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Frequently asked questions to a Dentist York

What is dental care?

Dental care incorporates everything involved in keeping your mouth healthy allowing you to eat, speak and socialise without active disease, discomfort or embarrassment and which contributes to general well-being. Your dentist and their team will help you achieve this and maintain it for life.

There are four key areas to achieving and maintaining dental care and a healthy mouth as recommended in the Health Development Agency’s document ‘Scientific basis of Dental Health Education’:

1. Diet: reduce the consumption and especially the frequency of intake of foods and drinks with added sugars.

The number of times that sugars enter the mouth is the most important factor in determining the rate of decay. When consumed, they should be part of a meal rather than between meals. Snacks and drinks should be free of added sugars, whenever possible and the frequent consumption of acidic drinks (such as squashes or carbonated drinks) should be avoided.

2. Tooth brushing: clean the teeth thoroughly twice every day with a fluoride toothpaste.

Effective plaque removal is essential for the prevention of periodontal disease. The toothbrush is the only means of plaque removal that should be recommended on a public health basis. Other oral hygiene aids, apart from disclosing agents, are a matter for personal professional advice. Thorough brushing of all surfaces twice every day is of more value than more frequent cursory brushing, and a gentle scrub technique should be advised. The toothbrush size and design should allow the user to reach all tooth surfaces and gum margins easily and comfortably. Tooth brushing by itself will not prevent dental decay, but the use of fluoride toothpaste would be beneficial.

3. Dental attendance: have an oral examination every year.

Everyone, irrespective of age and dental condition, should have an oral examination approximately once a year so that cases of oral cancer or other oral diseases can be detected early and treated. This advice also applies to those without any natural teeth. Children and those at risk from oral disease may need to be seen more frequently, at intervals determined with professional advice.

Plaque is a white, soft, sticky substance that is made up of bacteria and food. It forms on your teeth and causes that ‘furry feeling ’. It often builds up in between teeth and at the gum line and turns into calculus (tartar) if left for long enough.

When you eat, the bacteria in plaque eat as well. The plaque bacteria then produce acids, which can dissolve the tooth minerals and result in a hole (cavity) otherwise known as decay. The acids produced by plaque also damage the structures that hold the teeth in the jaw.


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