Our practice is committed to providing you and your family with safe, gentle, high-quality dental care. We understand that you, or your child, may feel anxious about visiting the dentist. We are sensitive to your needs, and it is our goal to make you feel comfortable visiting our practice while providing the best care possible.
How often should I visit the dentist?
Children, teens, and adults should all see the dentist for a regular checkup at least once every six months. Depending on your current periodontal health, some patients need to be seen every 3-4 months. Patients who are at a greater risk for oral cancer or gum disease may be required to see the dentist more than just twice a year. Your doctor will help determine how often you should visit the dentist for regular checkups.
Your first visit?
During your first visit, we will review your dental and medical history forms, and take X-rays of your teeth and mouth. Then, the doctor will meet with you to discuss your X-rays, help you create your own individual treatment plan, and answer any questions that you may have. At your next visit, one of our hygienists will clean and polish your teeth, checking your teeth and gums for any cavities or early signs of tooth decay or gingivitis.
Remember to bring your completed office forms if you chose not to fill them up online and your insurance card if you have insurance.
Why are regular check ups important?
The American Dental Association recommends visiting your dentist every six months for regular checkups and routine teeth cleanings to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
We understand that you have a busy schedule, so when you're preparing to visit the dentist, please remember that your appointments can last between 45 and 90 minutes.
At what age should I take my child to visit the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children first see a dentist as early as six months of age and no later than one year of age. We recommend 2 ½ to 3 years of age for your child's first cleaning. Sometimes kids are ready at that age and other times not. You know your child best. Many of our patients bring their child to their own cleaning appointment. This allows the child to acclimate to the environment and generally makes their own appointment relaxing and comfortable. If during the child's first cleaning they are uncomfortable, we will turn the visit into a "happy visit". A happy visit means maybe polishing only or sometimes just saying "Hi". Generally, the patient will come back and do just fine.
During this time, your child's baby teeth will be coming in and your dentist can examine the health of your child's first few teeth. After the first visit, be sure to schedule regular checkups every six months.
What is a cavity?
A cavity is a small hole that forms inside the tooth because of tooth decay which is bacterial colonization. Cavities are formed when plaque buildup on the outside of the tooth combines with sugars and starches in the food you eat. This produces an acid that can eat away the enamel on your tooth. 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. This is the minimal care and because of the nature of today's foods we can recommend other leading edge supplemental care suggestions.
What is a filling?
A filling is a synthetic material that your dentist uses to fill a cavity after all of the tooth decay has been removed. We have not done a silver or metal filling in over 20 years. All our fillings are NONMETAL. Many fillings can be done without anesthesia using modern techniques like air abrasion. Other fillings that are larger may require numbing your mouth with an anesthetic. Irregardless, we will make your experience comfortable. Fillings are made from a variety of different materials, including composites, gold(if you prefer), or ceramic. If you need a filling, be sure to talk to your doctor about what type is best for you and your teeth.
How many times a day should I brush my teeth?
According to your dentist and the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least two times a day. Brushing keeps your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy by removing bacteria-causing plaque. 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 teeth, and remember to brush your tongue; it will help keep your breath smelling fresh!
How long should I use my toothbrush?
Your toothbrush will eventually wear out, especially if you are brushing your teeth twice a day for two to three minutes each time. Your dentist recommends that adults and children change their toothbrush every three months. If you are using an electric toothbrush, be sure to read the directions because you may not need to change toothbrush heads as frequently. Patients with gum disease are encouraged to change their toothbrush every four to six weeks to keep any 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. Being proactive is the key to maintain a lifelong healthy mouth. Like anything else, early detection is key to minimizing problems.
Do I need to visit a dentist if my teeth feel fine?
Unfortunately with teeth, when you feel any discomfort, it usually means you have a deep cavity or may need a root canal. Early detection and prevention are key to minimizing more involved problems.
So even if your teeth feel fine, it's important to see the dentist regularly because problems can exist without you knowing. Your smile's appearance is important, and your dentist can help keep your smile 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
If I have braces, do I need to have my teeth cleaned?
Absolutely! In fact, it's even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can't reach. This causes viruses and bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
Do I need to have regular cleanings if I have dentures?
Absolutely! Its even more critical. With any appliance in your mouth, there is accumulation of viruses and bacteria that can grow and flourish with appliance materials. Overgrowth of bacteria and viruses can lead to gum inflammation and stressing of your immune system. Increasing evidence is that the viruses and bacteria in your mouth can affect your overall body health, including heart disease, diabetes and brain conditions as Alzheimer's and dementia.
What is gum disease or "pyorrhea"?
Periodontal disease or gum disease is mostly caused by plaque and viral 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, and, if detected, 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 the dentist 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
How do I schedule an appointment?
Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next dental checkup at your convenience. If you are a new patient, please let us know and we will provide you with all the information you need for your first dental visit.
Through our website, you can email us and we will get back to you quickly.
We love technology. People are busy and we use texting and emailing regularly to keep patients informed and connected.