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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults


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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults

Once my children were grown and on their own, I decided it was time to care of me. One of the first things I did was make an appointment with the dentist. I quickly discovered that years of not keeping up with my own dental care had taken a heavy toll on my teeth. Whereas I thought my teeth were just fine, the dentist pointed out several problems that were going to require a lot of work. When talking to friends, I found out that many of them were in the same boat. This blog is for people like me who just did not have time to keep up with their own dental care.

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How General Is General When It Comes To Dentistry? All Of The Basic Services Offered

General dentistry is akin to a family doctor or general physician. These fields cover a lot of services, but they only cover the most basic services. Still, when it comes to general dentistry, you can get a lot done on your teeth or a family member's teeth. All of the following falls under general dentist services. 

Oral Hygiene

Your teeth are cleaned, flossed, and polished. The hygienist working with the dentist may also give you mouthwash to freshen your breath. If you suffer from halitosis as a result of tonsilithsthe hygienist will express your tonsils to remove the tonsil stones that are causing the foul breath. The back of your tongue may be brushed or scraped to reduce bacteria, which contributes to bad breath and oral hygiene issues. 

Fluoride Services

Fluoride services are reserved for kids between the ages of six and twelve. However, teens and adults may request fluoride treatments if they feel they could benefit from them and/or they just want the treatments because they know that they do not brush enough or drink enough treated city water. Dental trays are filled with flavored fluoride treatment gel, and you do have to sit in the dental chair for up to thirty minutes to complete this service. If you do not need or want the service for yourself, you can still expect this service from a general dentist when you bring your children in for hygiene appointments. Tooth varnish also falls under this particular service and is reserved for kids only. 

X-Rays

X-rays are taken every six months to a year to detect cavities. Cavities appear as dark spots on and between teeth. A panoramic x-ray, which takes a picture of all of your teeth from one side of your mouth to the other, is typically taken once a year. The panoramic x-ray shows cavities, restored teeth from prior cavities, fractures or cracks in the teeth, chipped or broken teeth, and any teeth that have not yet erupted from the gums or are impacted under other teeth. 

Tooth Restoration Services

Tooth restoration typically refers to the repair and filing of cavities. However, crowns, caps, and fillers for chipped teeth also fall under tooth restoration. A general dentist can perform all of these in the office when you need them, but they are almost always scheduled for another day and time. Most dentists have specific days/times for performing and completing restoration services. 

Contact a general dentist near you in order to learn more about these and other services that they can offer.