Boise Dentists Blog

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A Dental Self-Examination: What To Look For

Image via Flickr by Holtsman

Image via Flickr by Holtsman

While no replacement for a semiannual Boise dentist check up, you can also give yourself a self-exam to make sure that your teeth are in good health with these five steps:

1. Missed Plaque

The most important thing you can do is make sure that you are properly brushing your teeth and removing plaque. You can do this by purchasing a disclosing tablet or solution, which stains the plaque on your teeth and can reveal where you are not reaching with your brush. The process is simple:

  1. Brush your teeth carefully.
  2. Use the disclosing solution as directed.
  3. Check in a mirror to see where the solution has shown up.
  4. Brush again, more carefully, to see if you can remove all the areas of plaque

2. Hot/Cold Sensitivity

If your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold, you may have a cavity, root canal, or other problem that our Boise dentists should know about. It could also mean that you have sensitive or soft teeth, in which case our Boise dentists may suggest that you use special toothpaste. The test for hot and cold sensitivity is even simpler:

  1. Drink a mouthful of cold water and hold it in your mouth for several seconds. Take note of any areas that are sensitive to this.
  2. Take a sip of a hot liquid and swish it around your mouth. A sensitivity to hot things is less common and tends to be caused by more serious problems, so the pain from this should be very noticeable.

3. Bite Sensitivity

Bite sensitivity could be a sign of several dental issues including teeth grinding, cavities, or an abscess. To check for this, bite lightly but firmly onto the handle of your toothbrush to see if this causes pain. You can also lightly tap each of your teeth, keeping track of any teeth that react poorly to this. If you experience pain, come in for a Boise dentist check up and see if you need a Boise night guard.

4. Loose Teeth

Yet another sign of teeth grinding and also a warning of a root canal, abscess, or similar problem, you can easily check this by seeing if you can wiggle any of your teeth. If you can, immediately schedule an appointment with our Boise dentists to see what is wrong.

5. Red or Bleeding Gums

While you can have the same about of redness or bleeding around all of your teeth, you can also only have redness and swelling in certain areas. For instance, you may find your gums look unhealthy in hard-to-reach areas that you have difficulty brushing, or you may find that the gums around dental hardware (like a retainer) is especially inflamed. Take care to carefully brush and floss the areas to see if you can restore the gums. If not, come or an appointment for a Boise dentist teeth cleaning.

By looking into these five steps for a dental self-examination, you can further help keep your teeth healthy and happy every day of the year, not just the days you have a Boise dentist check up.

Have you ever given yourself a dental self-exam? What did you discover?

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