Are you trying to find a new dental care provider for your family? Do you have a child that needs braces? Here are some tips to help you find the dental care provider you need.
There are some things you may want to look for. A clean dental office that is modern and has embraced state-of-the-art technology that is safe and convenient is essential.
Ask for referrals
If you are looking for good dental care for families, ask others who work and live in your neighborhood if they can recommend one in your area. Most people are willing to share an opinion about a medical provider if you ask. Note the negative comments as well and avoid those providers.
It would be best if you choose a dental provider that is covered under your dental insurance plan. If you don’t, you will need to pay out of pocket for their treatment, which can be expensive. Most insurance companies will have a list of dental providers on their website, both in and out of network. If you have Medicaid benefits, ensure that the office honors Medicaid.
Make sure that the dental office you are considering provides the services you need. For example, if you have a child needing Invisalign braces, ensure they either provide the service or can refer you to a good orthodontic services provider.
Reviewing the services list can also give you an idea about the philosophy of the dental office. Do they believe in conservative, minimally invasive procedures, or do their services suggest they employ invasive techniques? Do they stay up-to-date with modern dental methods?
If a family member fears dentists, look for a dentist that emphasizes making their patients feel comfortable. If a family member has any unique dental condition, ensure that the dental office you consider has knowledge and experience with that condition. Any family member who may have developmental or emotional disabilities may require a dentist who has not only experience but patience as well.
Read online reviews
Search online reviews to look for dentists with good results. If a dentist has hundreds of ratings with near-perfect ratings, it is probably safe to go with that provider. It is not uncommon for there to be some negative reviews. A few overly picky or disgruntled people tend to write negative reviews about any provider or business. Don’t let that scare you away from a potentially good provider.
If you notice many people with the same criticism, take it as a red flag and avoid that office.
Visit the office
One of the best ways to decide if the dental practice is the one for you is to visit. It will enable you to see how clean the office is and how friendly and responsive the staff is. It will give you a chance to meet the dentists and hygienists, enabling you to see how knowledgeable they are and if they are willing to talk with you about their business.
Common Dental Services
Dental services range from basic cleanings to advanced procedures, such as braces, gum cleaning, and dentures. More complicated procedures such as root canals, oral cancer exams, bonding, and more are also provided. Some procedures are performed annually during regular checkups, and some are one-time necessary treatments.
Certain dental products can affect someone with a food allergy. Before making an appointment with a new dentist, inform them of any food allergies to ensure you do not react at your dental exam.
You may want to ask if they provide urgent dental care. This service would be the same as traditional urgent medical care. It is meant for more serious situations that cannot wait until a regularly scheduled appointment. Such conditions requiring an urgent dental care visit would include a severe toothache, excessive gum bleeding, etc. Dentists will prioritize emergency dental services over routine services such as exams and cleanings.
Health issues caused by poor oral health
There has been a rise in problems in the human body due to infections resulting from poor dental hygiene.
Oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease, can affect the entire body. Men’s and women’s health, as well as children’s health, can be affected by poor dental care. Adults with low or no income often do not have access to dental care, leading to emergency room visits for oral disease or more severe issues such as periodontitis (gum disease).
Poor dental hygiene puts an individual at risk for heart disease. If the gums are inflamed due to bacteria that cause periodontal disease, the same bacteria get into the blood which causes the arteries to harden by building up plaque. Atherosclerosis, or hardening, is very serious. It can lead to blood flow issues or a heart blockage, increasing the chance of a heart attack. Good oral health is particularly vital if you have artificial heart valves.
The damage that the arteries and blood vessels have on the heart can lead to hypertension and an increased chance of a stroke. Endocarditis can develop as well, which is often fatal and occurs when the heart’s lining becomes infected.
Gingivitis can spread bacteria in the mouth to the nerve channels or the bloodstream. Regular teeth cleaning and proper oral care will reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease while keeping your smile healthy.
Joints can be seriously affected by dental infections, which lead to a series of problems. Bacterial joint inflammation is a painful and severe infection of the joints, requiring the services of a joint preservation specialist.
Poor oral health can affect the brain leading to dementia or possibly Alzheimer’s. Substances released from the gums filled with infection can kill brain cells leading to memory loss.
Effect poor dental hygiene has on the eyes
An infected tooth can cause pain and lead to infection in other areas of the body, including the eyes. If an infected tooth is in the upper part of the mouth, the swelling can progress up and cause the eye to swell shut.
An unexpected relationship has been revealed between glaucoma and the number of natural teeth a person has. A study has revealed that chronic periodontitis can lead to irreversible vision loss or macular degeneration in elderly patients.
