Could a school dental care checklist help your kids do better this year? With summer vacations nearly at an end, thoughts are turning to the new school year ahead.
Parents are stocking up on back to school supplies and kids are trying on new shoes and clothes. The focus is on helping young learners put their best foot forward in the new school year.
What else can you do to ensure your child’s hungry mind can soak up all the learning that lies ahead? How about sending your kids off to school this year with bright smiles and the tools they need to build and benefit from strong oral health habits?
As the new school year begins, here are our top items to include on your back to school dental care checklist.
What to Include on Your Back to School Dental Care Checklist
There are a number of things you can include on your own school dental care checklist. Here are some you won’t want to miss:
1. The top item: a regular dental exam
Having a clean bill of oral health will help your child do their best in school. To keep teeth their healthiest, most dentists and health professionals agree you should take kids to the dentist twice a year for a regular exam.
Plan ahead to ensure your child gets in to see the dentist every 6 months. Like their report cards, your kids’ teeth are always subject to change. To ensure kids’ teeth stay their healthiest, nothing can replace routine teeth cleanings and exams done by a professional dental hygienist. Think of it as a crucial part of your family’s dental health regimen.
2. A strong daily dental care routine
Are you stocked up on toothpaste, floss, mouthwash? Research has proven that a regular daily routine can help prevent cavities and periodontal disease. Like pencils, paper, and crayons, these tools are essential for your child’s healthy growth.
Ask your dentist what toothpaste and rinse she recommends for her patients and the type of brush and floss you should be using. Then, plan ahead. Keep extra supplies on hand and make a note on your calendar to replace older toothbrushes or brush heads as the seasons change.
Then, brush up on your child’s oral health habits. After all, basic dental care begins with brushing. Using a proper brushing technique is the best protection against plaque, the bacteria that forms on teeth and gums after eating. Also, review the proper way to floss with your child. Flossing teeth is the best way to remove stubborn bacteria from between the teeth and gum line.
Need a full review? Check out our basic oral hygiene overview.
3. Lunch and snack foods that promote good health
It’s a well documented fact that oral health is directly related to overall health. As a result, the foods we eat can be as vital to oral health as regular brushing, flossing, and dental exams.
So, be sure your child eats healthy foods and snacks during the school day. With some organization and planning, you can ensure your child has delicious foods and snacks that support good oral health. A well-balanced diet is always the wisest choice, but vitamins A, C and D are generally known as key essential nutrients for oral health.
In addition, teeth rely on minerals for optimal health, and calcium is among the most important minerals for oral health. Like bones, which provide structural support for the body, calcium gives external structure to the teeth. Check out this article for more about choosing foods for dental nutrition.
4. A properly fitted mouth guard
Regular dental exams, a strong daily routine, and the right foods to support oral health are powerful ways to safeguard your child’s oral health. However, now and then they could use some extra help. That’s why you should ensure your child wears a properly fitted mouth guard when needed.
Mouth guards help keep teeth safe while playing highly physical or contact sports. When a properly fitted mouth guard is used, it helps displace the force of a blow, which can significantly reduce the odds of injury to your child’s mouth and teeth. Mouth guards protect teeth by causing the energy from a blow to spread out so injuries such as chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage, or tooth loss can be reduced.
What other dental care items are you including on your back to school list?
Read next: Oral Health and Bullying: How Dentists Can Spot Verbal Abuse
Patients who are wary of the dentist may be able to relax at last. More and more dental practices around the US now offer the type of treatment you’d see in a spa.
Oscar Suarez, 29, admits he used to “always get nervous” before he saw a dentist. “You think, it’s going to be long, it’s going to be painful, I’m going to have to wait,” he told Greenwich Time.
Learn more: Ways to Avoid a Painful Visit to the Dentist
Those days are gone now that Suarez is a patient of a dental spa called Tri-City Dental Care, one of several Washington state dental practices that offer “spa-like” treatments.
Before the dentist gets to work, patients like Suarez can dip their hands into warm wax that softens their skin. The calming scent of lavender fills the room. Headphones play music or a TV plays as they sit in a dental chair that massages them.
The Dental Spa Concept: Turn Dread to Excitement
“When I opened the practice, I wanted to bring a good experience to every person coming in,” said Dr. Antonio Lopez-Ibarra, who owns the dental spa. “We wanted to do something where people felt comfortable in the chair.”
