Ideally, you should have your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist at least once every six months. If you attend your biannual dentist appointment for your cleanings and x-rays, you may assume you're getting everything possible out of your relationship with your dentist. However, there are additional dental services your dentist can provide that might benefit you. Here are three dental services you may not be taking advantage of:
1. Teeth Protection for Sports
Playing sports is a healthy way to keep your body in excellent condition while socializing with like-minded people. Unfortunately, some sports pose risks to your teeth. Hockey, baseball, and martial arts can lead to oral trauma that might break a tooth or even knock one loose. If you enjoy any of these sports, you should bring it up at your next dentist appointment. Your dentist can take a mold of your teeth and create a sport mouth guard for you. This guard will protect your teeth, even if you suffer impact to your face while playing sports.
2. Help With Sleep Issues
If your loved one tells you that you snore at night, you may first try over-the-counter remedies. However, you should tell your dentist about this problem. You should also tell your dentist if you're having any trouble sleeping or if you feel tired when you wake up in the morning. These problems can be early signs of sleep apnea, a condition which may be caused by obstruction of your airway. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your dentist can help by fitting you with a custom mouth guard. This mouth guard will keep your tongue and teeth in the appropriate position when you fall asleep, which can eliminate snoring issues and allow you to keep breathing.
3. Reduction of Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is a problem which plagues many people of all ages. Food and drink that are either very cold or very hot may cause an unpleasant sensation. If tooth sensitivity bothers you, your dentist may be able to help. Certain types of tooth sensitivity may be a symptom of cavities or a tooth infection. Your dentist will take x-rays and conduct an exam to determine the underlying cause of your sensitive teeth. If no decay is found, your dentist can suggest remedies such as toothpaste formulated to dull the sensitivity of your teeth. If over-the-counter options don't work, they can offer you prescription toothpaste that can reduce your sensitivity even further.