Life, Death and Dental Visits

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Life, Death and Dental Visits

If you are an adult, the teeth that are currently in your mouth are the only ones that you’ve got. 

They don’t grow back, so it is essential to keep them healthy and make them stay in your mouth for as long as possible. 

Brushing one’s teeth is a, socially, and mentally, accepted practice to accomplish the task of maintaining oral health.  However, there simply is no replacement for a visit to the dentist.  While some may dread the thought of this, the truth is that dentist are able to expertly wield tools that normal civilians simply would not have access to. 

The main goal for almost every dental visit is to make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy.  These visits should be scheduled at least every 6 months to ensure that your teeth receive the proper coverage.  Each visit typically comprises of two parts; the check-up and the cleaning.

 

Check-Up

Usually done to look for plaque, tartar and cavities.  Think of plaque a sort of bacterial sap.  It is bacteria that has accumulated and has formed a very sticky layer.  Much like how sap, left undisturbed can harden to form amber, plaque can also harden to form tartar.  Tartar is ridiculously difficult to remove and often requires specialized tools to even make a dent in it.  Tartar can lead to oral disease and/or cavities, which is basically the erosion of the tooth itself.

 

Asides from the three mentioned above, dentists also check the status of the gums health.  The amount of space (lack of gums) in between the individual teeth is a good way of measuring overall gum health.  The bigger the space in between the teeth, typically means that the gums are in poor condition and may lead to a variety of oral diseases.

 

Finally, dentists also check the tongue, throat, face, head and neck for any evidence of swelling, infection or abnormal growth.

Cleaning

As previously mentioned, tartar cannot be eliminated with brushing.  Using a special tool in a process known as scaling, dentists are able to thin and even remove the hard layer of tartar.  Using a gritty paste, the tartar is ground down and smoothed out, much like how a sander is used to smooth wood.  The abrasive nature of the paste also serves to remove surface stains from the tooth itself.

 

Finally, a patient receives a fair deal of flossing before leaving the dentists’ chair.  This helps remove any detritus in between the teeth as well as promote gum health.

 

In between visits

It can be a while until you next see the dentist so you must be proactive in the maintenance o your oral care.  Brushing at least twice a day has been proven to decrease the development of plaque, which effectively keeps tartar and cavities away.  Flossing promotes gum health and using mouthwash helps remove bacteria from your mouth and freshens your breath.  These are preventative measures and you should strive to do all of them, and do them often.

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