Proper oral hygiene combined with professional dental care is the best way to achieve optimal dental health. When you take care of your teeth and see your dentist for teeth cleaning on a recommended schedule, you can keep your teeth healthy and in place for your lifetime.
What is the recommended schedule for brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist? Here are the recommendations from dental professionals.
Brushing Your Teeth
Most dentists recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Usually once in the morning and once at night before going to bed is enough. However, if you are at a higher risk of tooth decay or gum disease for any reason, it may help to brush after each meal. Removing food particles from your teeth and gums is the first step in preventing the buildup of tartar and plaque. Bacteria feed on these, which leads to cavities and gum disease.
Is it possible to brush too much? Believe it or not, yes. There are negative consequences to brushing your teeth too frequently. Brushing excessively can wear away the enamel on your teeth, which weakens them, causes sensitivity, and increases the chances of developing cavities. Brushing too frequently can also damage your gums, causing them to become irritated, inflamed, and start to recede (pull away from the teeth). Avoid brushing more than 3 times a day.
Flossing Your Teeth
Most dentists recommend flossing your teeth once a day. Flossing removes food particles, tartar, and plaque from between your teeth and below the gum line. The area between your teeth, especially the back molars, is a prime spot for food to get stuck, which then turns into tartar and plaque. That feeds the bacteria in your mouth that can eventually cause cavities.
Flossing also strengthens your gums, making them more resilient to irritation and gum disease. Gums are less likely to recede when you are flossing daily. Since your gums hold your teeth in place, if they start to pull away your teeth can become loose. Severe gum recession can even lead to the loss of teeth.
As with brushing, flossing your teeth too much may damage your gums, so stick with a once a day schedule.
Visiting the Dentist
The recommended schedule for regular dental cleanings is every 6 months. Most dental insurance plans cover two dental appointments for teeth cleaning each year. A routine teeth cleaning at the dentist’s office usually includes a thorough oral examination, removal of plaque, teeth polishing, flossing, and sometimes X-Rays. X-Rays of teeth are typically done only once a year, which is usually covered by dental insurance plans. The purpose of taking x-ray images is to identify cavities as well as to see below the gum line for any root issues.
For some patients who are at a higher risk for oral health issues, the dentist may recommend that you have your teeth examined and cleaned more often. If you need any restorative procedures, such as cavity fillings, root canals, or crowns, you may have to go to the dentist between your scheduled cleanings to have those done. But once the procedure is complete you can usually resume your regular schedule.
Stay on Schedule With Savannah Dental Solutions
Maintaining good dental health is much easier when you follow the recommended oral hygiene and teeth cleaning schedules. Whether you’re in need of a children’s dentist or one for the whole family, Savannah Dental Solutions is accepting new patients and welcoming former patients back. If you’ve let your dental care lapse due to lack of insurance or other reasons, we are glad to welcome you and help you restore and maintain your dental health. Whether or not you have insurance, we offer payment options to make your dental care more affordable.
Call (912) 354-1366 or contact us today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you at Savannah Dental Solutions.
Should I Keep My Dentist Appointment If I’m Sick?
Getting a dental appointment can take some time, and regular visits are vital to preserving oral health. Therefore, many people hate to cancel an appointment. But what if you’re sick? Is it better to keep the appointment or to reschedule it? Here is what you should know.
It should go without saying that you should never cancel a dental appointment without a good reason. Your dentist and staff members have carved out time to see you, and they may not be able to cover your missed appointment with another patient, especially if you cancel at the last minute.
To make up for the potential loss of revenue, many dental practices charge a cancellation fee. If you are sick, and you don’t have a history of missing appointments, you may be able to get this fee waived, but this is never guaranteed. Call as soon as you know you need to reschedule, as some offices only charge for cancellations within a certain time frame, such as the day of the appointment.
How Sick Are You?
Whether or not to go to your appointment depends largely on how sick you are. For example, a headache is a common condition that could make you think about cancelling. However, not all headaches are the same. If you have a reasonably high pain tolerance and a simple headache, you might prefer to suffer through. If you have a severe migraine, though, the sights and sounds of a dental office could be too much to bear. Only you know how sick you are, and what your personal tolerance level is.
