Posted on: 29 April 2016
Visiting the dentist may be a last priority for many people, as they may not realise how important good oral hygiene is to their overall health and how important it is to see a dentist for regular exams. If you have some questions about visiting the dentist and about your oral hygiene in particular, note a few of those here and then discuss these with a dentist during your next appointment; this will ensure your mouth and teeth are always as healthy as possible.
1. What is plaque?
A dentist often tells you to brush often in order to avoid plaque buildup. Plaque is a collection of bacteria that has turned into a sticky film that adheres to the teeth and which holds that bacteria in place. As it hardens, it then becomes what is called tartar. The bacteria in plaque and tartar irritate the teeth and gums and, if left untreated, can lead to gum disease. Gum disease is when the underlying bone in the teeth actually become destroyed by this excess of bacteria, versus cavities, which is when teeth decay and form a hole from the top or sides. Having plaque and tartar removed by your dentist regularly is a good way to avoid gum disease and the potential tooth loss that goes along with it.
2. Is an electric toothbrush always better than a manual toothbrush?
Many advertisements for electrical toothbrushes will say that they get your teeth cleaner than a manual brush, but note that it's really the technique you use and the amount of time that you brush that is important. If you angle the manual brush properly and brush for several minutes rather than just a few seconds, this can usually offer you just as much protection against plaque and just as much cleaning power as using an electric brush. Note, too, that other parts of your oral hygiene routine are important as well; this includes flossing, rinsing, avoiding acidic foods, and the like.
3. Why see the dentist annually or even more if your teeth seem fine?
It's usually recommended that adults see the dentist annually if not every six months, and some might be recommended to see their dentist even more often. This is going to be based on the rate of tooth decay you might experience, so your dentist can address cavities quickly before they get so big that you need a root canal. Smokers and other who are at high risk of oral cancer might need more regular examinations to detect signs of cancer, so it can be addressed quickly. Your dentist can tell you the best checkup schedule for yourself in order to keep your mouth healthy.Share