We wanted to do something where people felt comfortable in the chair…
The dental spa perks at Tri-City Dental Care include aromatherapy, calm music, and loads of movies to watch.
“It’s nice that when you come to a place like this, you’re not looking toward that chair, you’re looking forward to what you’re going to experience. It throws off the edge,” Suarez added.
Not Your Usual Forms to Fill Out
Among the first practices to experiment with a spa-like experience is Double Take Dental in Orem, Utah. Along with the types of things above, Double Take Dental supplies bottled water, a warm towel, a stress ball and a cool eye mask.
According to the Daily Herald, patients who come in for an exam, to have their teeth cleaned, or to have other work done fill out an “amenities card” to tailor their visit.
“Every time someone new comes in, they look at the card, and say, ‘I’ve never seen this before.’ For many, we almost have to encourage them to pick amenities,” said Double Take Dental office manager Jordan Davis.
Patients are More Willing to Make the Trip
The idea for the spa-like style emerged when the practice decided it had to set itself apart from competitors. Proof of success? How about patients who travel far beyond their hometown solely for this type of service?
Larry Blocker, for example, flies to Orem from Southern California to treat an ongoing oral condition twice a year.
“I flew in last night, and I fly back out tomorrow. I came just to have this done,” he told the Daily Herald. “Flying here and flying back tells you how much I like it.”
Patty Cox drives nearly 120 miles to Double Take, a trip the 66-year-old says she’ll make “until I die.”
More Talking, Less Rushing
Double Take’s patient-first style makes the staff more relaxed as well. This is due in part to the decreased significance of time limits in appointments.
Dr. Cameron Blake has worked in a number of practices and says they all felt rushed. That kept him from getting to know his patients and answering their questions.
How to Choose a Dentist – With something as important as choosing a dentist, it’s vital you make a well-informed choice.
“Here I can take the time to explain things to my patients without the rush to get to the next patient. I can take time to focus on their needs and concerns. I want them to have knowledge about all options available, so they can make an educated decision, and feel good about their decision and its result,” Dr. Black said.
With more and more practices popping up, you can only expect patient experience to become an even bigger priority for dentists looking to cement loyalty and brand awareness.
Know someone who would love to try a dental spa? Go ahead — share!
Read next: 4 Most Overlooked Oral Health Problems
Children learn how to take care of their teeth early on, but it’s equally important to protect teeth in adulthood. Strong teeth are attractive, promote good health and can even save you money. Here are some ways to have healthy teeth for years to come.
Floss First, Then Brush
Flossing and brushing are daily rituals, but it is important that they be done in the right order. Always floss first, to keep debris from re-settling on freshly brushed teeth. Use a soft brush and replace it every three months. Don’t brush too hard: You’re trying to remove plaque, not enamel!
You don’t have to rinse after you brush. Simply spit out any excess toothpaste. This leaves a film of fluoride in place to help strengthen your teeth. Avoid eating sticky foods if you won’t be able to brush immediately afterward.
A Better Diet for a Healthy Mouth
You already know to avoid sweets, especially between meals. Did you know that some foods are actually good for your teeth? Crunchy fruits and vegetables scrape film off teeth and stimulate the production of saliva, which reduces plaque buildup. Both green and black teas contain compounds that help reduce bacterial growth, as does red wine.
A diet rich in calcium is important for strong teeth. If you want to avoid dairy products, calcium is also found in sunflower seeds, dark leafy greens, and some types of molasses.
Protect Your Oral Assets
Teeth are made from minerals, notably calcium. In addition to needing calcium in the diet, you also need to protect the calcium that is already in your teeth. Fluoride toothpaste helps by making it easier for your body to replace calcium that might be lost from the enamel. Your diet can also come into play.
Acidic foods and drinks, such as carbonated sodas, erode enamel by creating an acid environment in the mouth. You can protect teeth by following your tangy treat with a glass of water. Milk, cheese and other dairy products also reduce acid.
Tooth grinding leads to excessive wear and even fractures in the teeth. If you find yourself clenching your teeth frequently or wake up with sore jaw muscles, it’s a good idea to talk to your dentist.
Your Smile and Your Wallet
Wanting an attractive smile is not just a matter of vanity. Stained, damaged or missing teeth make a bad impression that can hurt your career. It’s difficult to interact with coworkers when you’re afraid to smile or laugh because you don’t have healthy teeth. Yet many people avoid going to the dentist because they’re afraid of the cost.
