December 23, 2014

Dental Tips from a Dental Assistant

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by and all opinions are my own.

Most of my family is in the health care field in all different areas. My dad is an optometrist and my brother is in school to be an optometrist. My sister-in-law, mother-in-law and mom are all nurses. I am a dietitian of course and my sister is a dental assistant. We have a good part of the health care field covered!

It is neat that my sister works as a dental assistant because we can ask her all kinds of dental questions. You have seen Natalie featured on my blog before in family photos and such in the past. For this post, I asked her the top dental tips that they give their patients at the office. She has been working as a dental assistant for about 2 years now. She went to school at Kaplan University for her dental assistant certification. She used to work for a larger organization but now works for a private practice in general dentistry which she really enjoys. 

-Brush your teeth 2-3 times per day

-Floss first, then brush and use a fluoride rinse.

-Get a fluoride treatment right after your dental cleaning 1-2x/year. It is best to get this right after cleaning since teeth are the cleanest at this time and fluoride can soak right into your teeth.

-Recommend ACT rinse which has fluoride (vitamins for your teeth to protect from cavities).

-Floss your teeth daily- Flossing is very important to remove plaque from in between your teeth. 

-Go for cleaning twice per year since the hygienist can get your teeth much cleaner than you can which helps to prevent cavities and other issues.

-Get x-rays every year so they can detect cavities early before they get worse.  

-For dark beverages (coffee, tea, juices, wine), rinse with water after you drink or drink through a straw which helps to bypass the front of your teeth so they do not stain.

-Sugar-free gum is the best choice since gum with sugar goes between your teeth and can increase your risk of cavities.

-Chew gum with xylitol which increases saliva flow and helps clean your teeth and lowers risk of cavities.

-Diet is important (I like this!!). If you eat high sugar foods, this increases your risk for cavities and other dental issues. Eat healthy foods and limit dark colored beverages.

-During pregnancy, you higher chance of bleeding and bacteria buildup so make sure you get your regular dental cleanings done and take proper care of your teeth at home. 

-Always come in if you have tooth pain or anything you worry about with your teeth. Don’t try to treat it yourself with painkillers or oragel type treatments. You may need something like a root canal and prolonging going in may make it worse.

-If you are going to drink regular pop (high in sugar and acid), drink it in one sitting so you don’t keep putting sugar on your teeth over and over throughout the day.

Personally, I have not had too many dental issues. I usually brush my teeth about 3 times per day, floss once per day (which I’m not always great at) and go to the dentist twice per year. My main issue is avoiding foods that stain my teeth. The dentist has totally called me out on drinking tea and coffee and eating dark foods such as berries. It is a hard balance because these drinks and foods are good for you but also can stain your teeth.

Thanks Natalie for the great tips! I learned a few new things too!

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