A Dentist Will Help You Sustain Your Dental Health

By Paul Nash

Patients of every age group need to go to a dentist as dentists are the primary dental care providers. Apart from offering you preventive services, your dentist will also take the responsibility for your overall dental health needs that includes the identification, treatment, management and coordination of the required processes. In case your condition requires the services of a specialist, your dentist can arrange for the proper referrals and ensure that there's continuity in the upkeep of your oral health care.

The goal of dentists is to prevent gun disease, tooth decay, and other disorders that put the health of your teeth and mouth in jeopardy. A casual consultation with a dentist will usually consist of three parts: a medical and dental history (this is where the dentist asks questions about tooth care and reviews past dental records), dental examination and professional cleaning (oral prophylaxis). The dentist will then examine the gums, teeth and other tissues surrounding the mouth. The joints of the jaws may also be included in the examination to check for the over-all health of an individual's mouth. Your mouth contains bacteria, which live on your teeth, gums, lips and tongue. Some bacteria are healthy if present in the right place, at the right time and in the right numbers. Our body needs these 'friendly' bacteria to function. Other bacteria can be harmful and cause problems, especially if they attach themselves, in the form of plaque, to the enamel that covers your teeth.

How often you go for a dental exam will depend on your oral health needs. The goal is to catch small problems early. For many people, this means a dental exam every 6 months. Your dentist may suggest that you visit more or less often depending on how well you care for your gums and teeth, problems you have that should be checked or treated, how fast tartar accumulates on your teeth, and so on.

Ask yourself the following questions. Do I floss every day? Do I brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and follow my dentist's instructions on how to brush properly? Do I eat a well-balanced diet, including food from all food groups, and limit sweets and sticky foods? Do I smoke? Do I have a history of cavities or gum disease? Is my overall health good? The answers to these questions are all variables that affect your oral health. They will help you and your dentist decide how frequently you have to visit for dental exams. It is worth noting that you shouldn't determine your need for dental care on what your dental plan covers.

While dental self-care is important, there's only so much you can do on your own and that's why a visit to the dentist every six months is still required for overall good oral health. Even the most dedicated brushing and flossing still cannot catch all the plaque that accumulates naturally throughout the day. If plaque is not removed promptly, it'll develop into tartar, which may irritate the gum tissue and damage teeth. A professional cleaning and examination is needed to keep teeth at their best.

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