One way to solve this problem is to include dental care in your annual budget. Another solution is a good dental insurance plan. These plans often cover routine exams and cleanings, along with fillings and other types of restoration. A dental budget combined with the right insurance can protect you from pain in your mouth and in your wallet.
You and Your Dentist: A Partnership for Health
A healthy mouth is more than just a pretty smile. It’s the key to preventing many health issues. Digestion begins in the mouth. The mechanical action of chewing, along with the enzymes in saliva, reduces food to the proper consistency for the rest of the digestive tract to process. Gum disease or abscesses put strain on the immune system and can even lead to an increased risk of stroke or heart disease.
Regular dental checkups help keep tooth trouble at bay and give you a chance to have any problems corrected before they lead to tooth loss or the need for crowns or other restorations.
One of the great benefits of having a good dental insurance plan is that regular appointments for teeth cleaning and oral exams are covered. One big reason for this is that insurance companies know a focus on prevention can actually help an individual lower their future costs for dental repairs.
But there’s another reason why your dentist and oral hygienist want to see you twice a year: to help keep you healthy from head to toe.
During a routine visit to the dentist, several serious diseases (such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease) can be detected. If you’re like many people, there’s a good chance you see your dental hygienist more frequently than you see your general practitioner.
So how great is it that dental hygienists are trained to screen their patients for signs and symptoms that may indicate problems in other parts of the body?
In fact, during a dental health screening, a trained oral health practitioner can spot over 120 signs and symptoms of non-dental diseases.
…a trained oral health practitioner can spot over 120 signs and symptoms of non-dental diseases.
If that sounds like it would be time consuming, well, it is. Trying to fit an oral hygiene exam, scaling and polishing, and a doctor exam into a one hour appointment can be a major challenge.
Early detection and prompt referrals
The good news is: the more frequently you have your teeth professionally cleaned, the less time your hygienist will need to spend scaling and polishing your teeth, and the more time will be available for your oral care team to devote to overall health screening, early detection of any concerns, and prompt referral to a primary care provider.
If all you want is a brighter smile, then that may sound like it’s a waste of time.
But if you ask them, your dentist and oral hygienist will very likely tell you they have a bigger goal in mind for you: keeping you healthy all over, so you’ll have every reason to smile.
Learn more about your oral health.
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Would you let someone other than a dentist fill a tooth or perform an “uncomplicated” extraction? Sounds like a job for a dentist, doesn’t it? After all, dentists in the US have met very high educational and licensing requirements, and well – it’s your mouth we’re talking about.
Sadly, millions across the country don’t even have the choice. Why?
The US dentist shortage
In many parts of the nation, there is an uneven distribution of dentists, which is having serious consequences. A new dental school was opened in Maine in 2013. One of its missions? To “reverse the shortage of dentists in rural parts of the state, a trend that is expected to worsen,” NBC News San Diego reported
And Maine is hardly alone. People in rural parts of many states are coping with the dearth of dentists as well as they can, often by putting off or doing without necessary dental care.
Learn more: Dental Degrees
Kaiser Health News reported early last year that 16% of Americans live in areas with an insufficient number of dentists. Federal guidelines, according to Kaiser, call for one dentist to every 5,000 people.
Here’s another way of looking at it: Approximately 45 million people in the US reside in areas that are experiencing a dentist shortage. And where there’s a shortage, it’s very hard to get dental care regardless of income or insurance.
Free dental care events
Dentists are working to address the problem. Though they may not be able to be in every neighborhood across the country, thousands of dentists each year give their time and resources to provide free dental care to those in need.
In addition to individual dental practices that open their doors to those in need, state and national dental associations, organizations like Remote Area Medical and Mission of Mercy, and many private donors work tirelessly to provide free dental care events. One such event was held in Seattle in October. It helped nearly 2,000 people over four days, according to The Seattle Times. In New York, however, city authorities cancelled a similar event in November citing public health concerns.
And remember, many of these types of events are not just about providing care for the uninsured. Across the US, insured and uninsured alike lack easy access to dental care due to the shortage or uneven distribution of dentists.
Dental therapists or mid-level dental practitioners
Dental care must be provided by licensed practitioners. But today, there are simply too few dentists to meet the needs in many parts of the country.
Even with more dental schools, future access to basic oral care isn’t guaranteed. In fact, the problem may grow worse. That’s because new dentists are more likely than ever to specialize. In 2012, the number of active, newly licensed dentists who were specialists was up 6% over 2008, NBC San Diego reported.
