While there’s still a good stretch of summer left to go, it’s not all that long before the kids will be headed back to school – which makes now the perfect time to bring them in for an exam and cleaning. If there’s decay or other problems, you’ll still have plenty of time to get them addressed before the new school year begins – and if everything is a-ok, you can rest assured they’ll be starting the new academic year with a clean bill of oral health!
We’re pleased to now be offering biological dentistry for kids here in our St. Louis office. You can learn more about our pediatric services here. Read on to find what makes hygiene visits at a biological dental office like ours so special…
By Michael G. Rehme, DDS, NMD, CCN
Dental cleanings are one of those procedures you know you need but don’t get too excited about. We tend to be much more motivated toward activities that we understand the importance of – even if they aren’t as exciting as an exotic vacation.
The truth is, most people don’t really know much about effective hygiene checkups and why they matter so much.
Effective hygiene enhances the old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Visiting a hygienist at a biological dental office could really open your eyes, for here, hygiene is about much, much more than just having someone clean your teeth.
First and foremost, effective hygiene is about education and prevention. It’s about motivation and participating in a dental health program designed to protect and stimulate the tooth and body connection.
I like to say that teeth are the only visible part of your skeleton. Few people think about this powerful concept. You’re actually looking at your own skeleton when you look at your teeth.
Your teeth and gums not only give clues as to their own condition but also to your health in general. That’s why it’s so important to do more than simply a thorough cleaning.
An effective hygiene exam for an adult should include checking your saliva pH, evaluating a live sample of the microorganisms in your mouth under a microscope, an oral cancer screening, a tongue diagnosis, advice on nutritional support, and, at least once every two years, a complete periodontal charting.
Providing this type of dental service usually requires about an hour to complete. However, you’ll find it’s time well spent. Collecting this information provides a greater insight into your health. It also allows a more thorough evaluation by the hygienist and dentist.
However, it also gives you – and us – a greater understanding of your needs in order to maintain or improve your state of health.
Science has made it exceedingly clear that, as one American Academy of Periodontology report put it, “Infections in the mouth can play havoc elsewhere in the body.” Microbial infections, including those caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and even parasites, have linked periodontal (gum) disease in adults with a wide variety of conditions, including cardiovascular disease and stroke, diabetes, respiratory diseases, osteoporosis, and preterm low birth weight babies. Gum disease has also been linked to chronic fatigue, increased vulnerability to colds and flu, and overall malaise.
So are regular dental cleanings necessary? Absolutely. Did you know that most adults (and about half of all kids) have some degree of periodontal disease?
Your hygienist monitors your progress on a regular basis – but only if you make those visits. Isn’t it comforting to know that someone else can help you keep an eye on your health?
Dental problems are not only a disease of the mouth but a disease of the body. Any time part of your body becomes diseased, it stresses your entire immune system. The stress can be most harmful when the disease is a chronic one, which is the form of dental disease from which most patients suffer.
A hygienist, educated in biological dentistry, can probably play the single most important role in your total preventive program. What used to be a “regular cleaning” is really – at least in our office – a very valuable investment in your health.
Updated from the original