Odontogenic orbital cellulitis, a rare complication, can cause blindness even with antibiotic treatment. It is an inflammation of the eye tissues in the back of the orbital septum caused by the spread of infection to the eye socket through the blood or adjacent sinuses. While wearing eyeglasses may help vision, this disease, caused by infection, can lead to blindness or even death without swift treatment.
Eyecare is directly affected by the quality and quantity of dental care.
The respiratory system can also suffer from poor oral hygiene. Bacteria growing in the mouth resulting from teeth that are infected and swollen gums travel through the bloodstream or are breathed into the lungs. Once there, various health concerns can result, such as pneumonia, infections of the respiratory system, acute bronchitis, or in more severe cases, COPD.
People with diabetes are more susceptible to infection than most, but if they have infected gums that cause periodontal disease, it is made more difficult to control. Symptoms can worsen as blood sugar levels rise because of gum disease. Diabetics need to receive good dental care to prevent complications with their diabetes. Because gum disease leads to higher than normal blood sugar levels, an individual with poor dental hygiene is at a higher risk of developing diabetes.
An expectant mother needs to have good oral habits. Hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy cause a woman to develop infections in the mouth more easily. Any infection anywhere in a pregnant woman’s body can put her at risk for pregnancy complications.
It has been proven that periodontitis and gingivitis have can lead to low birth weight or premature birth. Gum disease can put both mother and baby at risk for serious health issues.
There is a link between poor oral hygiene and infertility in women. Gum disease can lead to health issues that make it more difficult for a woman to conceive or sustain a healthy pregnancy. It can take longer for a woman to get pregnant if she has poor oral health.
Poor oral health can put men at an increased risk for ED or erectile dysfunction. Periodontal disease is related to ED. CPD is an infection occurring when the gums pull away from the teeth, creating pockets that carry bacteria to the bone surrounding the teeth. Diseased gums resulting from bacteria get into the bloodstream and cause vessels to inflame. This inflammation blocks blood flow to the genitals making an erection difficult to achieve or even impossible.
Obviously, poor oral health practices such as using tobacco products of any kind can lead to throat and oral cancers. But other types of cancer have been linked to gum disease. The risk for kidney cancer, blood cancer, or pancreatic cancer is higher for those who have poor oral hygiene.
Chronic kidney disease is a severe health condition that affects the heart, bones, blood pressure, and kidneys. Periodontal disease can cause infections in the body leading to possible kidney disease. People with gum disease have weak immune systems making them more likely to resist infection. Kidney disease can be fatal if it results in cardiovascular disease or kidney failure.
According to studies made by the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, people with gum disease were four times more likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Both diseases commonly have inflammation as a symptom. The bacteria in the mouth causes inflammation throughout the body. This makes the development of rheumatoid arthritis, a painful and debilitating condition, much higher.
Prevention against serious health issues
The best way to prevent serious health concerns caused by inadequate oral hygiene is to practice good dental care and schedule regular visits with your dentist.
1. Brush the gums and teeth for a couple of minutes, twice daily
2. Floss teeth daily
3. Avoid chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes
4. Use toothpaste and mouthwash containing fluoride
5. Limit intake of sugary drinks and foods
6. Eat a well-balanced diet for optimal nutrition
7. Take supplements that boost dental health
Teeth that are healthy are clean and free of pain due to disease and cavities. Healthy gums are pink, with no bleeding when flossed or brushed.
Oral health is an indicator of general overall health. Preventing oral health problems such as periodontal disease or gingivitis can reduce the risk of more severe problems throughout the body.
Encourage good oral hygiene in your children
It can be discouraging to teach good oral hygiene habits to your children. Here are a few tips that might make it easier.
1. Be a good role model
a. One of the best ways to teach a child anything is by doing it yourself. If you brush your teeth, floss, and rinse in front of your child at least once daily, they can then learn by your example.
2. Try musical or electric toothbrushes
a. Electric toothbrushes are fun for your child. Musical toothbrushes plan for the recommended two-minutes, encouraging them to brush for the required time.
3. Fun dental floss holder
a. Your child may be encouraged to try flossing if they are pulling it out of a container in the shape of a fish or clown. Many dentists recommend one-time use flossers that come in fun shapes that are easier for children to hold in their mouths.
4. Interactive mouthwash
a. Some mouthwashes stain the plaque on your child’s teeth with a particular color that highlights the spots they might have missed while brushing. A perfect way to promote proper brushing!
The parent has the responsibility to impact their child’s health. If they understand the basics of proper oral hygiene, they will develop a good habit that will stay with them for a lifetime.
Keep in mind that promoting good oral health is not only a great way to keep your children healthy but is one of many ways to show them you care.