One possible cure for America’s dentist shortage may be on the horizon. There is a growing movement to create a new “mid-level” type of dental practitioner called a dental therapist. Proponents of this plan say dental therapists can help to increase care and free up dentists to do other, more critical work.
In most states today, dentists alone are able to do certain dental procedures, like fillings and “uncomplicated” extractions. That is changing, however. Dental therapists have been providing mid-level procedures in Alaska for the past 10 years.
Minnesota and Maine have recently approved the use of these mid-level dental practitioners. In addition, legislation around the use of dental therapists is being considered in California, Kansas, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Washington.
Dental therapists are highly trained health care professionals. They typically are selected from their home communities, educated and then return to serve their communities…
In an opinion piece in favor of considering dental therapists in New Mexico, which was published by the Santa Fe New Mexican, Howard Rhoads, DDS explains, “Dental therapists are highly trained health care professionals. They typically are selected from their home communities, educated and then return to serve their communities…. They don’t do everything a dentist does, but they provide many of the most commonly needed services, starting with dental education, simple fillings and non-surgical extractions.”
Community Catalyst, a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization, released a report in 2013 that found that where they are allowed, dental therapists are not only increasing access to dental care for children and low-income adults, they are also helping to reduce costs for dental practices.
Retail to the rescue?
Walmart continues to open health clinics within its retail locations, as NBCNews reported in August 2014. Some people predict that they or another big-box chain will eventually open in-store clinics that will offer dental services to underserved areas.
Walmart did try opening dental clinics in stores back in 2012. However, the company was sued over the idea in 2013.
In any event, for the idea of dental clinics in big-box stores to succeed on a national level, a retailer would still need to lure dentists to work in areas of the country that they have traditionally avoided – or fill many positions with a different type of oral care provider, such as a dental therapist.
Need for accreditation standards
Dental therapists are a reality today, but their use is out of the question in most of the country. Educational programs like the one at the University of Washington, which prepares dental therapists for work in Alaska, have set their own high standards for the therapists they train. For more states to open their doors to these mid-level practitioners, the next hurdle to overcome is the adoption of national standards for accreditation.
…the potential of dental therapy education programs deserved quickly adopted, reasonable accreditation standards…
In documents filed with the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) in late November, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) both shared their beliefs that “the potential of dental therapy education programs deserved quickly adopted, reasonable accreditation standards…”. CODA will meet in February to consider proposed standards for dental therapy education programs.
Now, back to our original question: Would you let someone other than a dentist fill a tooth or perform an extraction? If so, do you feel more states should follow Alaska, Minnesota, and Maine and approve the use of dental therapists? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Share a smile with us! Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or add us to Google+.
Sources and recommended reading:
- BringMeTheNews: Free massive dental clinic in Mankato to attract thousands
- DrBicuspid.com: ADA brief on barriers to care misleading
- EurekAlert! First analysis of dental therapists finds increase in access for children, low-income adults
- Huffington Post: Dear New York City’s Uninsured: Screw You, Love Governor Cuomo
- Kaiser Health News: Are There Enough Doctors For The Newly Insured?
- NBCNews: Big Box Health Care: Are You Ready for Walmart Care Clinics?
- NBC San Diego, California Faced with Dentist Shortage: Study
- Santa Fe New Mexican: Reader View: State needs better dental care
- Seattle Times: Guest Opinion: Don’t wait for dental care to become a crisis
- USA Today: More states consider licensing mid-level dental care providers
Unfortunately, not every kid with dental phobia can be put at ease by a dentist who dresses up as the tooth fairy. And not every father has the comic skill and parental panache to turn Hermie’s horrifying dentistry in the 1964 animated TV special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” into a lesson on the importance of proper dental hygiene.
(Who can ever forget the “misfit” elf brandishing those gruesome pliers after extracting the Abominable Snow Monster’s teeth?)
Dental phobia or fear is, of course, no laughing matter. But there is a great deal that parents, caregivers and dentists can do – and are doing – to help kids get through the experience of a trip to the dentist with a smile.
Let’s take a look at some of the most effective interventions for dealing with dental fear in children.
What’s the most effective treatment of dental phobia in children?
As in so many things in life, when it comes to kids and fear of the dentist, good communication is key.
