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Going to the dentist on a regular basis is an essential part of one’s dental and overall health. Going to the dentist can be a stressful experience for many people, especially for those who may require more extensive work. To help reduce the feelings of anxiety about going to the dentist, patients should take time to learn about some of the most commonly used terms within dentistry.

One of the most common terms that a patient may hear at the dentist is fluoride. Fluoride is commonly known as the mineral that is typically found in water and helps to build a person’s teeth. The protection that fluoride provides can help reduce the risk of tooth decay and future dental issues. 

There will be times when a patient is met with issues from tooth decay. When there are signs of tooth decay, the dentist may refer to it as caries or cavities. This may happen when a tooth is showing any signs of decay, cavities, or internal issues. Depending on the extent of the issues, further treatment may be necessary. 

When a dentist mentions enamel, they are referring to the outer layer of the tooth that helps protect it from damage or decay. The enamel part of the tooth carries different minerals that help protect the tooth from breakdown as well. 

One term that a patient might also hear during a dentist visit is plaque, which refers to the film that can form around one’s teeth. This happens when bacteria begin to impact the tooth’s surface and can become an ongoing problem if not treated correctly. The best way to reduce the risk of plaque is by following the recommendations for oral hygiene. 

The term tartar is talking about the plaque on the teeth that have started to harden. This is typically the next stage of plaque formation and will normally require further treatments to remove it from the teeth. The risk of tartar can also be reduced by following a consistent oral hygiene schedule.

While this is not an exhaustive list of the terms to know within dentistry, they will be very helpful in understanding one’s dental treatment plan.