Dental Vocabulary

Here is some vocabulary related to dentistry and teeth. Watch this old dental advertising video. Practice your dental vocabulary with Philip your skypeclass Teacher

People who work in dentistry

a dentist
a person whose job is treating and looking after people’s teeth

a receptionist
a person who books appointments, greets patients and looks after the paper work of a dentist (or other business)

a dental hygienist
a person who works with a dentist and cleans people’s teeth to keep them healthy

an oral surgeon
a doctor who works in a hospital and who operates on patients’ mouths

Keeping your teeth healthy

floss
clean the areas between your teeth using dental floss (a type of thread) to help stop plaque building up on your teeth

You should floss between you teeth to keep your teeth healthy.

clean/ brush
use a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean your teeth and gums

I clean my teeth three times a day (once after each main meal).

rinse with / use mouthwash
put a special liquid into your mouth but spit it out instead of swallowing it. The liquid (mouthwash) helps keep your mouth clean and smelling fresh

There was so much garlic in that pizza, I’ll need to use a lot of mouthwash if I’ve got any chance of kissing her!

Problems with teeth

plaque (noun, uncountable)
a substance containing bacteria that forms on the surface of teeth

If you don’t brush your teeth properly and regularly, plaque will build up on them.

decay (noun, uncountable)
gradual damage over time

She eats so many sweets and never goes to the dentist so it’s no surprise she’s got so much tooth decay.

a cavity
a hole in a tooth (caused by decay) I’ve got to get a filling because I’ve got a cavity in one of my back teeth.
Ways the dentist helps with dental problems

a filling
what a dentist uses to fill a cavity (or hole) in your tooth

John went to the dentist because his filling fell out and he needed to get another one.

dentures / false teeth
manufactured teeth fixed to a small piece of plastic or similar material, which fits inside your mouth, if you don’t have your own teeth

I always laugh when I see my granddad without his false teeth. He looks like a baby when he smiles and all you see is his gums.

a bridge
a piece of material that has one or more artificial (or false) teeth and which is kept in place by being attached to the natural teeth near the artificial one

After she lost a tooth in an accident, she had a bridge put in. You couldn’t tell which was her tooth and which one was the false one.

a crown (noun)
an artificial piece of material that is used to cover a damaged tooth

When he chipped his front tooth, the dentist gave him a crown.

crown (verb)
put a cover over a damaged tooth

He fell off his bike and broke both his front teeth. So he had to get them crowned.

Other Vocabulary

trauma
very upsetting experience that causes someone to feel strong emotional shock or pain (often much later after the initial experience)

terrified
very frightened or scared

change your mind
make you have a different opinion to the one you had before

dental history
information about your previous visits to the dentist

a filling
what a dentist uses to fill a cavity (or hole) in your tooth

sugary
things made from sugar, honey or other sweet ingredients