Dental hygiene is very important. It allows us to have a clean mouth, avoid tooth decay, and bleeding gums. Dentists advise patients to brush and floss their teeth after every meal avoid sugary drinks and foods in order to have sparkling teeth and healthy gums. Teeth, like any other part of the body are susceptible to infections and therefore, individuals are advised to schedule an appointment with a dentist. A check up is usually conducted therefore giving the dentist an insight to the health of your mouth, your teeth, your tongue and gums.
So how many dental visits should you have annually?
For Those with Healthy Teeth and Gums
All dental associations in the world advise most people to visit a dentist at least twice in a year. For individuals with gum disease or a history of gum disease dental hygiene appointments are recommended at either 3 or 4 month intervals. During these visits, dentists have an opportunity to diagnose tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, fractured teeth, any night time habits such as grinding and clenching and help you with home care.
Early detection and diagnosis can save your teeth and prevent future costly problems. For example, a small cavity that is gone unnoticed, can change into a root canal which then would require a crown on the tooth. It is much more feasible and cost effective to get a small filling rather than a root canal and a crown. This is the reason we recommend 6 month check ups. Furthermore, early detection of oral cancer can save your life.
For those with dental emergencies
Accidents are a common occurrence in our daily lives whether at work, or at home or while driving or playing outside. A dental accident may push a tooth into the gums, knock a tooth completely out of the mouth, fracture the jaw bones or chip a tooth. For more information on what to do if you knock our your tooth read our blog.
When a dental accident occurs, the pain one experiences may be mild or excruciating. To alleviate pain before rushing to the hospital, you may choose to first take pain killers, followed by rinsing the mouth with a salt water solution.
In the case of a knocked out tooth, it is vital to collect the fallen tooth and place it in a clean container. Ensure you do not disturb the tissue around the affected area and handle the tooth by the crown portion not the root portion. If the tissues and blood vessels are not severely damaged, the tooth can be placed back inside your mouth. There is a 45 minute window for the tooth to be replanted so be sure to have a regular dentist that knows you. Finding a dentist last minute to come in and take care of an avulsed tooth may be challenging and time is of essence.
Regarding a broken jaw, you will require special services to correct it and give it time to heal. Lack of proper medical care to the jaw could result in problems especially when eating, drinking or breathing.
As children grow, they first have their baby teeth which eventually are replaced by permanent teeth. During the baby teeth stage, children need to visit a dentist every 3 months to six months. This allows the dentist to monitor the progress of their teeth and their oral hygiene.
Once they start growing the permanent teeth, you need to visit a dentist at your earliest convenience. The dentist will provide you with safe methods that will help remove the baby teeth when they start to become weak. Children may not realize that their permanent teeth are growing over their baby teeth resulting in protruding teeth.
At the dentist, they will be provided with information about braces which will help to correctly align the teeth as the child grows. Also, children are taught proper dental hygiene practices such as how to use a tooth brush, how to floss and proper nutrition tips to avoid cavities.
It is now the recommendation of American Academy of Orthodontics to have children evaluated by the age of 7 for an orthodontic consult. The earlier we can diagnose growth problems the better and this may shorten the length of time your child is in braces.