General Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry: What’s the difference?
All dentists earn the title of “general dentist” when they complete their doctorate in dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry are extra focuses of a general dentist that don’t necessarily require additional training but should because of the skill required. Not all dentists are the same. The same can be said for general dentistry, though; the more training and skills acquired, the better your Minneapolis general dentist will be.
General dentistry is a field that focuses on diagnosing, treating, and managing your overall oral health. They’re your primary care doctor for your teeth, gums, and mouth. Your Minneapolis dentist is your frontline care provider when it comes to things like gum disease and cavities. Your general dentist will also help you to take care of your teeth at home by providing home-care education. You’ve likely gone to a dentist for general dentistry many times in your life.
Cleanings and Oral Exams
You’re likely aware of dental cleanings and oral exams. Those are the services you go in for twice a year, and hopefully, those are the only times you need to see your dentist. Simply needing a dentist for your cleanings and oral exams indicates a healthy oral care routine, a beautiful smile, and no oral health problems. However, most people, at some point in their lives, will have to go in for extra procedures due to
- Damaged teeth
- Decaying teeth (cavities)
- Gum disease
- Bad breath
Your twice-annual dental cleaning is important because it prevents oral health issues by removing plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums.
Plaque: This is a sticky substance that clings to your teeth and contains bacteria. You do your part to remove plaque by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing.
Tartar: This is the hard, cement-like substance that plaque turns into if it’s not brushed away. Tartar harbors bacteria that will eventually eat away at your teeth’ enamel and gums. Only your dentist can remove tartar from your teeth.
During your cleaning appointment, your dentist will also perform an oral exam. Your Minneapolis dentist will look for things like
- Chipped teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Worn teeth
- Mouth lesions
- Gum disease
- Oral cancer
It’s extremely important to catch these issues before they become worse, causing whole-body health problems and costing you a lot of cash. Visit your Minneapolis dentist twice annually for your cleanings and oral exams.
Do Your Part and Brush Your Teeth
You and your dental team are just that—a team! We do our part by cleaning your teeth and looking for signs of poor oral health, and you need to do yours by developing a great oral care routine. Your oral care routine should consist of
Brushing your Teeth: Brushing your teeth is extremely important! After all, it’s your job to remove everyday plaque, so you have minimal tartar buildup. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. We recommend brushing with fluoride toothpaste. If you drink or eat anything very acidic, make sure you wait 30 minutes and then brush your teeth. The acid eats away at your tooth enamel and makes your teeth sensitive to pressures and temperatures and susceptible to decay.
Brush your teeth after drinking things like coffee, alcohol, and fruit juice.
Brush your teeth after eating fruit, anything sugary, and dairy.
Flossing: Flossing your teeth is just as important as brushing, but it often gets skipped! Flossing cleans the surfaces between your teeth that aren’t easily reached with a toothbrush. The dental floss slides against the sides of your teeth and removes plaque. If you have a hard time using dental floss, try a floss pick or a water flosser. Floss your teeth at night after brushing.
Using Mouthwash: Your teeth and gums aren’t the only things inside your mouth. Your tongue, cheeks, and soft palate are important too. That’s why you should use mouthwash twice a day after brushing and/or flossing. Using mouthwash will kill any bacteria hiding on these soft tissues.
Visiting us Twice Yearly: Visit your Minneapolis dentist twice yearly for your annual cleaning. To make it easy, make your appointments ahead of time, and we’ll give you a call as a reminder.
Healthy Teeth are the Foundation of a Beautiful Smile
Do you look in the mirror and dislike your smile? Or perhaps you feel the need to hide your teeth when laughing or eating? Do you dread photos because you don’t want to show off your teeth? Many people do, and they turn to cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry can help you get the smile you love, but there’s another thing that can help, too: general dentistry.
Healthy teeth are the foundation of a healthy smile. We find our smiles the most attractive when they’re straight, white, and full of undamaged teeth and gums. That is also when your smile is healthiest!
For many people in Minneapolis, simply keeping your teeth healthy can keep the beautiful smile you were born with. Even when we perform cosmetic dentistry procedures, we ensure your oral health is in tip-top shape first. Gum disease treatment and dental cleanings are important to cosmetic dentistry.
Make an Appointment with Dr. Bril
Do you want to achieve a beautiful smile? Call Minneapolis dentist Dr. Kevin Bril at (952) 944-2052 or make an appointment online.