Oral health is one of the key indicators of your overall health and should be taken very seriously—you’ve probably been told this repeatedly. But maybe life has gotten in the way for a couple of years. Maybe you’ve been too busy or have not had the funds. Maybe you have a bad memory. Regardless the reason you haven’t been in to see a dentist, now is definitely the time. Here are some things to consider if you haven’t been to a dentist in years.
What to Expect
Dental health hasn’t changed much in the past few years, but it’s possible that your mouth has. Even with consistent, good care there can be a lot of buildup or other serious problems. That takes time to get rid of and investigate. That’s why it may be a good idea to expect a longer appointment the first visit.
There are other factors that can contribute to a longer visit. Yes, there is new technology that will help your appointment go faster, but there are some extra steps. Your dentist will want new x-rays to see the current state of your teeth. The checkup will also be more extensive. You may also need some extra time to figure out insurance or how to move your dental records over from a different dentist.
Find a Dentist
Finding a dentist that is right for you can be quite the process. Of course it’s best if they are located close to you and have good hours so that you can make it to your appointments. It’s also important to find a dentist that takes your insurance so you can have affordable care. It can also be important to consider their emergency protocol outside of office hours.
Don’t be shy about visiting the dentist’s office to learn more about them. It’s a great place to learn more directly. As you search for a dentist, find extra credentials they might have. Membership in professional organizations stands out as indicators your dentist is the right fit.
Planning for the Future
Now that you’ve gotten the ball rolling by going back to the dentist, it’s important to keep planning to go back. This can include follow up treatments like getting cavities filled or others. But it’s important to go back even when there isn’t a problem, preferably twice a year. Schedule your next appointment at each appointment you go to.
Depending on your insurance and current financial situation, a dental visit may be financially stressful to you. But your dentist’s office will have many people who can help you find affordable options, and there are resources online that can help you find ways to get the dental care you need without being strained financially.
If you happen to be someone who is a little nervous about the dentist, you are not alone. This is common. Many Americans have at least some fear of the dentist. And it’s true that your mouth may be more irritated after. But here is the thing—it is so worth it to take care of your oral health. Not to mention, your dentist is a skilled professional and probably a really cool person. They aren’t going to judge you, no matter the state of your mouth. They only want to help you have a healthier mouth moving forward. Make an investment in yourself by going to the dentist.
Ear pain can be a source of significant discomfort. Due to the many nerves that are clustered in the area, ear pain can sometimes persist for days and be beyond the aid of common over-the-counter painkillers. Some causes of ear pain may require the assistance of medical professionals; others can be solved by yourself. Here are three of the most common causes of ear pain.
Some of the most common causes of ear pain are dental issues. According to Alpine Dental, cavities, impacted molars, abscesses, infections and jaw problems can lead to earaches that seemingly don't go away. Persistent jaw pain may be a sign that you should pay a visit to the dentist. Even if you don't believe you have any cavities, the pain may be coming from a source that is not visible to you, such as a wisdom tooth that is pushing against its neighboring teeth at an abnormal angle. Only a dentist capable of taking an X-ray of your mouth can show you what is happening under the gums.
Earwax is a natural substance produced by your ear to keep out bacteria, dirt, and water. Earwax is normally created in the ear canal and gradually pushed into the outer ear by the hair inside your ear. However, sometimes too much earwax is produced. One of the most common ways people deal with earwax is to clean it with a cotton swab. Unfortunately, this method will only push your earwax deeper into the canal, and can even be dangerous, according to ENT Orlando. Cotton swabs should only be used lightly around your outer ear to brush off dead skin and loosen ear wax. You can use hydrogen peroxide, diluted vinegar or mineral oil to loosen the buildup of wax in the ear and let it drift out normally.
Normally, the air pressure inside your inner ear is roughly the same as the pressure in the outer ear. However, according to Virtua Health, rapid acceleration can quickly destabilize that equilibrium. For example, if you're on a roller coaster, you may feel increasing pressure inside your ear until your ear pops and the pressure recedes. However, there are some instances where you might need to take a more active approach to relieve air pressure. Frequent air travelers often experience ear pain while travelling by plane. The rapid acceleration at takeoff can create a painful buildup of air pressure inside your ear that your body cannot adjust to quickly. In this case, a common remedy is to force your ear to pop by swallowing or chewing gum in order to stimulate frequent swallowing to keep your ear tubes open and air available to your inner ear.
Other causes of ear pain may be a lot more serious than the ones described above. If your ear pain comes with signs of infection, such as a fever, rash or sore throat, and it doesn't go away within a few days of home treatment, you should seek medical attention.
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Your teeth may be small, but good oral health can be a big part of your overall hygiene routine. Teeth are resilient, but your mouth needs proper care and attention if your teeth are going to do their jobs effectively. Understanding what good oral health is and the risks associated with ignoring it can help you develop a good routine.
What is Good Oral Health?
Dentists often speak to clients about good oral health, but they aren’t always clear about what that means. In most cases, practicing good oral hygiene means that once you are finished with your daily routine for your teeth, your mouth should look and feel good. It should also smell good or neutral. According to the American Dental Association, some of the best practices for good oral health might differ from one person to the next depending on specific needs. You may need a certain kind of toothpaste or to use flossing techniques beneficial for your teeth and gums. However, there are basic hygiene actions that everyone should practice whenever possible.
Related Health Issues
Taking care of your teeth can help you avoid other health problems that are related to poor oral hygiene. Some conditions can affect your gums. According to Fort Bend Periodontics & Implantology, gum disease is often referred to as a silent disease because many of the early signs are not visible to the naked eye. Some developed signs of gum disease could be red, swollen, or tender gums; receding gums; and persistent bad breath. These things have the potential to affect you both physically and emotionally. Problems stemming from gum disease or issues such as broken teeth might impact your social life or your ability to find new employment. Pain associated with problematic teeth could impact your mood or concentration levels.
Mental Health and Oral Health
Some researchers have studied possible links between oral hygiene and overall mental health. People with bad breath, missing teeth, gaps, or poor oral health may have negative mental and emotional feelings from these problems. According to Delta Dental of Washington, some studies show that there can be links to poor oral health and depression. It has become prevalent enough that dentists may ask about health history to determine what kind of oral care a client might need in order to be healthy mentally. Having good oral care and practicing good habits may put you in a better frame of mind.
Good oral health doesn't have to be complex or time-consuming. Knowing how to take care of your teeth and what signs to watch out for to avoid gum disease and other issues can help you keep your teeth looking good and performing great.
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