12 Things Your Family Dentist Wants You to Know

12 things your family dentist wants you to know
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Your dentist fills an important role in your overall healthcare team. They spend time ensuring you receive the best possible dental care, including preventative care, restorative treatments, and cosmetic treatments. However, there are many things our team of Mississauga dentists would love to share with you, but the opportunity doesn’t always come up. Here are 12 things we would like you to know about our team and the services we offer.

1. We don’t just care for teeth

One of the reasons we are adamant about our patients booking regular dental checkups is that we offer more than just dental care and advice. Your check ups include examinations to look for other health issues not covered by your family physician including correcting jaw problems and detecting oral cancer. So while it might seem you can skip that dental cleaning (which by the way we disagree with wholeheartedly!) you can’t afford the risk of having oral health issues such as cancer remain undetected!

2. You can use some tips for proper oral care

Another reason we like to see you at your regular dental checkups is that we specialize in providing tips for proper oral care. We are like oral health detectives looking for clues about your brushing and flossing technique. We can spot areas where you might be brushing too aggressively or where plaque buildup seems to be worse because you tend to miss that spot. With ongoing instruction on proper oral care, you will improve your brushing and flossing technique and enjoy improved oral and dental health.

3. Don’t be a “just before my dental checkup” flosser

As with above, we can tell if you aren’t flossing regularly. When you choose to floss the night and morning before your dental appointment when you never usually touch the stuff, it really isn’t worth the effort. By looking at the health of your gums, we can tell if you are a lifetime flosser or a floss faker. When we recommend you floss regularly, we won’t come out and call you on your bluff, but we would really like you to take our advice and floss every day!

4. Your medications could contribute to tooth decay

Just to repeat, we are a member of your healthcare team. We need to know about the medications you take so we can offer advice should those medications have the potential to affect your dental health. For example, some medications like antidepressants or blood pressure pills can cause dry mouth which increases the risk of bacteria and decay. When we know about your medications, we can be more proactive about your care, and also ensure everything we recommend is safe.

5. Even perfect smiles can have oral health issues

If you think you don’t need regular dental checkups because you have a dazzling smile, think again. Even beautiful smiles can be hiding issues like tooth decay and gum disease. Cavities can be hard to spot, and gum disease can lurk below the gum line, or be less noticeable in the early stages.

So if your smile is perfect, but you experience issues like bleeding gums or no issues at all, come to your regular checkups anyway so we can not only keep that smile perfect but also ensure you enjoy perfect oral health as well.

6. Being pain-free doesn’t mean you are trouble-free

Despite the idea that dental pain is the worst pain, surprisingly many dental and oral health issues are pain-free, especially in the early stages. Again, the reason we recommend regular dental checkups is that it can be hard to spot oral problems, including tooth decay or early gum issues.

7. Dental preventative care is good for your health

We really should just come right and say this to every one of our patients. Your dental health contributes to your overall health. In fact, the same bacteria that cause tooth decay are linked to heart disease. When you have gum infections due to gum disease, this bacteria can reach your bloodstream causing inflammation in the rest of your body. Healthy teeth and gums, therefore, are a must to help improve and protect overall health.

8. Don’t brush after meals

Many people head right to the bathroom after eating, thinking it will help reduce the risk of tooth decay. However, the truth is, when you brush immediately following a meal or snack, you are actually forcing the acids and other damaging elements found in food right into your enamel. As a result, you can actually speed up enamel erosion. Always wait at least an hour before brushing after you eat, or rinse your mouth out with water and then brush.

9. There are many products available to whiten teeth

Although we do offer teeth whitening at our office, there are other products available you can use at home. While you won’t see the same results as our in-office treatments, you can help maintain a whiter smile with over-the-counter products. Always ask us about things like whitening, so we can provide recommendations to suit your budget and lifestyle.

Also, in some cases, whitening products should be avoided, especially for people with receding gums, visible restorations, or tooth sensitivity.

10. Parents be careful, you can spread tooth decay

This is a little-known fact we don’t often get to share with parents. Tooth decay is actually a condition you can spread to your children via bacteria found in your mouth. In the first three years of life, even things such as kissing your child on the mouth, sharing spoons, or “sanitizing” their bottles or pacifiers by putting them in your mouth can actually transmit harmful bacteria into your child’s mouth. You should avoid doing these things, and better yet, practice good oral hygiene to reduce the bacteria in your mouth.

11. Bring your babies to see us

As soon as your baby’s first tooth appears, we would love to see them for their first appointment. Many parents wait until their children have more of their teeth, but first appointments align with first teeth. We can take precautions from a very early age to promote oral health and help prevent the risk of tooth decay through family dentistry.

12. You can ask us ANYTHING

Our job is to promote and help you maintain dental health. There is nothing we haven’t heard about or could possibly surprise us when it comes to your teeth, gums, and overall health. So we say, tell us or ask us ANYTHING of concern because we are here to help. In fact, many patients fail to mention things like their embarrassment about the appearance of their teeth. However, we have tons of solutions to improve your smile and can come up with a cosmetic treatment plan ideal for your budget. No judgements. Ever.

For more great tips from your dentist, call Bristol Dental at 905-712-3409 or contact us here.

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