Patients bring up a variety of oral health topics when they’re in the dentist’s chair. Here are some questions that are often asked of Dr. Nicholas Kemp, a dentist in Toronto.
Q: Why do I have to schedule check-ups and cleanings every six months?
Plaque can build up in the mouth rather quickly, and having cleanings every six months helps to clear away any buildup before it leads to problems.
Beyond keeping your teeth clean, routine dental appointments are important in maintaining oral health. Regular exams allow your dentist to spot tooth decay before it progresses to the extent that might result in tooth loss. Your dentist also will do a check for oral cancer at these appointments, and oral cancer, like all cancers, is much more treatable if it’s caught early.
Q: How is my oral health linked to my overall health?
Recent research has pointed to several links between oral health issues, such as periodontal disease, and other illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease, and negative outcomes in pregnancy. It is believed that the proteins responsible for inflammation in the mouth are the same proteins that promote those other conditions.
Q: How can I prevent tooth decay?
The most effective way to prevent tooth decay is to brush and floss at least twice a day. Be sure to brush for two minutes—use a timer to be sure you’re doing it right!—in the morning and the evening. After meals, chew sugarless gum to dislodge any leftover food that might cling to the teeth. Don’t forget to keep regular appointments with your dentist, too.
Q: What sorts of procedures can a general dentist perform?
A general dentist offers much more than cleanings and exams. The dentist can fill cavities, offer cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening and diagnose oral diseases, among others. The general dentist can also refer the patient to a specialist for additional care when necessary.
Q: Will I experience any pain during my visit to the dentist?
Many patients stay away from the dentist because of the fear of the painful procedures they experienced as children or teenagers. Thanks to advances in technology, a visit to the dentist is much more comfortable. For example, lasers are increasingly popular instruments for dental procedures, and they are associated with less discomfort, too.
Your dentist is more than happy to answer any patient questions. If you have other concerns, bring them up at your next visit.