Everyone needs to take good care of their health, and this sometimes means visiting a medical professional for checkups, medicine, or even surgical operations, and this includes the teeth. Dentistry is a distinct branch of medicine everyone is familiar with, and in fact, dentistry today ranks among the top 10 most trusted and ethical professions in the United States today, and many Americans have a dentist whom they regularly visit either for themselves or for their children. Sometimes, a visit to the dentist’s office means a a routine cleaning and checkup for and adult or child. Other times, if the patient is suffering a medical problem with their teeth, more dedicated procedures should be done, such s getting adult braces put on, a root canal, dentures put in, or a dental implant, or even tooth removal, such as for the wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth can disrupt the other teeth and their formation, and this can result in crowding, so wisdom teeth are often simply removed from the mouth to prevent this. How often do people see the dentist? What does tooth health entail?
Americans and the Dentist
Dentistry, as mentioned above, is one of the most trusted professions in the United States today, and this means that many millions of Americans visit the dentist’s office for themselves or their kids. As of 2017, for a recent example, nearly 127.6 million American adults visited a dentist, and those who do not go to the dentists are urged to visit. Many Americans today have healthier and more attractive teeth because of the operations they had done there. Removing the wisdom teeth can prevent crowding or other alignment issues, and the American Public Health Association believes that nearly 10 million wisdom teeth are pulled out of some five million people in the United States every single year. Many are wearing braces, about four million today, according to data available from the American Association of Orthodontists. And nearly three million people have dental implants, with another 500,000 getting them every year.
Some tooth issues are even more serious, however, and call for a visit to the dentist to help prevent tooth loss, infection, and serious pain and swelling. Unfortunately, some Americans suffer serious issues with their teeth such as physical trauma or infection, and this calls for surgery at the dentist’s office. Heavily infected teeth may have to be numbed and then extracted from the mouth to contain an infection, or a root canal may be necessary. But a root canal is not as scary as some may expect; it involves numbing the mouth, then using surgical methods to remove the fleshy pulp inside the teeth if an infection is present. Afterwards, the tooth will be slightly more fragile and will no longer feel heat or cold, but otherwise, the tooth is intact. Cavities can be filled with metal filling, and crowns can be placed on teeth that need it. Knocked out teeth, meanwhile, can be replaced with false ones to help keep a full mouth of teeth.
Basic Tooth Care
A dentist’s office can handle major or minor tooth problems ranging from discoloration to a heavy infection, but there is a lot that kid and adults alike can do to help prevent serious health issues.
Simply brushing one’s teeth with a good toothbrush and toothpaste is a great way to start, and everyone young and old should scrub all surfaces of their teeth after every meal to remove bacteria, plaque, and the sugars that those bacteria feed on. Flossing can remove bits of food found deep between the teeth where toothbrushes cannot reach, and finally, mouthwash can clear out remaining bacteria, food, or plaque and also freshen the breath.
Basic tooth care also means not chewing on hard items such as ice, and using mouth guards to help prevent trauma to the teeth during sports or activities where blunt force may chip a tooth or knock it loose. And on a cosmetic level, a person may use tooth whitening products or visit the dentist for tooth whitening to make their teeth more attractive, which can boost confidence and social prowess. This can help with meeting new people or even with job interviews, where appearance counts.