Are You Contagious?
If you have a contagious illness, you might want to think twice about keeping your appointment. Your dentist and hygienist will be up close and personal with your mouth, so it isn’t fair to cough and sneeze all over them. Even if you are no longer coughing or sneezing, you could still be contagious for a full week after your symptoms first developed.
If you suspect that you are contagious, call the dentist’s office and ask about the policy for these situations. You might be rescheduled, or you might receive advice on how to cope with the illness during your appointment.
Are You Having an Invasive Procedure?
Oral surgery and other invasive procedures are typically more complicated to schedule than simple cleanings, as they take longer and require extra materials. It is best to keep your appointment if possible.
On the other hand, an existing illness weakens your immune system, increasing the risk of infection and potentially lengthening healing time. If you have a fever or other signs of a bacterial or viral illness, it may be best to reschedule your procedure. Call your dentist as soon as possible for advice.
What Should You Do If You Keep Your Appointment?
When checking in, let the office staff know what symptoms you are experiencing. Wash or sanitize your hands before and after filling out any paperwork. Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow rather than your hands. Avoid direct contact with other patients and staff members.
In the treatment room, let each professional you interact with know that you are sick so that they can take precautions to avoid catching your illness. If you have congestion, breathing through your nose can be difficult. Let your treatment team know that you may need to take breaks to catch your breath.
Being sick is never fun, and visiting the dentist with an illness can magnify your misery. Take a hard look at your symptoms and the likelihood that you are contagious, and make an informed decision on whether to reschedule. Never hesitate to reach out to your dentist’s office for advice. If you do keep the appointment, take steps to avoid sharing your germs with others.
Want to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Dental appointments are an important part of your dental hygiene routine and your overall health. Generally, these appointments follow the same routine to ensure that you get the highest quality of care. If you’re unsure of what to expect at your next dental appointment, here are some things you can expect.
Signing in with the Receptionist
When you first arrive at the dentist’s office, expect to sign in with the receptionist and fill out any necessary paperwork that might be required. If you have dental insurance, be prepared with your card and any relevant co-pays that might be applicable. If you are a new patient, plan to arrive at least 10 to 15 minutes earlier than your appointment time to fill out paperwork about the office’s privacy policies and your health. The dentist will want to know about past medical procedures, health conditions, and allergies, especially to medications or latex.
If this is your first dental appointment at this particular practice or if it’s an annual check-up, you can expect to have x-rays taken of your mouth, teeth, and jaw line to identify any potential dental concerns. Dental x-rays are considered safe, although you should discuss any concerns about the procedure to your dentist. Pregnant women may want to check with their health practitioners to see if x-rays should wait until after the baby is born.
During most dental appointments, your dentist will examine your mouth and teeth. The dentist will look to see if your gums are healthy and if any dental issues, such as cavities, emerged since your last appointment. If this is your first time or if it’s an annual check-up, the examination should take more time to complete.
Next, the dentist will complete whatever procedure you came in for. This may include a filling or a root canal. Dental cleanings are typically performed by experienced dental hygienists. You’ll be offered pain relief, topical or injectable, for more invasive procedures that may cause pain. Surgical procedures may require nitrous oxide gas or further sedation.
Depending on what the dentist finds during the examination, the dentist may make recommendations for procedures or improved dental hygiene. The dentist should explain what is recommended, as well as why and how it should help. If there is time available to complete the recommended procedure, it is possible that it could take place during your dental appointment.
Your dentist should provide you with a price quote for services before completing any of the recommended procedures. If you have dental insurance, the dentist or staff members will determine what your out of pocket costs are. In some cases, especially for more expensive procedures, you may have to agree in writing to the procedure.
Going to the dentist should be a quick and painless part of your oral hygiene routine. If you schedule regular dental appointments, you should catch small dental issues, like cavities, before they become more serious and expensive dental procedures, like root canals. At Savannah Dental Solutions, we provide professional, expert dental care. Call us at 912-354-1366 for an appointment today.