Knowing when to seek emergency dental care can be tricky. While many dental issues are extremely time sensitive, others can be left for months with little risk.Some tooth problems, like cavities, are slow to change. If there is no pain and the dental issue is not the result of trauma, usually treatment can wait until…
Dentist visits: Better safe than sorry
While dental hygiene is important, it can be easy to push brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups aside due to a busy schedule. In other cases, people can fall out of a regular dental routine and end up with dental infections. The prevention of dental diseases and infections is easy and does not require too much effort. The crucial step is being safe and receiving dental checkups on a regular basis.
Taking care of one’s teeth
Proper dental hygiene is not difficult, generally consisting of brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day and visiting a dentist at least once every six months. Unfortunately, people fall out of the healthy habit of a regular dental hygiene routine and risk dental diseases. If certain diseases are allowed to move into the advanced stages, then it is more likely a dentist will have to remove the tooth.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, finds that in 2011 17.5 percent of children ages 5 to 19 went with untreated tooth decay (dental caries). In the same year, 27 percent of adults aged 20 to 44 also went with untreated tooth decay. Tooth decay is easily preventable and does not cost the patient much to do so.
By brushing at least twice a day, the patient can prevent plaque from building up on the teeth and damage to the enamel. Mouthhealthy.org also recommends simple steps one can take to continue proper brushing, such as remembering to “Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed.” Some people may not be aware that there is a specific technique to brushing teeth. Mouthhealthy.org lists a few of the proper steps to get the best results from brushing:
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes
- Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth
- Clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth by tilting the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh
Flossing will help get between the teeth and remove food particles that can get stuck there. Since the bristles on a toothbrush cannot always get between the teeth, dental floss will be the most effective choice to do so. Even with proper brushing and flossing, there is a chance the individual will still struggle with tooth decay or other dental diseases.
When it’s time to consider a dental checkup
Regular dental checkups, at least every six months, allows a dentist to catch the early signs of any harmful infections. By catching the signs early on, a dentist can not only prevent them but can also ensure that the infection does not return. As much as people might think it is not a big deal to push the dental checkup back a few months or even skip one, a patient is putting his or her teeth at a greater risk.
When it comes to dental care, it is better to be safe than sorry and schedule an appointment. The Mayo Clinic lists reasons to visit a dentist:
- Red, tender or swollen gums
- Gums that bleed when one flosses or begin to pull away from the teeth
- Permanent teeth that are loose
- Changes in teeth alignment
- Unusual sensitivity to hot or cold
- Persistent bad breath or an unusual taste in one’s mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Mouth ulcers or sores that do not heal
If any of these symptoms appear to last for more than three days, it is important to consider seeing a dentist as soon as possible. While the signs may not lead to a life-threatening condition, they can result in permanent damage to one’s teeth. If left untreated for too long, tooth decay will cause the dentist to have to remove the tooth and lead to replacement options.
A dentist will be able to not only clean one’s teeth but help ensure healthy teeth for the months ahead. Once the patient continues to practice better dental hygiene as well, the patient will be able to maintain healthy teeth. If it has been a long time since you or a loved one went to the dentist, do not hesitate to call and schedule an appointment. No one at our office will judge, only help.
Anthony DeLucia D.D.S., P.A.
At Anthony DeLucia D.D.S., P.A., in Stuart, FL, we will customize your treatment to match your needs and schedule. Our professional staff creates a calm atmosphere for you during the appointment and treatment process. If you have any questions or are unsure of what is causing the pain in your teeth, do not hesitate to call us.
We will answer any questions and make sure you get all of the necessary information. We can help prevent damage to your teeth and set you on track for a lifetime of pristine oral health. At Anthony DeLucia D.D.S., P.A., your experience with us and your dental health are our prime concern.