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Healthy Living

Dental Cleanings/Hygiene Tips

How often should I see my dentist?
You should visit your dentist at least every six months or more frequently to get your teeth cleaned. By seeing your dentist twice a year, your dentist can monitor your oral health and help you prevent any problems that may arise before they became uncomfortable or require more comprehensive or expensive treatment. The dentist may suggest more frequent visits, depending on the diagnosis.

Should I use over-the-counter dental instruments?
It takes dentists and hygienists years of schooling to properly use these instruments and to diagnose an oral condition. Misuse of these instruments by untrained people can easily damage the teeth and gums leading to sensitivity, gingival recession, tooth chipping and other serious problems.

Is there any danger in using toothpicks?
The occasional use of toothpicks to remove food particles is fine. Long term, vigorous use of toothpicks will cause abrasion of the teeth and gingival recession. Habitually leaving a toothpick in the mouth for long periods of time can cause excessive wearing of the teeth and temporomandibular joint problems. Also, be careful not to break off the tip in your gums.

Copyright © 2002 Academy of General Dentistry. Used with permission
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