WHAT IS DENTISTRY?
WHAT IS A DENTIST?
A dentist is a specialist who works to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Our dentists have completed at least eight years of schooling to obtain either a Doctorate of Dental Surgery or a Doctorate of Dental Medicine degree.
If a doctor is a pediatric dentist, this means that he or she specializes in caring for children from infancy through their teen years. A pediatric dentist has received the proper education and training needed to work with young kids.
Other specializations include:
- Oral and maxillofacial (including pathology, radiology, and surgery)
- Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
- Periodontics (gum disease)
- Prosthodontics (implants)
WHY IS VISITING THE DENTIST SO IMPORTANT?
Visiting our office regularly will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. Dental care is important because it:
- Helps prevent tooth decay
- Protects against periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to tooth and bone loss
- Prevents bad breath; brushing, flossing, and seeing us regularly will help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath
- Gives you a more attractive smile and increases your self-confidence
- Helps keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco
- Strengthens your teeth so you can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of your life!
MY TEETH FEEL FINE; DO I STILL NEED TO SEE A DENTIST?
Your teeth may feel fine, but it’s still worthwhile to see us regularly because problems can exist without your knowing. Your smile’s appearance is important, and our doctors can help keep it healthy and looking beautiful.
With so many advances in dentistry, you no longer have to settle for stained, chipped, missing, or misshapen teeth. Today’s dentists offer many treatment choices that can help you smile with confidence, including:
- Professional teeth whitening
- Fillings that mimic the appearance of natural teeth
- Tooth replacement and full smile makeovers
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING THE RIGHT DENTIST FOR ME?
Choosing a dentist who “clicks” with you and your family is important, and you may wish to consider several dentists before making your final decision. During your first visit, you should be able to determine whether the dentist is right for you. During your appointment, consider the following:
- Is the appointment schedule convenient?
- Is the office easy to get to and close by?
- Does the office appear to be clean and orderly?
- Was your medical and dental history recorded and placed in a permanent file?
- Does the dentist explain techniques for good oral health?
- Is information about cost presented to you before treatment is scheduled?
- Is your dentist a member of the ADA (American Dental Association)?
HOW CAN I TAKE CARE OF MY TEETH BETWEEN DENTAL CHECKUPS?
- ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth at least two times a day, and floss at least once!
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask our team if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities.
- Avoid foods with a lot of sugar (which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth and can cause more plaque and potential cavities), and avoid tobacco (which can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, and eventually lead to oral cancer).
- Don’t be afraid to brush your tongue! This will remove food particles and reduce the amount of plaque-causing bacteria. Tongue brushing also helps keep your breath fresh.
- Be sure to schedule your routine checkup. It is recommended that you visit the dentist every six months.
AT WHAT AGE SHOULD I START TAKING MY CHILD TO SEE THE DENTIST?
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I SEE THE DENTIST?
WHAT IS A CAVITY?
If a cavity is left untreated, it can lead to more serious oral health problems. Cavities can be prevented by remembering to brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss between teeth at least once.
WHAT IS A FILLING?
Fillings are made from a variety of different materials, including composites, gold, or ceramic. If you need a filling, be sure to talk to us about what type is best for you and your teeth.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I BRUSH MY TEETH?
It is also recommended that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride when you brush your teeth. You should spend at least a minute on the top teeth and a minute on the bottom, and remember to brush your tongue; it will help keep your breath smelling fresh!
WHEN SHOULD I CHANGE MY TOOTHBRUSH?
Patients with gum disease are encouraged to change their toothbrush every four to six weeks to keep bacteria from spreading. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with hot water to kill germs and keep the bristles clean. If you’ve been sick, be sure to change your toothbrush as soon as possible.
WHAT IS GUM DISEASE?
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is mostly caused by plaque and bacteria buildup that is not treated in its early stage. Other causes of periodontal disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics.
Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease. If detected, it is treatable. Gingivitis left untreated may turn into gum disease. Advanced gum disease will lead to tooth and bone loss, and is a permanent condition.
Brushing your teeth regularly and visiting our office every six months will help prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of periodontal disease. Common signs of gum disease:
- Red, irritated, bleeding, or swollen gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose teeth, or loss of teeth
- Extreme tooth sensitivity
- Receding gum line
- Abscessed teeth