That’s a shame because a good dental self-care routine is critical to proper oral healthcare. Though the frequency of your visits may vary based on your needs and your health and dental insurance coverage, there are ten basic things every dentist would like you to know about dental care.
The Dental Top 10
Your dentist is the best source of information for a treatment plan that is customized for your individual dental care needs.
- Dental problems do not magically disappear. If your dentist develops a treatment plan, you should follow it as closely as possible. That cavity that just needs a little filling today could eventually result in a lost tooth if it isn’t resolved.
- Drink your water! Dehydration reduces the production of the saliva that protects your teeth against harmful bacteria in your mouth, thereby leaving you more vulnerable to cavities. If your mouth is chronically dry, there may be something more serious going on than a lack of hydration. It’s best in this case not to wait until it’s time for your next cleaning.
- Cavities are caused by more than just excessive amounts of sugar. In fact, in adults, dental caries are often the result of too much acidity, made worse by certain foods and beverages (e.g., coffee, red wine, citrus fruits and drinks) that can wear down tooth enamel and create an opening for decay. In children, cavities can sometimes be due to a combination of soft tooth enamel and bad luck. Of course, people of all ages should watch their sugar intake, but know that candy is not always the chief culprit of tooth decay.
- It’s not normal to experience bleeding when you brush or floss. Period. If any other part of your body bled when you cleaned it, you would seek medical attention immediately, and with good reason. Why would your gums be an exception?
- People notice your eyes first, your teeth second, and your hair third. You should spend at least as much time and money on your teeth as you do on your hair!
- Dental rinses can mask serious problems. Rinsing can be a great addition to your cleaning routine, but if you’re using mouthwash to treat bad breath, you may just be masking the problem. Mouthwash is a good choice after a garlicky lunch, but if your bad breath is persistent, it’s worth a trip to the dentist.
- Medications can affect your oral healthcare treatment plan. Tell your dentist about any medications you’re taking. Your dentist is an important member of your healthcare team. They need to know the drugs you take, even if it’s “just” a daily aspirin. In fact, if you have been prescribed a new medication, it’s time to update your health history information form at the dentist’s office.
- Dental X-rays are perfectly safe. The level of radiation you’re exposed to during a dental x-ray is probably less than you were exposed to on your walk or drive to the dentist’s office.
- Brush longer. If you ran a timer every time you brushed your teeth, you’d probably find it’s for a lot less than the recommended two minutes, twice a day. Take the extra time to do a good job!
- You can’t be healthy without a healthy mouth. Your semi-annual trip to the dentist is doing more than just making sure your smile looks incredible. Gum disease is inextricably linked to a host of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Good Dental Health is Easy
Maintaining good dental health is easy. Brush twice a day, floss once, make good nutrition choices and see your dentist regularly. See? Easy! For the easiest path to good dental maintenance, check your health and dental insurance policy details and confirm your next dentist’s appointment today.
If you don’t currently have dental insurance coverage, a call to an insurance broker is in order! A broker can help you access rates and plans that are not available to the general public, and along with your dentist, they can help you select a plan that best suits your current and future dental care needs. It all starts with a free, no-obligation dental insurance quote!