It’s self-evident that your teeth are your own so naturally the majority of their care should fall on your very capable shoulders. While we could go on (and on) in this article expounding on the benefits of brushing, flossing, good diet etc; we’re going to guess that you already know the rudiments of good dental hygiene otherwise you wouldn’t be spending your valuable time reading a dentistry article.
So we’re going to instead look beyond the basics of good oral health and really delve into how a dentist can take an active part in tooth disease prevention.
Let your dentist take you beyond basic hygiene
Your dentist is a know it all when it comes to dentistry. While you might think that because you are brushing twice a day and flossing that you’re safe from tooth decay, a visit to the dentist’s chair might show you otherwise.
Be prepared for a dental consultation to pull no punches when it comes to highlighting the bad habits of your tooth care regime. A dental professional (hygenist, dental nurse or dentist) will give you firm direction on how plague develops and whether your tooth care regime is inadequate.
A favourite trick is to let you suck on a ‘disclosing tablet’. The amount of plaque you can then see highlighted by the tablet (most of the time showing up as a red discolouration), can be quite shocking to some patients. With these little tricks of the preventive dental trade as a sounding board for professional advice be prepared to be taken on a journey of discovering the correct way to brush your teeth, how to clean your interdental spaces and even how to use dental health props like disclosing tablets at home.
So I don’t need to visit my dentist any more?
On the contrary good preventive dentistry not only should become part of your home tooth care habits but also a life-long collaboration with your dentist. Regular check-ups will enable the dentist to keep an eye on how the health of your mouth is progressing. Aside from the already mentioned disclosing agents, even more convoluted ways of checking incipient dental diseases such as bite-wing X-rays can be used at these regular dental check-ups.
And of course other treatments can be employed prior to plague forming such as periodic scaling and rectifying of any previous unsatisfactory dental treatment that might promote disease.
There really is a lot that can be said about preventive dentistry, we haven’t any touched on even wider ranging topics such as topical fluoridation and fissure sealing for example. Of course like many issues in dentistry we thoroughly recommend our articles as a point of departure and a consultative session with a dentist as the next step.