Dentist: How to Take Care of Your Teeth If you’re like most people, you don’t think much about your teeth until something goes wrong. Maybe you wake up with a toothache or notice a little white spot on your tooth during dinner one night. Whatever the case, if you find yourself in need of dental care, it’s important to know what to expect and how to take care of your teeth while they’re being worked on. Here are some tips from our dentists at Dental Centre on how to best prepare your mouth for dental work and how to maintain good oral health before and after treatment. What are the different types of dental care? There are many different types of dental care, but  is generally what people think about first. It’s one of those words that has a broad definition and is used interchangeably with lots of other words, especially in translation. If you were translating an English-language ad for a dentist into Spanish, for example, you might use dentista instead of odontólogo. Or if you were translating an English-language ad for an orthodontist into Spanish, you might use dentista instead of ortodoncista. So when do we use these terms? When do we say dentist and when do we say orthodontist? Let’s take a look at some common uses for each word: Dentista – A dentist is someone who provides general dental care like cleaning teeth or filling cavities. At what age should my child see a dentist? The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children visit a dentist for their first dental exam by age one. However, children can receive oral care under supervision before that time. This might include toothbrushing at home with a soft-bristled, fluoridated toothbrush and supervised fluoride treatments as prescribed by your child’s dentist. For example, a baby could start receiving fluoride treatments in her formula or on her pacifier shortly after birth (check with your pediatrician about appropriate products). The next step would be a checkup and cleaning when she turns two years old. By age three or four, most children are able to sit still for their own routine exam and cleaning. What does the dentist do when I go in for an appointment? When you visit your dentist, they do a full exam and cleaning on your teeth. You’ll also get x-rays if they think it’s necessary. Depending on what they find during your exam, they might recommend a periodontal treatment or even some type of cosmetic procedure. Additionally, dentists can prescribe medicine if you are suffering from toothaches or gum pain. These are just some of their tasks; keep reading for more information! What’s involved in a checkup, cleaning and whitening? Many people consider a trip to see their dentist only when they have tooth pain or an oral injury. But, regular visits are extremely important for maintaining your oral health. A checkup usually involves a thorough cleaning, during which your dentist and hygienist remove all plaque from your teeth, including hard-to-reach spots around gum lines and between teeth. The entire appointment typically takes about two hours. Afterward, you’ll need to take care of any minor problems that were found during cleaning—such as cavities or redness in gums—before you can schedule another visit. It’s best to schedule cleanings every three months so your mouth stays healthy. During each visit, your dentist will also evaluate your overall oral health by looking at factors such as how much plaque is on your teeth, how well you brush and floss, whether you grind or clench your teeth at night (which can cause wear), if there are any loose fillings or crowns and if there is discoloration on your teeth. In addition to these regular exams, you may be asked to come in more often if you have special needs (for example, orthodontic treatment) or risk factors (for example, diabetes). You may also want to make extra appointments before major events like getting married or starting a new job. During these appointments, we will help ensure that everything is ready for pictures!

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