How Often Should I Go to the Dentist?
You should go to the dentist at least twice a year (every 6 months). Here’s why:
most lesions (decay or soft tissue) can be easily treated if caught quickly. But everyone is unique, so we tailor our recall visits to your oral health needs. Things like stress and illness can affect your oral health, making it more important to see your dentist. It’s best to talk to your dentist about your individual needs.
How Often Should I Brush My Teeth?
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day. When you eat sugary foods, the bacteria can release acids that attack tooth enamel, which eventually can lead to cavities.
Do not brush your teeth right after eating or drinking anything acidic because acids can weaken enamel, and brushing then may remove enamel. It’s best to wait 30 minutes after consuming acidic foods to brush.
What’s the Difference: Electric Toothbrush Vs. Manual Toothbrush?
This is a common question we receive. The most important thing is that you keep up with regular brushing.
Power brushes vary, but many studies show that in general, they are more efficient in controlling plaque than manual brushes. Power brushes make the task of brushing easier and the unique movements ensure that you are covering a large area of your teeth. In addition, some brushes, like Sonicare, produce sonic vibrations that are difficult to mimic with a normal toothbrush. Other electric brushes like Oral-B and Rotadent have small heads that help you access hard-to-reach areas of your mouth.
When Should My Child First Visit the Dentist?
The sooner children get used to going to the dentist office, the better. If a child has teeth, and will at least sit in the chair and allow either the dentist or dental hygienist to look in their mouth, it’s time for a visit. For some children it’s as early as 3, and we will check on the development of the teeth and size of the jaw. Our office can talk to you about oral hygiene techniques and ways to avoid cavities.
What Should I Do If I Have Bad Breath’?
Bad breath is commonly caused by food debris, plaque buildup around teeth and gums, and/or periodontal disease with odor-producing bacteria. However, it can sometimes be a symptom of a systemic (body) disease.
Treatments for bad breath can include a thorough scaling and polishing of teeth surfaces, both above and below the gum line; brushing the top of the tongue; improving oral hygiene through flossing, using a Water-Pik, electric tooth brushing, and using mouthwash. Avoidance of overly spicy foods can also help.
What is a Night Guard?
An occlusal “night guard” is a clear, plastic ‘horseshoe-shaped’ wafer that sits over the tops of teeth (either upper or lower), and most often worn at night. It has a flat biting surface that keep clenching/grinding from wearing down the surfaces of teeth, and can help prevent fractures. It also puts the lower jaw in a more comfortable (resting) position, which can reduce TMJ symptoms. Because they are clear, some folks (who are under a lot of stress) wear them during the day as well.
What Can I Do About Missing Teeth?
Missing teeth can be replaced by “fixed” or “removable” restorations. Fixed restorations include bridges or implants, while removable restorations include partial or full denture. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, but fixed restorations are most like having your own teeth.
How Do I Know if I Have Gum Disease?
Gum (periodontal) disease can be insidious in that it sneaks up on you without much pain or discomfort. The warning signs are bad breath, bleeding gums, and loose or sensitive teeth. If you find blood when rinsing after brushing or flossing, you may already have gum disease. Don’t wait until you have a gum infection to come in for a checkup or cleaning visit. Gum disease is much easier to treat at an early stage than after teeth are loose. Luckily, we have a periodontist on staff who can help with any concerns you may have about gum disease.
How Safe are Dental X-Rays?
Todays modern x-ray machines, and fast dental films, have significantly reduced the amount of radiation exposure from dental x-rays, making them quite safe. In fact, you will get more radiation exposure from being outdoors in the sun than you will from dental x-rays. Radiation exposure is cumulative, which means that the amount that your body can safely handle is determined over an entire year, not one or two dental visits.