Has it ever seemed odd to you that, while our regular doctor checks for the health of our entire body, we regularly see a doctor who looks at just our teeth? When it comes to our entire bodies, our mouths are a pretty small area. And yet there are trained doctors (well, dentists) who spend their long years of education learning about just human teeth.
It’s a pretty specialized field. And speaking of special, it’s a clear indication that our teeth are important, and something we need to take good care of. Roughly 65% of Americans go to the dentist every year, and while that number still isn’t as high as it should be, it’s still a pretty great turn-out. We devote a lot of time and care to our chompers. Having healthy teeth means more attractive smiles, fewer painful cavities, and longer lasting teeth. When it comes to properly caring for your teeth, don’t be in the 35% of people who don’t visit. Here are some of the best ways to take care of your teeth, in and out of the dentist’s office.
Seeing the Dentist
Your dentist should see you at least once a year. While your dentist may recommend every 6 months, it’s okay if you can’t make it in that frequently. Don’t procrastinate too long, however–it’s important to have your teeth cleaned, and to check for cavities and gum infections at least once a year. If you don’t currently have a dentist, start looking for one. Whether you live in Eau Claire, WI, or New Brunswick, NJ, the right dental care is only an internet search away.
Seeing the Orthodontist
While not everyone requires braces, many people would prefer a straighter smile. If you’re looking for better jaw alignment, or if you’re seeking it for one of your kids, talk to some local orthodontists soon. When choosing the right orthodontist, try to get recommendations from family or friends, and research the orthodontist and their credentials online.
Seeing the Oral Surgeon
At some point or another, most of us need to visit an oral surgeon to have our wisdom teeth removed. A common procedure, most wisdom teeth don’t (or can’t) come in straight, so it’s safer to have them removed. Other oral surgeries you may need include cleft palate surgery or tmj splints. Research your oral surgeon ahead of time, and make sure you’re comfortable with him or her.
Caring for Your Teeth at Home
While seeing each one of these oral professionals will likely be necessary at some point in your life, you don’t have to rely on them for 100% of your dental care. For the most part, the health of your teeth gets promoted at home. Be sure to floss once a day and brush your teeth 3 times a day. There are also bad brushing habits you don’t want to get into, such as brushing too hard across your gums or brushing right after a meal. Both can cause lasting damage, so don’t just engage in home dental care; make sure you’re up to speed on the best possible way to care for your teeth.