Dentists in Morrisville, NC from Alliance Dentistry know that dental health is one of the most important parts of maintaining a healthy life. You probably know all about what a dentist’s job is, but do you know what an orthodontist’s job is and how it is different? It is important to have an understanding of this distinction so you can receive the care you need to keep your teeth healthy. The Morrisville dentists want to clear up the difference between what a dentist does and what an orthodontist does.
Dentistry vs. Orthodontics
These two professions are actually quite simple. The first thing to understand is that dentistry is the care for general tooth and gum health while orthodontics is a specialization. It is similar to the difference between a doctor and a pediatrician. Orthodontists are also dentists, because they had to first become a dentist, and then chose to receive additional training to become an orthodontist. Specifically, orthodontics is the specialization concerned with tooth placement, position, and growth.
Many orthodontists also practice dentistry, allowing one patient to receive a wide range of care from the same professional. In other situations, a dentist may refer a patient to an orthodontist to receive care that the dentist cannot provide. Not everyone needs to see an orthodontist, but everyone should visit a dentist regularly. This is because everyone needs the general tooth health services that Morrisville dentists offer but not everyone will suffer from issues related to tooth alignment or position.
Issues Each May Tackle
Because dentistry is a general practice, it tackles far more issues than orthodontics. Dentists in Morrisville, North Carolina may handle:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Other minor tooth surgeries
On the other hand, orthodontists take a specialized approach. This does mean they handle fewer issues, but the issues are usually more extensive and may take years to correct. An orthodontist may handle:
- Misaligned teeth
- Underbites or overbites
- Poorly positioned teeth
If you do not feel any discomfort or difficulty eating and your dentist never mentions anything being out of the ordinary, chances are you do not need to visit an orthodontist. If you are really concerned about the issue, you should ask your dentist for advice on this issue. Or, if you really want to have nothing to worry about, you should choose a dentist who is also trained as an orthodontist. This is actually a more common practice than you might initially expect. In most cases, going to a dentist that also has orthodontic training does not inherently increase the amount you should expect to pay after any routine dentistry visits. For more questions about dentistry vs. orthodontics, please reach out to the Morrisville dentists from Alliance Dentistry.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Gum Disease
Gum disease is one of the most common oral health issues among adults and can lead to tooth loss if untreated. Signs of gum disease include red and swollen gums, bad breath and gums that easily bleed. Luckily, you can take steps to reduce your risk of the disease. Here are a few ways to take better care of your gums.
- Make flossing a top priority. Although brushing your teeth twice a day is important, it will not remove the plaque between your teeth. Only floss can do that. To reduce your risk of gum disease, gently floss between your teeth once a day. If you have trouble remembering to do this, you should think about setting a reminder on your smartphone.
- Put down the cigarettes. If you currently smoke tobacco, you have yet another reason to quit: your gum health. Smoking can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to infections, including ones in your gums. Quitting this habit can help your gums and overall health.
- Eat more vitamin C-rich foods. Increasing your vitamin C intake will not just reduce your risk of catching flus or colds. It can also make you less susceptible to gum disease. Vitamin C can boost your immune system and make your gums at less risk to infections. Good sources of vitamin C include oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, bell peppers and tomatoes.
- Use an antimicrobial mouthwash. An antimicrobial mouthwash can decrease the amount of acid and bacteria in your mouth, which can reduce your risk of gum disease. Think about rinsing with this mouthwash after meals.
- Schedule regular dental cleanings. Even if your gums seem to be fine, it is still important to visit your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning. The dental hygienist will use advanced tools to remove hardened plaque that your toothbrush and floss could not reach. He or she will also look for early signs of gum disease and suggest treatment options if necessary, such as a deep cleaning.
- Limit your consumption of alcohol. Drinking too many alcoholic beverages can negatively affect many parts of your body, including your gums. The bacteria in your mouth will feed off the sugar in alcohol, increasing your risk of gum disease. To avoid this, only drink alcohol in moderation.