Regular visits to a general dentist are an essential component of good health and overall wellness. It is important for both adults and children to have their teeth cleaned and examined by a dental professional every six months. In fact, most physicians and dentists recommend that regular dental checkups begin around age one, when a child's first teeth begin to grow in. Parents can bring their children to the family's general dentist to maintain good oral health and hygiene, even during the younger years.
Services offered by general dentists
There are many treatments and procedures available to patients of all ages in the office of a general dentist. The methods and materials used typically vary based on the age and needs of the individual.
Routine cleanings and checkups
For both children and adults, a dental hygienist typically cleans the teeth and gums of the patient. Most use dental scalers to remove plaque and tartar buildup, followed by a round of flossing and polishing. The dentist then inspects the teeth for any signs of decay or deterioration. Both professionals can offer advice on proper care and any lifestyle changes that should be made to help promote healthy teeth and gums.
Cavity and decay treatment
Tooth decay should not be ignored in adults or children, even when it affects only baby teeth. However, cavities are often treated differently in children without permanent teeth in order to avoid more invasive procedures. Dentists often treat minimal decay with better preventative care, a more concentrated fluoride treatment, or sealants to keep it from spreading. In some cases, a general dentist may recommend a traditional filling, but with a material that is less expensive and more durable.
Bridges and crowns
When a tooth is lost or becomes severely damaged, either a bridge or a crown may be utilized to repair or replace it. While implants are often the preferred solution to a missing permanent tooth, the procedure can be more expensive and difficult for children. However, crowns and bridges are common treatments for younger patients.
Tooth alignment options
Dentists can provide tooth alignment options to patients who are interested in using clear aligner trays. This alternative to braces is often faster and less expensive, and is also more aesthetically pleasing as it is usually unnoticeable to others. Due to the amount of personal responsibility required to wear and care for the trays, this method is recommended for adults and teenagers rather than young children.
The benefits of bringing children to a general dentist
For many parents, it is convenient to schedule appointments for the entire family in one location. This allows everyone to build a good relationship with the general dentist and office staff. It is also helpful in creating more precise treatment plans when looking at the family as a whole. For example, when a dentist sees gum recession in a parent, they can prescribe a more detailed home care routine to help prevent this in the child.
Good dental care is essential for adults and children. A general dentist can provide the routine care and typical procedures needed for all members of the family.
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