Merrillville, IN Dentist
Q: What part of your body helps you to digest your favorite foods, say “cheese”, and look great in pictures?
A: Your teeth!
Did you know that your teeth are an important part of your smile? It’s very important to be healthy so you can chew crunchy foods and enjoy slices of pizza! I am sure you have been told to keep brushing and flossing, but did you know that it’s important to visit the dentist, too?
Let’s Take a Trip to the Dentist and Learn What They Do!
What is a Dentist?
The dentist is a doctor who is specially trained to care for teeth. The dentist will look at your teeth and gums to see if your teeth are healthy.
What Happens at the Dentist’s Office?
After your name is called in the waiting room, you’ll go into an exam room and sit down in a big, comfortable chair that is like a huge recliner. The chair will have a place to rest your head and lots of room for you to stretch out your legs. The sink next to the chair has a cup where you can rinse after the dentist has cleaned your teeth.
What Happens During the Exam?
During the exam, your teeth will be cleaned, flossed, and checked for cavities.
Cleaning and Flossing
One of the first people you will meet at the dentist’s office is the dental hygienist. A dental hygienist is a person who knows all about keeping teeth and gums clean and healthy. The dental hygienist will look inside your mouth to make sure your teeth are growing properly and your gums are healthy.
There is a really bright light that shines like a flashlight into your mouth. The hygienist can take a really good peek inside to see what is going on! The dental hygienist will clean and polish your teeth using tiny dental tools like a tooth scraper, mirror, and special toothbrush. The tooth scraper removes plaque from your teeth.
Plaque is a thin, sticky layer that coats your teeth and contains bacteria that grows on your teeth over time. Plaque that isn’t removed from your teeth can cause decay, or a cavity.
Here comes the fun part… Brushing and flossing! The dental hygienist will brush and floss, but will also show you how to brush and floss at home. Flossing involves using a piece of waxy string called dental floss to get in between your teeth and remove food particles that your brush can’t reach.
Checking for Cavities
You will also get X-rays taken. They are like taking pictures of your teeth. You may have a cavity. A cavity is a decayed, or rotted, part of a tooth.
You will also get a Fluoride Treatment. Fluoride is a gel or foam that is a natural mineral that makes your teeth strong in minutes and will help prevent cavities!
And then here it comes… You finally get to meet the dentist!
Meeting the Dentist
The dentist will look at all of your teeth and check your gums to make sure they’re strong and healthy. The dentist will also check the way your top and bottom teeth work together. This is called your bite. The dentist will study your X-rays (looking for cavities or other problems) and ask if you have any questions about your teeth. Your dentist may also prescribe fluoride drops or tablets for you to take every day at home.
Presents From the Dentist!
When your checkup is over, the dentist usually will have a present for you! The gift is often a free toothbrush or dental floss to use at home or some sugar-free gum.
On no… I have a cavity… now what? If you have a cavity, you’ll probably have to come back to the dentist’s office for another visit. At that time, the dentist will remove the decayed part from your tooth with special dental tools. Then, the decayed area will be filled with materials that will keep your tooth strong and healthy, like tooth-colored or silver fillings.
You may or may not need anesthetic, a medicine that numbs the area around the tooth.
Your mouth may be numb for a little while after you leave the dentist’s office, but it goes away and your teeth will be a lot healthier!