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For one reason or another, a dental visit is not considered the most appealing way to spend an afternoon. It may be painful for you to listen to the loud drills or the unusual mouth contortions, but it is no walk in the park for your dentist. This is because many patients who step foot into their offices have no idea the things they could have done ahead of time to make their visit easier. Keep reading to learn about the 7 things that your dentist wish you knew before you sat in that chair.
Truth #1: You are not brushing your teeth enough
One of the biggest complaints you may or may not hear from your dentist, is that you are not brushing enough. Even if you are brushing your teeth twice a day you may not be doing it right. Many patients tend to brush for less than a minute each session and that is simply not enough. You could be leaving an excessive amount of plaque behind which can cause bacteria. Your dentist would probably tell you to brush for at least two minutes, twice a day, and change your toothbrush once every three months.
Truth #2: Oral cancer is the deadliest types of cancer
If your dentist hasn’t said it, it could be because it can sound scary. But the truth is, oral cancer is one of the deadliest types of cancer, and most people are ignoring early signs of it. If you have red bumps in your mouth, do not ignore them. This could lead to a very serious problem down the road. Visit your dentist before it gets worse.
Truth #3: A healthy mouth equals a healthier you
Most people believe that their mouths are completely separate from their bodies and do not impact the health of the rest of their body. That is completely untrue. If your mouth is not healthy then you cannot be healthy. If you have gum disease you are four times more likely to have a stroke or a heart attack. Take care of your teeth and gums!
Truth #4: Bleeding gums is a major red flag
If your gums only bleed after you brush, then that is normal. However, if your gums are consistently bleeding this can be a sign of inflammation which means your mouth could be infected. This has the potential to spread to the rest of your body. If you are experiencing chronic gum bleeding then you need to tell your dentist right away.
Truth #5: Cavities are caused by more than just sugar
Even if you cut sweets out from your life, you could still be at risk for cavities. The only true way to prevent cavities is to eat a healthy balanced diet. If you do not have the proper food intake, this causes your mouth to produce too much acid which can cause cavities as well as gum disease.
Truth #6: Look at your tongue
If you take the time to look at your tongue when you brush your teeth you might open a door to your overall health. If you have a red tongue this could mean you have a heart problem or a thyroid defect. A yellowish tongue could mean you have problems with your liver. Do not ignore the color of your tongue and talk to your dentist about your concerns.
Truth #7: Tell your dentist if you are taking aspirin
If you are taking aspirin regularly make sure you tell your dentist. This could lead to excessive bleeding which could cause a problem for your dentist during a procedure or even an examination.
It is crucial to never ignore any issues with your teeth or your gums, no matter how small you think they are. Open up to your dentist about your health and they will open up to you.
Article by: Dr. Eli Thornock
Dr. Eli Thornock was born and raised in eastern Washington and he received my dental training at the University of Washington School of Dentistry, Class of 2011. Since then, he has been practicing in a private practice setting and has also completed more than one hundred hours of continuing education. The first practice he joined as an associate was Highlands West Dental, located in Shoreline, WA. He now runs a dental practice, Sound Smiles Dental in Bainbridge Island, WA.