Parents, caregivers and dentists all have a role to play in setting the stage for not only a good first visit to the dentist’s office, but a lifelong commitment to regular, professional dental care without fear and anxiety. How we frame those initial experiences with words can be very important.
Before the first trip to the dentist
To help ensure things go well during the first visit, your dentist may provide you with some “dos” and “don’ts” in advance. Things like, when talking to kids about the dentist and what goes on during a visit to the dentist’s office, avoid using words like “hurt,” “pain,” “shot,” and other words that have a negative or fearful connotation.
Rule of thumb: only say things that are positive.
Also, experts recommend parents answer children’s questions about the dentist, but, they suggest, don’t go into a lot of unnecessary detail. Be brief. If you don’t know the answer, or if the answer is a little on the complex side, suggest that you and your child save the question for, who else? The dentist. After all, they’re the ones who have years of training and a lot of practice talking to kids about what they do in non-threatening, kid-friendly ways.
…answer children’s questions about the dentist, but don’t go into a lot of unnecessary detail.
Above all, never tell kids about the time you had a terrible (or even unpleasant) time at the dentist. Instead, be sure they understand how important it is to take good care of their teeth. Let them know the dentist and dental office staff members are nice, friendly folks who enjoy helping people, both big and small, be as healthy and happy as they can be.
At the dentist’s office
Even if you’ve done your best to prepare your child for their new experience, it’s not uncommon, and it’s completely natural, for kids to be afraid sometimes. Some kids detest spiders. Others won’t go near a clown. Whether a child cries or throws a temper tantrum, any dentist who regularly works with children will have an array of techniques at her fingertips to put kids more at ease.
Again, in many cases it comes down to good communication. Many dentists who work with kids are quite adept at regulating their tone of voice, so that they are able to go from warm and comforting to gently commanding as the circumstances dictate.
Some dentists use a technique called “show, tell, and do.” It’s a way to explain, step by step, what tools the dentist is using, how they’re used, and what the dentist is going to do next. Pediatric dentists are also trained to use language that’s appropriate for the kids they work with, and there’s a good chance yours will use kid-friendly props – such as a giant tooth or doll – to show your kids what they’re about to do.
Distraction is another communication skill that dentists use to put kids at ease.
Distraction is another communication skill that dentists use to put kids at ease. Telling stories or having a conversation can help dentists focus kids’ attention somewhere other than on the procedure itself. And when needed, most dentists know that when it comes to kids’ behaviors, simple body language can go a long way toward accentuating the positive and discouraging, if not eliminating, the negative.
What can you do if nothing seems to help?
In some instances, it may take more than clever communication to help your child get through their time in the chair. In such cases, a dentist may recommend that a child use safe and effective medications such as nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) during their visit or take an oral sedative beforehand.
Finally, if you or your dentist feel your child’s fear of going to the dentist is extreme or out of control, therapy may be the answer. Therapeutic techniques, including psychotherapy (exploring the source of the fear), cognitive behavioral therapy (practicing practical strategies for dealing with it), and hypnotherapy, may help a child overcome their fears so they can receive and maintain the professional dental care they deserve.
Everyone is afraid of something. Learning how to face our fears is part of growing up.
Everyone is afraid of something. Learning how to face our fears is part of growing up. And you may be surprised. One day, a young adult who was frightened by a routine dental exam, teeth cleaning, or other dental procedure as a child just may decide that they, like Rudolph’s nerdy buddy Hermie, want to be a dentist.
Have you helped a child get past their fear of the dentist? What worked for you? Post your tips or a comment in the Reply section below!
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It’s estimated that 75% of Americans have some form of periodontal disease, which is the most common cause for adult tooth loss. That’s especially surprising in this day and age, because the means for prevention is well known: regular basic oral hygiene. So, let’s take a few minutes to review…
The top 5 dental care practices for good oral health
A regular, daily oral care routine has been shown to help prevent cavities and periodontal disease. Add to that regular exams and smart choices about longer-term oral health strategies, and you can keep your teeth healthy for your entire lifetime.
With that in mind, here are the top 5 dental hygiene practices you need to follow to protect and preserve your oral health.
1. Brush your teeth, of course, but be sure you do it properly
Basic dental care begins with brushing. To provide the best protection against plaque – the bacteria film that forms on teeth and gums after eating, which degrades the tooth’s enamel – proper brushing technique is key.
