Most people assume that when they attend a dental check-up, all the dental team is looking for are signs of dental decay and gum disease. While this is a large factor in what a dental check-up is designed to do, for many people, it can come as a surprise when they find out how much their dental team actually knows about them simply by looking in their mouth.
Your teeth reveal a lot about your general health, your lifestyle habits and your genetics, and so when you attend a dental check-up, you should not be surprised if your dentist in Parramatta asks you questions about whether or not you brush your teeth twice a day, whether you smoke or what your diet is like.
In this article, you will be introduced to 5 things that a general dental team will know about you simply by looking at your teeth, so it is best not to tell untruths when attending dental check-ups!
How often do you brush your teeth?
The first thing a dental team can tell from looking at your teeth is how often you brush them and, in some instances, what tools you use to brush your teeth as well. For people who brush their teeth twice a day, there should be minimal signs of plaque and minimal inflammation (if any) on the gums. If you manually brush your teeth, your dental team may notice that there is some plaque on your teeth which has hardened and formed tartar, which can be removed by a scale and polish. If you tell your dental team you brush your teeth twice a day and your teeth say otherwise, they may query this a bit more.
Whether or not you floss
Flossing is important to overall dental health and if you do not floss regularly, there will be an accumulation of plaque in between your teeth. Your dental team will be able to spot this and will usually be able to remove it via water flossing. They will then usually suggest that you floss your teeth yourself or invest in interdental brushes, as the areas in between your teeth make up 40% of the overall tooth.
If you smoke
Smoking can cause staining to the fingers, and it certainly causes staining to the teeth, with many smokers having a yellow or orange tint to their smiles. This can be removed through whitening, but your dental team will be able to spot if you are smoking regularly and in the majority of cases, they will also be able to offer you cessation advice.
What your diet is like
Your dental team will also be able to see what your diet is like by looking at your teeth. If you eat a lot of hard foods, they may notice that your teeth are a bit eroded or ground down, whereas if you eat a lot of softer, starchy foods, they will expect there to be a higher incidence of plaque and tartar. They will also be able to tell if you drink a lot of sugary beverages or drinks that are high in tannins, like coffee, based on the staining that is on your teeth.
If you have GERD or acid reflux
If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or if you have acid reflux, your dental team will also be able to spot this. There will be signs of acid erosion on the back of your teeth, and they will be able to offer you fluoride sealants to protect the back of your teeth, but they may suggest that you talk to your doctor as well.
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