Before recommending treatments, our doctors conduct dental and oral checkups and exams. We provide you with assessments that carefully weigh in risk factors for diseases. After your first appointment, our dentists discuss treatment options with you or schedule a date for your next cleaning or exam appointment.
We make sure that all patients understand how suggested treatments will be conducted before these are done. Your full understanding of dental treatments and procedures is the key to the success of any solution that we provide. Ask us about suitable treatment options open to you and we will provide you with all the information that you need.
Q: Why is it important that I visit my dentist every 6 months?
A: Well, you might be surprised to learn the extent of what really goes on during your regular check-up. In addition to cleaning and polishing all the visible and hidden surfaces of your teeth, we also check for many potential problems. Tooth decay, oral cancer, and periodontal (gum) disease are just a few examples of problems that can have serious consequences if left undetected.
We recommend that our patients visit our office at least twice each year to ensure their optimal oral health and to help avoid serious and costly problems. In certain cases, we may even recommend 3 or 4 visits per year in order to properly treat conditions that require more regular attention.
Maintaining a regular dental appointment schedule isn’t just good for your teeth. It’s an important part of your overall health.
Q: When should I bring my child in for their first visit?
A: Recent studies have shown that by the age of 3, a child is already at risk of having cavities which can be caused by something as innocent as putting a baby to sleep with a bottle of juice or milk. Along with taking our first look at your child’s oral condition, this first appointment is also largely focused on the parents and helping them to establish a good oral hygiene program and diet for the child. We believe that a child should have his or her first dental visit by the time they are 3 years old.
It is a little-known fact that a child's primary teeth are vital to the long-term health of their permanent adult teeth. The premature loss of primary teeth as a result of accidents or decay can cause serious problems, including poorly spaced and crooked adult teeth. As a result, it is just as important to care for a child's baby teeth as it is for the adult teeth that follow.
Q: How can I help myself to prevent bad breath?
A: According to recent studies, almost half the population of adults in North America suffers at least occasionally from bad breath (halitosis). The most common cause of bad breath is bacteria in the mouth and on the back of the tongue. These bacteria produce a volatile sulfur compound, which in turn produces a smell similar to rotten eggs. Other causes of halitosis include certain foods, smoking, alcohol, hormonal changes, or simply being hungry.
Depending upon the type of bad breath, the treatment usually begins with ensuring meticulous oral hygiene. Your dentist or dental hygienist will check for gum disease and if necessary, prepare a detailed treatment plan. Tongue scraping should also become an important part of daily home care and part of your regular tooth brushing routine.
Q: Why is flossing so important?
A: While brushing is very effective at removing plaque and food debris from your teeth, a toothbrush simply cannot effectively clean all of the surfaces of your teeth. In particular, the spaces between your teeth are difficult, if not impossible, to clean properly by brushing alone. This can mean that people who brush regularly are still very susceptible to cavities and gum infections in these areas.
The use of dental floss or tape once a day can clean these difficult to reach surfaces and provide you with a truly clean and healthy mouth. It takes just a few minutes per day, and the payback is a cleaner and healthier mouth. Please contact our office if you have any questions about the proper care of your teeth and gums. Any one of our staff members will be happy to answer your questions.
Q: My wife says I grind my teeth when I sleep. Is this something to worry about?
A: Tooth grinding or bruxism, is a serious issue that can result in damage to your teeth, poor sleep patterns, and soreness in the muscles of the face and neck, not to mention an unhappy spouse. Fortunately, this problem can normally be corrected with the use of a dental night guard.
Night guards look much like a sports mouth guard but are specially designed to prevent muscle tension and withstand the intense pressure exerted by tooth grinders. Only your dental office can provide a custom-made night guard that will fit your teeth perfectly.
Ask us about dental night guards or other treatments available to relieve tension and discomfort in the jaw and neck.
Q: How does what I eat affect my dental health, and what can I do to protect my teeth and gums?
A: We’ve all heard, “You are what you eat,” and this is especially true when dealing with our dental health. It is particularly important to keep an eye on your midday snacks and to take regular care of your dental needs throughout the day.
Many of us enjoy little snacks between meals. The problem is that these snacks, often starchy and/or high in sugar content, can leave the teeth and gums exposed to the decay-causing elements left behind by the snack. When snacking, try nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables instead of sugary and salty items like chocolate, chips, and pretzels. Also, if you drink coffee, try drinking more water to cut down on stain issues.
To maintain a regular cleaning routine, try keeping a toothbrush with you for brushing after lunch each day in addition to brushing and flossing in the morning and evening. Also, be sure to maintain a regular appointment schedule with your dentist.