6 Ways a General Dentist Can Keep Your Teeth Healthy
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6 Ways a General Dentist Can Keep Your Teeth Healthy

teeth healthy

08 Feb 6 Ways a General Dentist Can Keep Your Teeth Healthy

The most expensive tooth sold at auction is reported to have belonged to John Lennon. It sold for $36,857 in 2011. Your teeth are valuable to you and so you need to keep your teeth healthy.

Read on to learn about 6 ways a generalist dentist can keep your teeth healthy.

Keeping Your Teeth Healthy

Keeping your teeth healthy is about a number of things.

What is a generalist dentist? A generalist dentist is a primary care dental professional. They diagnose and treat oral health issues. This includes gum care, fillings, root canals, crowns, bridges, and veneers.

A generalist dentist is a person you would see on a regular basis for check-ups and preventative oral health care. They are the person you would normally call your dentist.

So, how can your generalist dentist help keep your teeth healthy?

1. Education

Teaching children and adults about oral hygiene is one of the most important things a dentist can do to keep teeth healthy. By starting this education early, with children, lifelong good habits can be established. The habits of brushing, flossing, and rinsing stay with you throughout life.

This education also extends to teaching other aspects of maintaining healthy teeth. This includes how to choose a good toothbrush, the effect of sugary drinks, and the importance of regular dental checks.

Your dentist can recommend the type of brush you should use.

Similarly, as a dental professional your dentists can advise you on toothpaste and mouthwash.

Many adults have a fear of visiting the dentist and so don’t get the care they need. Building positive experiences of the dentist in childhood is one way of reducing this fear. Positive experiences and trust in your dentist start with regular childhood visits and education.

2. Regular Examination

Nobody likes to have dental treatments such as fillings or extractions. Prevention of tooth decay and other problems is much better. A regular thorough examination is a key element of preventative dentistry.

A regular examination can pick up the early signs of tooth decay or gum disease. Early treatment of these problems can reduce the impact and avoid more serious problems.

Having a long-term relationship with a dentist and regular checkups means your dentist can monitor progress on any problems. A six monthly checkup allows your dentist to assess whether preventative treatment is working. If necessary, your dentist can adjust the treatment.

3. Regular Professional Cleaning

Plaque is a sticky substance that forms on your teeth. Saliva and food contribute to forming plaque. It contains bacteria and contributes to cavities and gum disease.

Tartar is a calcified deposit that forms when plaque hardens on your teeth. This tartar bonds to the enamel on your teeth. It can be seen on your teeth because it has a yellow or brown color.

Regular cleaning at home with your toothbrush can go along way to removing plaque. On its own, home cleaning is not enough. Professional cleaning is an important way to keep your teeth healthy and is the only effective way of removing tartar.

4. Treating Gum Disease

When plaque forms on your gum line the bacteria it contains can attack your gums. These infections damage the gums and even the bone beneath. This gum disease can also lead on to tooth decay.

Gum disease may start with gingivitis. This makes your gums sore, inflamed and red. They may even bleed.

A more advanced stage of gum disease is called periodontitis. It damages the bones, gums and other tissues. If left untreated it can lead to teeth being removed.

Seeing your dentist regularly gives them the opportunity to spot the first signs of gum disease. They can treat it and suggest how you can prevent it developing further.

5. Detecting Oral Cancer

The early signs of oral cancer are not easy to spot. You may not be aware of these symptoms and fail to notice the abnormalities. If it is not diagnosed early it can progress and is potentially life-threatening.

A trained dentist knows how to spot these symptoms. Identifying oral cancer early is the key to treating this disease. Attending your dentist for a six-monthly examination hugely increases the likelihood that they will spot a problem early.

6. Treating Cavities

You may be very careful about cleaning your teeth regularly and well. There are still parts of your mouth that are difficult to get to. Flossing can help with these but may not be completely effective.

If plaque builds up it can turn into tartar. Tartar can then erode your teeth so that a cavity is created. Once the tooth has decayed you may become aware of a slight ache.

This means there is no warning about the problem until the cavity is actually present. The dentist can keep the rest of your tooth healthy by treating the cavity. The filling is necessary to prevent further decay and damage.

There are several treatments available to your generalist dentist. A fluoride treatment may be sufficient if the cavity is minor. A fluoride-rich liquid, foam, gel or varnish is applied to the tooth or put in a tray that fits over the top of your tooth.

Fillings or restorations are for more advanced cavities and are made from various materials. Crowns are for yet more serious decay or weakened teeth. If the decay has reached the inner material of the tooth it may need a root canal.

The most extreme treatment, which is avoided if possible is an extraction.

Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Keeping your teeth healthy is well worth doing. They are the first part of your digestions system. Without teeth, you cannot chew and bite your food. Investing some time in keeping them healthy is well worth doing.

A bright, sparkling smile is attractive and great for confidence. Fresh breath and oral health are also important. We can do a great deal ourselves to promote good oral hygiene.

Your general dentist can work with you to maintain healthy teeth. It really is a team effort. Working together you and your dentist can promote good oral health and keep your teeth in tip-top condition.

If there is a problem then your dentist can use a range of treatments to reduce the damage and keep you smiling.

If you would like to know more about how your general dentist can help you keep your teeth healthy then click here.

Dr. Daniel Allen

Daniel Allen, DDS has been involved in dentistry since 2003, starting his career as a dental hygienist before completing his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at UT Houston Dental Branch. Dr. Allen is a sixth generation Texan and was raised here in Central Texas. Learn more

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