5 Things I often talk to my patients about and I wish they’d listen!

One of the most important jobs of a dental professional is to create a trustful relationship with the patients and to educate them about their oral health. I realize how tiresome it is to hear us talk about flossing over and over again (it is important!) but today I want to write about other important and basic things I like to talk to my patients about.

  1. Your mouth is part of your body

I know it seems obvious but many of us overlook that fact. The medications you take for any systemic conditions may have a big impact on your oral health and that is why it is so important to let us know of any changes to your medical history at every dental appointment.  Dental problems have an impact on your overall health (you can check out a previous blog about this). For example, diabetic patients with untreated periodontal (gum) disease can have more difficulty to control their sugar levels because of the correlation between the two conditions.

  1. Brushing and flossing – it’s all in the technique

Brushing and flossing incorrectly can actually have a negative impact on the health of your gums and teeth. You should position your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle where the gum meets the tooth and start with some “sweeping” and circular motion towards the tooth surface moving slowly around your mouth every nook and cranny. When it comes to flossing you should floss in a “C” shape to hug the tooth and clean the side of it. Don’t be alarmed if you see bleeding, this often happens if you did not floss regularly and with daily flossing should disappear within 1 week.

  1. Brushing harder does not mean better.

Some of us don’t feel like their teeth are clean if they didn’t scrub all the teeth hard and proper…and although it may not harm the teeth – as the tissue that covers them – the enamel, is very hard, it may however harm the gums. Inflammation and gum recession is very common and is often caused by aggressive brushing.

  1. Baby teeth are important

Many parents are hesitant to treat the baby teeth and I often hear them questioning spending time and money to fix teeth that will fall out anyway. But baby teeth are important! Apart from the fact that untreated they can cause kids a lot of pain and anxiety about dental visits, they are spacers to allow the adult teeth come in properly aligned, they help with speech development and they affect chewing. It is also very important to teach children proper dental and oral health habits as what they learn at the very young age will stay with them throughout their adult life.

  1. Dentures are not a quick fix

If you believe that dentures are the answer to all your dental problems – think again. Some patients believe that removing all their teeth and getting dentures will avoid future costs and dental anxiety in the future. But, as dentures are a great options for people that already lost their teeth, for those who still have them it is important to understand that dentures do not work like your own teeth! They are not connected to you (unless you choose implant supported dentures) and as a result they cover a lot of your soft tissue impairing your taste and saliva flow. They require many appointments to be made successfully and many adjustments after. It is also a whole new experience to learn how to talk, eat and function with them in.

We want all our patients to be as well educated as possible on their oral health, it helps your dentist and yourself to make the right choices regarding their overall well-being!