October 14, 2004 Madison, WI - October is National Dental Hygiene Month. Cosmetic dentistry not only provides patients with the smile of their dreams through popular procedures like whitening and veneers. Today's cosmetic dental practice also plays a vital role in maintaining a patient's oral health and detecting early warning signs of potentially serious dental problems.
"Cosmetic dental practices provide patients with much more than 'smile makeovers," said American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) President Larry Addleson, DDS, of San Diego, CA. "Before prescribing any elective cosmetic treatment, a cosmetic dental team is responsible for detecting oral cancer, gum disease, tooth decay, jaw joint (TMJ) problems, and many other problems related to the mouth, face and jaws."
According to the National Dental Hygienists Association, close to 30,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer and more than 7,200 will die from it in 2004, making it more common than leukemia and melanoma.
Yet, 75 percent of those cases are preventable and up to 90 percent are treatable if detected early. This data underscores the importance of visiting an AACD member dentist regularly.
AACD recommendations for maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile include:
Follow proper oral health care, including brushing and flossing twice daily.
Visit an AACD member dentist every six months or as scheduled.
Avoid hazardous chemicals from smoking and tobacco.
After receiving proper check-ups from your dentist, proceed with a dentist-prescribed whitening treatment to brighten your smile.