We’re often asked what patients can do to minimize dental work and visits to the dentist. At U Shine Dental we believe what makes us successful, and the key to a great relationship with our patients, is keeping dental work to an absolute minimum. Helping people care for their mouths while they’re away from the dentist has a tremendous impact on the longevity of their natural oral health and any extra treatments they may have had.
Bacterial accumulation is the number one factor causing teeth and gums to fall out of good health and allow disease to take hold. This bacteria causes cavities and gum disease. Both are true infections and won’t go away unless you take the necessary actions. Bacteria will continue re-populating, so you need to stay on top of your care to keep it under control.
We believe there are three key things that a patient can focus on to substantially minimize the need for extra dental work.
1) Create an excellent home care routine.
As challenging as it can be to break old habits, or influence your family to do the same; it is vital that people consistently follow a great home care routine. There are 2 keys to successfully creating this new habit.
A) The most effective way to change a habit is by replacing it with a new one.
B) It takes an average of 21 days of repetition to create a habit.
For kids, make it a game and for adults, it’s a challenge. In both cases success should be rewarded. Make sure everyone brushes twice daily (don’t rush) and floss or use Soft-Picks once a day. If you follow this routine, your dental work will last longer before needing repair or replacement, and your gums will stay much healthier. This means far less risk of problems, and fewer visits to the dentist’s office.
2) Wear prescribed appliances every day.
We see a lot of patients with clenching and/or grinding habits. The number two factor that causes problems with teeth and gums is too much pressure. We recommend that many patients consider a night-time clenching/grinding appliance to protect their teeth. Studies show that only around 5% of patients will faithfully wear their appliance, many won’t even try it, and even more will only wear it occasionally. A lot of you have heard me say “I’ll take some appliance wear over no wear”. I really mean it; the more the better.
After working with patients for over 15 years, it’s obvious when an appliance is worn faithfully or neglected; and the benefits of faithful use versus neglect are drastic. With consistent use, fillings look healthier and last longer, gums bleed less and are less inflamed, and teeth are far less likely to loosen from stretching tooth ligaments.
Wear your appliance as much as possible if you have one, and consider trying one if it’s been recommended. Patients who are consistent with their appliances get better results, and avoid serious restorations.
3) Do your best to restore your teeth if it’s required.
Teeth with very large fillings are more susceptible to breaking. Restoration with a crown will protect at risk teeth from breaking and often avoid unplanned and extensive dental work.
The bottom line is controlling bacteria and pressure on your teeth on a regular basis will save you many times the dental work and cost over the long run.
In summary, create a great home care routine, wear recommended appliances faithfully, and keep your teeth restored and protected. These three concepts will help keep your oral health at its best, which is precisely what we want for you.
If there are any outstanding issues you need taken care of, please use our appointment booking tool, or call us at (905) 303-9355.
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