We’d like to just see you on average every 6 months, check your mouth to make sure you haven’t developed any major problems, provide a thorough professional clean of your teeth and gums and hopefully have a little chat about how you’ve been since the last 6 month visit.
Doing fillings and comprehensive dental treatment on you isn’t the ideal relationship we want to build with our patients. Sure, if we need to fix something, we’ll do our best job to ensure the problem is attended to but ideally we want to prevent acute pain and problems. We’ll also give you some options suited to your budget.
So, what 3 things can you do from TODAY that can help you avoid having to go to the Dentist all the time?
- Diet – Diet is the primary cause of tooth decay. Yes, you can brush and floss really well but if you eat a lot of sugar or “acid + sugar” or “acid + sugar + caffeine”, you’re going to end up with recurrent dental decay. In the profession we call dental decay, “caries”. Regular (daily) refined sugar intake will significantly increase the risk of you developing decay. If you’re currently having a lot of sugar in your diet, the best thing to do is slowly start weaning yourself off sugar. I always suggest that in a 7 day week, restrict sugar intake to 2 out of the 7 days. This is quite difficult to do but think of Saturday and Sunday as your “treat” days. Of course, during the week some other sugars might sneak into your diet especially “hidden sugars” in other foods however, use that as a guideline to control your total sugar intake. Oh, by the way a secondary benefit will be for your waistline.
- Oral hygiene – Brushing and flossing will help clear sugar particles from your mouth which bacteria use to break down into harmful acids which damage your teeth. The fluoride in toothpaste also helps reduce the incidence of decay by acting in many ways to strengthen the enamel of your teeth. Flossing ensures food debris/sources of refined sugars are less likely to collect in between your teeth and result in decay. Although oral hygiene is important, don’t get complacent and think that you won’t develop decay because you’re brushing and flossing really well. Remember, sugar and bacteria function on a microscopic level so eventually, with a high sugar diet, it’s only a matter of time before you develop decay.
- Regular water intake – It might seem ridiculously simple but drinking water regularly ensures your mouth remains clean by washing out debris from eating. Water intake also ensures the adequate production of saliva which is one of the biggest protective mechanisms against decay in the human mouth. Finally, fluoridated water has a benefit in ensuring the remineralization of tooth structure
If you have any questions about anything that I’ve said, please feel free to contact me. I know there are many questions regarding fluoride and its use however I’m giving my professional opinion based on the research literature available and my own anecdotal experience. If you don’t want to use fluoride-containing toothpaste or water, please remember that it is your individual choice to do so. I’m only providing my professional advice based on my education and over 10 years of clinical experience.
Looking out for you,
Dr. Rahul Reddy