Backflow Is A Real Issue At The Dentist – What You Should Do During Your Dentist Visit
It is important to visit the dentist on a regular basis to maintain good oral health and yes, even your overall health. Most people worry about the needles in the event they need a cavity filled or have their teeth pulled. Did you know you should also think about backflow issues? What is backflow and what should you do about it on your next visit to the dentist?
What Is Backflow?
When a dentist is working on your teeth or gums they use an instrument to remove the blood, saliva, bacteria, and germs out of your mouth. This is usually a metal rod attached to a small rubber hose they use to siphon out any fluid from the area. They may even leave it in during their work. If they do leave it in your mouth, you are usually told to close your lips around it to keep it in place.
Backflow is the potential buildup from that rod and hose, known as an evacuation system, that can back up and flow into your mouth. This doesn't happen often, but it can occur more frequently than you might expect.
Can Backflow Be Prevented?
There are ways to help prevent backflow, and it rests with your dentist or hygienist to ensure proper cleaning of the instruments. It is not an easy feat to clean the inside of suction devices and it takes some time to make sure the instrument is as clean as it possibly can be. There are some dentists who regularly clean every instrument rigorously so there isn't as much of a need to worry, while others may not clean as often as they should.
What You Can Do
There are a few steps you can take to help prevent yourself from being exposed to backflow. For example, take a look around your dentist's office (especially if you are new there) and see how clean their office is. Then take a peek at their examination rooms to see if they are clean and tidy.
You can also ask them how often they clean their evacuation lines and how often they are flushed. It is best if they flush between every patient but some will only flush once a day. You can ask if they use backflow prevention devices and if you are really curious, you may ask to see the inside of the evacuation valve to see how clean it is.
For more information about visiting a dentist, contact a professional such as Kyle J Frisinger DMD.