There are many common myths and concerns regarding the most important aspects of maintaining great oral health. The goal of any quality dental practice is to help their patients achieve their healthiest smile, and although a flawless Hollywood smile may be what some patients want, healthy is more important than perfect.
Health Over Perfection
There’s nothing wrong with wanting a perfect smile, but it should be the perfect smile for each patient and not adhere to an unachievable standard. Smiles make everyone unique and adds a bit of character. As long as the smile is healthy enough to last a lifetime and the patient feels great about it, that’s all that matters. Dental professionals ask their patients what they love about their smile and what, if anything, they want to change so they can work together to achieve a bright, healthy smile.
Home Oral Health Extremely Important
Keeping up great dental hygiene at home is the most important dental work that can happen in a person’s mouth. Aside from elected cosmetic dentistry and treating decay or cavities, dentists are happiest when they only need to see their patients every 6 months for a normal cleaning and exam. Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day is the best way to prevent decay and cavities.
Proper Alignment More Important than Perfectly Straight
Braces and other orthodontic treatments produce straight, evenly spaced teeth, but what’s more important is that they create a properly aligned bite. Even someone with straight teeth may require bite alignment if they frequently bite their lips or cheeks, have difficulty chewing, suffer frequent headaches, clench or grind their teeth and have crowding or gaps between teeth. If a misaligned bite doesn’t receive some sort of correction, it can lead to more serious oral health issues.
Poking Around Gums is Necessary
Nearly everyone who has ever gone to the dentist complains about the dental hygienist and/or dentist poking around in their gums until they become sore or even bleed. Although some view it as a type of torture, dental professionals do it because they want to ensure their patients have the healthiest teeth and gums possible. The same holds true for asking about flossing habits. Only with a thorough exam and honest answers to questions, can dentists get a complete picture of a person’s oral health. Healthy gums are the foundation for a healthy mouth and with gum disease affecting almost half of adults 30+ in the U.S., it’s not something anyone can ignore. Without healthy gums, patients can’t receive treatments such as teeth whitening, bridges, veneers, Invisalign or dental implants. Once a patient achieves healthy gums, then they can consider additional cosmetic or restoration treatments.
Over-whitening Teeth can Cause Oral Health Issues
While brighter teeth can improve a person’s appearance, it’s possible for patients to over-white if they use at-home kits too often. In-office teeth whitening treatments are the safest, most effective way to brighten a smile, and a dental professional can advise a patient when they’re trying to bleach too often. Over-bleaching can cause gum irritation, tooth sensitivity and even chemical burns in the soft tissue of the gums. It can also wear away tooth enamel leaving teeth at a higher risk for decay. While touch-up treatments are often necessary to maintain results, it’s important that people whiten in moderation to maintain a healthy smile and avoid damage.
Achieve your healthiest smile with regular cleanings and exams from Dupont Dental.