. By taking appropriate preventative care, patients can avoid oral issues like gum disease.
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