What to Expect from Your Dental Checkup

Making a trip to the dentist’s office doesn’t usually top anyone’s lists of fun things to do; however, you don’t have to view the experience with dread. Regular checkups enable your dentist to evaluate your oral health and keep your smile in good shape. The American Dental Association actually recommends twice yearly visits in most cases.

Knowing what to expect from your visit may ease some of the stress. When you have specific issues to discuss, like cosmetic updates or replacement options for missing teeth, consider writing down your concerns and bringing the list with you. If you are new to the office, call ahead to find out about any necessary paperwork you may need to fill out before your actual appointment time.

At the beginning of your visit, the dentist or hygienist will usually review your oral and overall health to make any updates to your history. Depending on how long it’s been since your last appointment, X-rays may also be taken. Usually, the hygienist will look at your teeth, evaluate your gums, and perform a cleaning. If the hygienist discovers any issues, like signs or gum disease, the dentist will make recommendations to address the problems and restore your oral health.

After your cleaning, the dentist will usually examine your teeth, gums, and mouth. The doctor will want to assess your current oral health status as well as look at previous restorations to make sure there aren’t any problems. Your dentist will also let you know of any current concerns, including possible cavities or gum inflammation. At this time, your doctor will explain the suggested treatment and create a detailed plan for any additional care.

Dr. Thanos is family dentist in Weston Florida

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How to Achieve a Beautiful Smile

Many people look at movie stars or other celebrities and admire their picture-perfect images, including their stunning smiles. You don’t have to be rich or famous to enjoy lasting radiance. Following these simple tips will help you have a gorgeous appearance to proudly share with the world.

Practice good home care
Brushing and flossing will remove bacteria and help prevent dental health issues like cavities and gum disease.

Schedule professional cleanings and dental exams
By visiting the dentist twice a year, you will keep your smile healthy and bright. These appointments allow the hygienist to remove stains and tartar. At the same time, your dentist can evaluate your mouth and make sure you don’t have any problems.

Consider cosmetic enhancements
If you have stains, chips, or other imperfections, modern cosmetic dentistry can remove these flaws and give you renewed beauty. Teeth whitening, cosmetic bonding, and porcelain veneers can produce amazing results.

Eat right
A healthy diet impacts your whole body, which includes your teeth, gums, and lips. Choose a variety of foods that promote overall wellness, like leafy vegetable, crunchy fruits, dairy for calcium, and lean meat as a good source of protein.

Take care of your lips
An important part of your whole smile is your lips. Keep them moist and in good condition by applying lip balm or moisturizer. To protect against skin cancer, use sun block regularly.

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Teeth Whitening Truths

Are you unhappy with your smile because your teeth aren’t white? Do you have embarrassing discoloration and staining that prevents you from confidently smiling? If so, teeth whitening may be your answer. There are quite a few myths associated with this process, so let’s learn the truths about tooth whitening so you can determine if it’s right for you.

Myth: Normal household bleach is used on your teeth.
Truth: A special bleaching product is used that has low acidity and won’t harm your teeth. Plus, normal bleach is too dangerous; you could die if you swallow household bleach.

Myth: Whitening your teeth is unsafe for your mouth.
Truth: Cosmetic bleaching has bee done for many years, and is perfectly safe. It won’t harm your teeth or gums.

Myth: Whitening doesn’t really work.
Truth: Ask friends who have done it before, and you’ll find out this isn’t true. Teeth whitening is effective, especially if done professionally in a dentist’s office.

Myth: The only benefit is brighter teeth.
Truth: Your smile will become whiter and brighter, but an additional major benefit is a boost in your self-esteem. You will be happier with your dazzling smile, and will have a renewed confidence in yourself.

Myth: All whitening methods get the same results.
Truth: There are many options when it comes to teeth whitening, from whitening toothpaste to at-home bleaching kits to professional processes performed by your dentist. Whitening done professionally will give you quicker and more powerful results than most of the do-it-yourself methods. Talk with your dentist about options available.

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Dental Challenges for Seniors

As we age, unique situations develop that impact our oral health care. There are physical limitations, medication side effects, and age-related dental problems that all come together to present special challenges for seniors. Let’s consider the oral health problems that can arise as a person gets older.

Hygiene tasks
Many older adults have problems brushing and flossing their teeth properly. Some medical issues like arthritis affect movement, and make performing hygiene tasks difficult. It can be frustrating because brushing and flossing probably were easy for most in younger years, but become hard or even impossible with age. Dentists suggest using an electric toothbrush for easier control, and visiting the office regularly for thorough cleanings.

Medication side effects
Certain medications and health conditions have side effects that can impact oral health. Dry mouth is a common result, which increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. The issue may worsen when seniors choose to suck hard candy to supply moisture, but it can contribute to dental problems too. Instead, seniors with dry mouth should drink lots of water, chew sugarless gum, and use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. Dentists can also prescribe medications to increase saliva production.

Dentures
Seniors who wear dentures should make sure they fit properly so they don’t cause mouth irritation or more serious oral health problems. Also, cleaning dentures as instructed and examining the appliance for good condition are both helpful. Denture replacement is often necessary every 7-10 years.

Special care
Older patients may choose to find a dentist who specializes in senior oral health care, and is experienced in meeting their unique needs. Senior dental care often requires a blend of expertise, compassion, and patience in order to earn the patient’s trust and create a positive dental experience.

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Can I Skip my Dental Appointment?

With tough economic times across the country, it’s tempting to consider skipping your dentist appointment to cut down on costs. Maybe you feel too busy to fit it in your schedule, or perhaps just plain don’t like going to the dentist. You must ask yourself though if putting off that appointment will be worth it in the long run, and if you’re willing to put your health at risk.

Experts recommend going to the dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months. However many people go only once a year, or wait sometimes years between visits. This may be a dangerous choice to make in your oral health. Regular cleanings help keep your teeth strong and healthy. Prolonging these appointments allows more plaque and tartar to build up on your teeth, leading to more extensive and quicker decay. This can lead to more painful and expensive procedures like root canals, extractions, and crowns.

When you regularly see your dentist, minor tooth problems can be found before developing into major problems. A small cavity can often be easily filled at relatively low costs. On the other hand, if you skip your visit and the cavity goes undetected, the tooth decay will worsen and probably lead to more expensive procedures. Keep in mind that a root canal and crown might cost five times more than a simple filling!

Not going to the dentist at your scheduled checkup timeframe may seen to save you money and trouble, but chances are good that you will end up paying for it later. It’s better to take preventative action so you’ll be able to maintain a nice smile, good health, and lower costs in the long run.

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