Should your dentist have a healthy smile?

Jamie J. Alexander on January 26, 2015

The quick answer to the question I posed is a resounding yes. I believe all professionals should practice what they preach.

I brush with a Sonicare Flexcare Platinum toothbrush two times a day. This sonic technology toothbrush has been proven to remove significantly more plaque from all tooth surfaces in all areas of the mouth than the other leading toothbrushes. I do not get paid to say this, but choose to use the Sonicare toothbrush because I feel is the most effective one available at this time. It leaves my mouth feeling like it does after Vicki professionally polishes my teeth at my regular cleaning appointments.

I floss my teeth daily. I am not one of those people who have a compulsion to floss after every meal, although I do brush that frequently. I floss every evening before I go to bed, just before I brush my teeth for the final time of the day. (There is an art to flossing and most people do not know how to go about it in the most thorough way. When you come to our office, we will be happy to show you how.)

How Often Should I get my Teeth Cleaned?

I get my teeth professionally cleaned every 3 months. I could choose to have my teeth cleaned every 6 months, which is the usual and customary standard of care accepted by insurance companies and other dental benefits plans. Instead, I choose to have them cleaned every 3 months because I know this is optimal care, and this is what my trusted hygienist Vicki has suggested to me.

Additionally, I wear an appliance to protect my teeth from the effects of nighttime bruxism (grinding). Even individuals who are not aware they are grinding, likely grind a few minutes every night during their sleep. As a dentist I have seen the wear and tear this causes on natural tooth structure and dental restorations over time. My appliance is very comfortable to wear and is part of a comprehensive preventive dentistry program to minimize my personal need for tooth restoration over my lifetime. It also keeps my jaw muscles relaxed overnight. (If you have noticed jaw muscle tenderness in the morning, a protective appliance can make all the difference and is indicated for protecting your tooth structure over time and protecting your tooth alignment. When you come into my office, let’s talk about it. An over-the-counter night guard will not be beneficial long-term for both your teeth and jaws. I can make a custom appliance for your mouth in our office, while you wait, which will provide you with optimal benefits and be affordable.)

I have been fortunate to have been blessed with healthy teeth; however, my own mouth’s needs have changed over time. Everyone’s oral health needs change over time. It’s a natural part of the aging process. We all need regular dental checkups. Today there are multiple areas we dentists check to ensure ideal oral health, including cavities, periodontal/gum health, bite stability/occlusion, and being oral cancer free.

I have stayed on top of my preventative care hence my own dental needs will be kept to a minimum. I am a happy, satisfied patient. And, I get compliments on my own smile, because I have the total confidence to smile broadly at any time. I know that my smile appears healthy because it is healthy.

It’s my job to help my patients achieve this “smile confidence.” I think I have one of the best jobs in the world.