Are dentists educating their patients well enough?


No matter where in the country you go, you will find that one of the biggest challenges within the dental community is that there is simply not enough information out there for our patients. This is a problem that starts very early on in our patient’s lives, from the time when they are very small children, and sweets are given out as rewards, giving them the basic and incorrect understanding that whenever they do well in the future, the only way to reward themselves is with sugar! When you track a person’s understanding of their dental health through their life, their awareness of what is good and bad for their teeth actually gets worse over time! So as dentists, what is it that we can do to improve this situation, as well as transform the way that young people learn about their teeth?

For a start, we need to start young, and not starting off school young – the moment that children start to eat solid foods and drink a variety of liquids, we need to be educating our children about the different nutritional values of what we are putting in our bodies. This is something that a child will carry throughout their lives if they are given this information early enough, and can dramatically change the rates of obesity in children and young people at the same time, so it’s definitely a win win! We also need to make sure that we have a presence in schools, so that children with parents who are not as aware about the dangers of bad diets can get access to the same information.

We need to teach people how to brush their teeth – young and old! It is not a complicated technique, of course, but if you are not doing it properly then you will not achieve the right benefits for your teeth. Many people who think that they are brushing properly are simply not, and they can get quite upset when they realize this . . . when they are told that they need a San Diego tooth restoration by their dentist. Understanding how to brush and how often, along with how mouthwash and floss is to be used properly, is a key component in the battle to better educate people.

Thirdly and lastly, we need to start educating patients on the different dental procedures that are available to them in case they do have something wrong with their teeth. No one wants to feel as though they need to avoid going to the dentist because they are going to be told off, and there are plenty of ways that teeth can be healed and cared for, even returning them to perfect health if action is taken quickly enough. People must not feel as though they simply have to accept their lot because their teeth are now damaged, because that damage is rarely permanent.

The consequences of educating people is very clear, and you can see the results in every dental surgery around the world: more fillings. San Diego tooth restorations have increased exponentially, and the longer that we do nothing to change the status quo, the more dental fillings we as dentists are going to be giving out to our patients. That is not a state of affairs that we want for our patients, and so by better educating them about the ways that they can protect their teeth and keep them healthy – and what options are available to them if this is not possible – we can help our patients to live healthier and happier lives.

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