There has been much discussion over the years as to the optimal interval between your dental checks, some saying 6 months others saying up to 2 yearly.
At Barrington Dental Care in Altrincham, we prefer 6 months for most with some patients managing fine on yearly checks and others will need three monthly gum checks.
You may think we would say that, more frequently so you can have more treatment, but it is actually the converse that is true!
By having regular checks with the correct preventive advice at the correct time we can minimize your need to have interceptive dental treatment.
For most, dental decay can largely go unnoticed until it is too late and the decay has progressed into the nerve and caused an abscess. Decay isn’t always visible to the naked eye, not even those of a dentist and so x-rays may be taken to determine if it is present. By seeing your dentist regularly we can keep an eye on suspicious areas and apply fluoride varnishes to help reverse early decay and, of course, give you the correct advice.
But Tooth Decay is Inevitable, Isn’t It?
No, decay is very common but is nearly always preventable. Yes there are people with genetic malformations to their teeth but these are rare, for most people decay is controllable with several factors.
Diet and in particular the frequency of sugar intake. Every time you eat anything with fruit or sugar, your mouth becomes acidic and your teeth become prone to demineralisation & decay until the acid is neutralised. Most foods have hidden sugars in, even if you don’t eat sweets, and so your teeth are at risk every time you eat. We need to eat, so it is the times between our meals when we snack that become the problem. Try and reduce your snacking, reduce sugar in tea and coffee and especially only have “fizzy” drinks with a meal. A can of fizzy juice on your desk at work being sipped at over an hour of so will cause a lot of damage, even if it is a diet drink!
Brush twice a day with a Fluoride containing toothpaste. Fluoride in the toothpaste can help repair early decay or demineralisation and should be at a level of 1450ppm – check the packet when you buy a tube. There are all sorts of pastes on the market but the most important factor is the level of fluoride – this is one of the reasons we don’t see more decay, fluoride in toothpaste has benefited us all.
Get into a good dental hygiene routine – at least twice a day and remember to clean in between your teeth, yes it’s a chore, but if you don’t you may be missing 25% of your teeth!
And lastly see your dental regularly for dental checks and advice. Most of our patients will see one of our Dental Hygienists as well, this is to treat and ultimately prevent gum disease. Again, gum disease, in most, is preventable and with the correct advice and treatment you will be able to keep your teeth for life!
We regularly call our patients in for oral health checks, you may even book your next appointment as you leave but if you haven’t been in for a while perhaps you should ring the practice and arrange a visit?
Regular checks reduce your dental treatment and improve you oral health.
Looking forward to seeing you soon at Barrington Dental in Altrincham, South Manchester