A dental assistant is a crucial part of any dental practice. They are responsible for preparing patients and equipment for dental exams, as well as assisting the dentist during procedures. While it’s important for clients to see a dentist regularly, there is also a lot of dental care and maintenance people should be encouraged to do on their own. This is where a dental assistant can help in advising patients on how to maintain good oral hygiene between visits.
If you’re considering a career as a dental assistant, you should be familiar with the best oral health practices and be able to tailor your advice to the specific needs of a patient. Here are a few professional recommendations to give to dental clients.
In Your Dental Assistant Career, Remind Clients to Brush Regularly
Brushing your teeth is necessary to prevent the buildup of plaque and to protect teeth from cavities. However, in order to brush effectively, it’s important to use the correct technique. Those with dental assistant training should be able to advise patients on the best methods to maximize their oral hygiene.
Clients should brush their teeth twice a day using small circular motions for at least two minutes. Dental professionals tend to favour fluoride toothpaste for cavity prevention. It’s important to brush the front, back, and surface of each tooth, and to take care when brushing the gumline. A toothbrush with soft bristles will reduce the chance of gum erosion and damage to the protective enamel on the teeth.
Be Sure to Reinforce the Importance of Flossing
While most people know the importance of brushing their teeth, not everyone considers the benefits of flossing. Flossing disrupts the plaque and bacteria that form between the teeth, where a toothbrush is unable to reach. It also removes food debris trapped between the teeth, which can cause bad breath.
Those having a dental assistant career should take the time to go over proper flossing techniques with patients during their dental examination. Most professionals recommend gently pushing the floss between the teeth and hugging the side of the tooth in an up-and-down motion. Don’t be afraid to push down to the gum line, but avoid forcing the floss between the teeth, which can inflame the gums. Flossing once a day before bed should be sufficient for most people.
Remind Clients to Be Mindful of Their Sugar Intake
Maintaining good oral hygiene involves understanding what kinds of substances can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Sugar plays a significant role in damaging oral health. Over time, sugar is converted into acid in the mouth, which can erode the enamel of the teeth and cause tooth decay. These acids, which are also found in tea and coffee, may eventually lead to cavities.
While you don’t have to avoid these foods altogether, it’s recommended that you limit your sugar intake on a daily basis. Rinsing your mouth after consuming sugary foods and drinking plenty of water throughout the day can also help to counteract the adverse effects of sugar on oral hygiene.
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