The teeth are a critical part of any child or adult’s health, and if the teeth are healthy and attractive, a person can have a confident and pleasing smile and they will suffer no serious ill effects of the teeth. Visiting the dentist will often merely involve routine cleaning and inspection. However, many different dental issues may arise in children and adults alike, anything from common cavities or tooth decay all the way to tooth crowding (which has a number of causes) and even the result of trauma such as chipped, loose, or knocked out teeth. What can be done about these dental issues, and how can a person maintain good health for their teeth in between visits to the dentist? Dentures, Invisalign retainers, and much more can be used, and aside from products like adult braces or Invisalign, ordinary people can and should use common means of tooth care like toothbrushes and mouthwash and avoid dangerous behavior that threatens teeth.
Dentistry is a popular and respected profession; in fact, it is considered one of the top 10 most trusted and ethical professions in the United States, and many people will visit the dentist’s office, whether for routine cleaning or for getting specialized products like Invisalign or even getting teeth whitening done. In the year 2017, for example, some 127.6 million American adults visited a dentist at some point, and they sometimes will need special products from the dentist’s office to get better dental health. For example, some three million people have dental implants, and nearly 500,000 more get them every single year. What is more, nearly four million Americans are wearing braces, according to data from the American Association of Orthodontists, and the American Public Health Association estimates that nearly 10 million wisdom teeth are extracted from about five million Americans each year. Dentists may also have dental assistants working with them, who may be dental school students or recent graduates who are looking for hands-on experience to further their careers. Dental assistants are often proud of their work and view dentistry as not just a job, but a proper career.
What issues may call for dental work? Crowding of the teeth happens when teeth cannot form in the correct positions in the mouth, and some of them will be pushed aside or develop in strange places on the gums. Often, repeated, unusual physical intrusions will cause this, such as thumb-sucking after age three or prolonged use of a baby bottle after a certain age, or the appearance of wisdom teeth. Serious tooth crowding can interfere with speech or eating, so retainer and other straightening products may be used such as Invisalign, and wisdom teeth can simply be removed from the mouth. Excessive buildup of plaque and tooth-eating bacteria can cause cavities, which are among the most common dental problems today, and they may require metal fillings. Teeth with excessive tooth decay may also have to be pulled out, and damaged crowns can be replaced.
What can people do to minimize the need for expensive and possibly risky dental procedures at the dentist’s office? The main line of defense is brushing one’s teeth after every meal, to remove the sugars that tooth-damaging bacteria feed upon, not to mention removing all plaque from the teeth as well. A good toothbrush will have soft bristles and will also reach deep into the spaces between teeth. Flossing can help remove food bits between the teeth where tooth brushes cannot reach, and mouthwash can be used after every tooth brushing to clear out any remaining bacteria and also freshen the breath as a bonus.
Those taking part in sports are encouraged to use mouth guards to help prevent trauma to the teeth, and it is unfortunately common for kids and adults to suffer chipped or knocked out teeth during such activity. People should also refrain from chewing on hard items like ice cubes to avoid cracking the crowns of their teeth.
Tooth whitening can be done to cosmetically enhance the teeth and make them more attractive, and this boosts a person’s hygiene and image. In fact, bad teeth are often a point of embarrassment and can hamper someone’s attempts to get a job promotion or their performance at a job interview.