Oral Health Month
Nope, not an April Fool's joke, April in Canada is National Oral Health Month - the best time to promote dental wellness for all. Here's our check-list of how you can maintain or improve your healthy smile:
Level 1 Basic Care + Preventative
Brush x 2 times a day for 2 minutes each time. (Perhaps more often, if you're using an appliance like Invisalign® or traditional braces - where food gets stuck and you don't want the appliance to trap it in).
Floss daily. Go in between your teeth, underneath the gumline, then following the curve of your teeth, allow the floss to remove trapped food. It might be difficult in the beginning, but the more often you do it, the healthier your gums and teeth will be and the easier it gets. For some floss alternatives, check out this post. For reasons why you should floss, have a look at this article. For an Oral Hygiene Instruction appointment - to either learn how to floss from a professional or brush up on existing technique, contact us here.
Professional Hygiene Visits with Check-Ups at least twice a year. Depending on the condition of your teeth (like in gum disease cases), the doctor may recommend you to come more frequently. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?" Agreed - but you should still have a professional eye to look out for you. For example, many cavities are not visible to the naked eye but can be seen using x-ray technology at the dental office. Once you (the patient) actually start seeing the decay grow bigger without the assistance of a dentist, 1) it'll be more costly than if you had had a tiny cavity filled in the first place and 2) depending on the severity, you might not be eligible for a filling at all - but perhaps a more invasive procedure like root canal or a crown. We're not trying to scare you - we're trying to get you to be proactive. One ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say.
X-rays, as needed. When our dental professionals recommend x-rays, we don't do so lightly. We understand the risks -and benefits- of the procedure and truly believe that the benefits outweigh the risks. To read about our commitment to minimizing radiation exposure, please read our blog post about it here. For 10 reasons why we use x-rays, follow this link.
Level 2 Basic Treatment
If any issues are present and detected by a dentist, the 'next level' in oral care is to have it addressed ASAP. Dental problems never get better on their own, so it's important to get treatment before the issue(s) get worse. For example, investing in a nightguard is being proactive - because you're preventing your teeth from grinding each other down - and having to invest in restoring the damage. Getting a small cavity filled when it is first detected will save you from either doing a larger filling or potentially a crown - which requires more time out of your schedule as well as costing more. And the kicker? Many insurance companies will reimburse a larger percentage of basic treatments like filling - but will reduce coverage for procedures they classify as "major" - like crowns.
Level 3 Complex or Aesthetic Treatment
Before learning to run, you must first learn to walk - agreed? It is the same thing with dentistry. You cannot expect good results if you're thinking about cosmetic whitening but have severe gum disease (because even if you do get white teeth, they might just fall out if the gum disease is bad enough!). In a similar vein of thinking, you can't expect an implant to be successful if your foundations - your gums - are not strong enough to hold the implant in place. Get the basic issues under control first - including learning how to care for your mouth - then start thinking about furthering your oral health journey. If you have had a rocky dental history which has left you with not much to work with, you may need to start thinking about full mouth dentistry. We focus on the functionality of your oral health - but as a bonus 'side effect', full mouth dentistry looks aesthetically pleasing as well.