“The Best Dentistry Is NO Dentistry”
By Jason Niegsch, DDS, FAGD
Dentistry At Somerset | Somerset Village, Ames
My favorite phrase to tell my patients is one I learned from my mentor, Dr. John Kois of Seattle, WA. “The best dentistry is no dentistry.” As the father of four young kids I can honestly tell you that there’s nothing harder than telling a mom or a young child that they have a cavity.
Dr. Garman and I prefer the preventative approach to dentistry, which is to avoid extra dental treatment altogether. This is why our team celebrates National Dental Hygiene Month every October, to commend our skilled hygienists for the life-changing work they do. Each day they are passionate about educating and providing treatment to help our patients avoid dental disease and discomfort.
I’d like to impart some of the tips our expert hygienists share with our patients to help them steer clear of infection, pain and extra appointments down the road. We encourage you to do as many of these as possible, and please pass this advice along to your friends and family. Fresh breath, strong teeth and healthy gums are all part of your oral health. And your oral health is a vital contributor to your overall health.
- Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste using a soft-bristled brush. Remember to brush your tongue too. Be sure to replace your toothbrush every 3 months. A good reminder is to replace your brush with the change of seasons.
- Floss daily, preferably after each brushing. Tooth decay-causing bacteria linger between teeth where toothbrushes can’t reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
- Rinse with mouthwash daily to help dislodge food debris and kill bacteria that may cause bad breath and cavities.
- Visit your dentist for regular Preventive Care Cleanings. No matter what your age, it’s important to visit your dentist regularly your whole life starting no later than the age of 1. Preventive care cleanings accomplish so many important health items in one short, affordable visit. During a preventive care cleaning, Dental Hygienists get to know patients personally and educate them on the best way to care for their teeth. Patients can ask any questions about their specific oral health concerns. The cleaning helps prevent gum disease, removes tartar and eliminates stains that a toothbrush can’t. The patient has an exam with the dentist also, so that small problems can be detected before they become bigger, more painful problems.
- Eat a balanced meal and limit between-meal snacks. If you eat starches, sugary foods or beverages, chew sugarless gum afterward. Chewing for 20 minutes after eating stimulates saliva flow, and helps wash away food debris in between brushings.
- Avoid grinding or clenching of your teeth. Pay attention to make sure you’re not putting extra pressure on your body when you’re under stress. Prolonged grinding and clenching can lead to a number of clinical problems involving the chewing muscles or temporomandibular joint. Problems can include headaches, muscle spasms in the head, neck and jaw, migraines, pain with the teeth, face or jaw, pain in the ears, eyes, sinuses, cheeks or side of the head. Others experience clicking when moving the jaw or even locking if the jaw is open or closed. Our team helps many patients for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ/TMD), but we’d prefer patients avoid pain at all with education and stress management.
Dr. Jason Niegsch is a proud husband and father of four, a Fellow with the Academy of General Dentistry, a former dentist with the U.S. Navy, a Graduate and previous Mentor of the Kois Center for Restorative Excellence in Seattle, WA, a 2011 Wisconsin IRONMAN, a Preferred Provider for Invisalign clear orthodontics, a Member of the Iowa Dental Association, and a Member of the American Dental Association.