What is your risk of developing dental cavities (we call it dental caries)? When it comes to making a plan to lower your risk of caries, one size definitely does not fit all. Before getting into a discussion of the six step caries management system, we need to determine your individual risk of experiencing caries. You may be low risk, moderate risk, high risk, or extreme risk and the approach to each risk category is different. So we need to figure out, “What is your risk?”
A “yes” answer to any of the following factors put you at risk of dental caries. The more “yes” answers, the higher your risk.
-Do you notice plaque build-up on your teeth between brushings?
-Do you take medications daily?
-Do you feel like you have a dry mouth at any time of the day or night?
-Do you drink liquids other than water more than 2 times daily between meals?
-Do you snack between meals?
-Do you have any oral appliances present? (retainer, nightguard, partial denture, etc)
-Do any of these other health concerns apply to you?
-frequent tobacco use
-head/neck radiation therapy
-other drug use
The good news is that once we’ve determined your risk, we can devise a plan using the six-step management system that will reduce your risk. I’ll begin outlining those six steps in my next blog. In the meantime, you might enjoy this funny video that shows what happens when no risk assessment is performed.
Thanks for reading my blog and stay tuned!