Here’s a refresher on how to brush your teeth:
- Use a toothbrush that is right for you: toothbrushes vary in size, bristle strength, and other factors, and you should use one that allows you to reach all your tooth surfaces easily (ask your dentist or oral hygienist if you need help choosing)
- Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride
- Hold the brush against your teeth at a slight angle, and brush gently back and forth with short motions about the width of one tooth
- To brush the inside surfaces of front teeth, use a gentle up-and-down stroke
- Ensure that all the surfaces of your teeth – inner, outer, and chewing surfaces – are well brushed
- Finally, be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and – while you’re at it – be sure to brush your tongue as well, to help remove any remaining bacteria and promote fresh breath
2. Floss between teeth frequently
Flossing your teeth is another important way to maintain oral health. Even after thoroughly brushing your teeth, bacteria that can lead to tooth decay may remain between your teeth. To remove any stubborn bacteria between your teeth and at the gum line, frequent flossing is strongly recommended.
Here are some tips for successful flossing:
- Use about one-and-a-half feet (18”) of floss, wrap it around the pointer or middle fingers of each hand, and insert the floss gently into the crevice between your teeth
- Start at one end of the floss, and move it through your fingers an inch or so each time that you move on to the next tooth, so each tooth crevice gets flossed with a clean, new section
- Gently rub the floss against the tooth and gum line; when you reach the gum line, place the floss in the space between the tooth and gum and press the floss lightly against the tooth while you move the floss up and down
- Work your way from one corner of your mouth all the way around to the beginning again, one tooth crevice at a time, including the back sides of the teeth at the ends of each row
- Explore different varieties of floss, floss holders, or interdental cleaners until you find what feels and works best for you
3. Eat a healthy diet
To maintain optimal oral health, eat a balanced diet with only a moderate amount of sweets or snacks. Whether you choose the Mediterranean diet, the FDA food pyramid, or some other dietary system to follow, the key to good nutrition ultimately comes down to consuming a wide and balanced variety of foods.
When it comes to your teeth, not all foods are created equal.
When it comes to your teeth, though, not all foods are created equal. Sweet, sticky snacks such as preserves, candy bars, and dried fruit, can be a threat to teeth and should be avoided unless it will be possible to brush soon after eating them. Some choices for snacking that are less prone to promote tooth decay include vegetables, nuts, and popcorn.
To learn more about the important role diet plays in oral health, talk to your dentist, oral hygienist, or family doctor.
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4. Visit your dentist and dental hygienist regularly
Now that we’ve covered the three must-do daily regimens for oral health, let’s look at two longer-term strategies for basic dental hygiene. The first of these is regular, professional dental exams and cleanings. To maintain optimal dental health, most dentists and health professionals agree that you should visit the dentist twice yearly for a regular check-up.
Routine teeth cleaning by a professional dental hygienist is an indispensable component of one’s dental health regimen. A dental cleaning, or “prophylaxis,” is the first line defense in the field of preventative dentistry, and as such it is right up there with brushing and flossing in overall importance.
Regular visits to the dentist’s office not only help keep teeth as beautiful as possible: they also help keep teeth as healthy as possible. Your regular visits allow dental professionals to monitor your dental health so they can spot and correct any potential problems as early as possible.
Your dentist or hygienist may also suggest adding personalized elements to your daily oral care routine based on your specific situation. For example, they may suggest rinsing with mouthwash, using toothpaste with a specific ingredient, or taking a fluoride supplement.
5. Plan ahead for good oral health
Finally, planning ahead is an important strategy for maintaining long-term dental health.
Planning ahead for optimal health means knowing what to do in an emergency. Before you find yourself in an emergency dental situation, talk with your family dentist about the best ways to deal with various dental problems that might arise.
If you understand in advance what to do in an emergency – such as a bitten tongue, broken tooth, or impacted wisdom tooth – you might just save a tooth or two.
Planning ahead for optimal health also means having adequate dental insurance coverage. There are a wide variety of dental plans, features, and services available that help people to cover the costs of their dental care needs, from simple checkups to root canals and everything in between.
You can learn all about dental insurance basics, such as deductibles, co-insurance, and premiums, in the dental resources section.
A lifetime of happy, healthy smiles
To keep your teeth in the best possible health, be sure that you understand proper dental hygiene and the other elements of basic dental care. With proper dental hygiene, regular professional care, and the right planning to meet your needs, your teeth can last a lifetime.
Which parts of your oral care routine need a brush up?