Dentistry is the analysis, healing, and deterrence of oral ailments. Dentistry focuses on the mouth, the teeth, the gums, and the jaw, with the belief that dental health is vital to keep your whole body functioning optimally.
Dentists have expertise in finding, healing, and avoiding complications with your oral health. After a minimum of eight years of school, your dentist possesses one of two degrees: a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). Pediatric dentists have extensive experience with young patients, ranging from newborns to teens. There are other specialties your dentist might hold, such as endodontics, periodontics, oral radiology, oral surgery, prosthodontics, and orthodontics.
Why should I visit the dentist?
Oral health and full body health go hand in hand. To maintain good oral health, it’s imperative that you visit your dentist every six months to avoid potential problems. If caught early, most problems can be reversed easily.
Dental care fights against tooth decay, which can result in loss of teeth. Regular visits can fend off gum disease and thwart bad breath caused by bacteria. Daily flossing and brushing will keep your smile bright and beautiful while reducing food and drink stains. A regular dentist visit and cleaning regimen can give you a strong, spectacular smile that will last a lifetime.
My teeth seem fine. Do I need a dentist?
While your teeth may feel normal and healthy, visiting a dentist will reduce the risk of major problems that can lie undetected. We can also offer you a smile facelift, eliminating embarrassing flaws in your teeth. You don’t need to hide your smile due to chipped, discolored, or absent teeth. We give patients innovative options to enhance their smiles. We provide in-office teeth whitening, tooth replacements, easily blending fillings, and complete smile restorations.
How do I choose the right dentist?
It’s okay to be picky. You’ll want to keep your dentist for years and years, and finding a dentist with a warm personality that you like and trust can take time. While you’re shopping around, here are some things to think about:
- Does the appointment calendar fit my lifestyle?
- Is the office nearby?
- Is the office clean, tidy, and welcoming?
- Did a staff member create a permanent file for you?
- Did the dentist enlighten you on how to maintain your oral health?
- Did the staff reveal the cost of procedures before scheduling them?
- Is your doctor a part of the American Dental Association?
How do I practice great oral care at home?
- First and foremost, floss once a day! Brush your teeth well at least thrice daily with fluoride toothpaste.
- Consider using a fluoride rinse to strengthen your teeth and deter cavities.
- Stay away from sugary foods and drinks, as sugar is a breeding ground for bacteria, and bacteria open the door to plaque and cavities.
- Put down the tobacco. Tobacco not only stains teeth, causing you to look older, but it also can be a factor in gum disease. In more advanced cases, tobacco can give patients oral cancer.
- Brush your tongue to get rid of lingering pieces of food and lessen the plaque in your mouth. You’ll also notice fresher breath as a side effect!
- Come see us twice a year to make sure there are no problems with your teeth, gums, or jaw.
When should I bring my child to the dentist?
As suggested by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your child should visit a dentist between the ages of six months and one year, as your child’s baby teeth will be erupting in that time. The dentist will inspect your infant’s mouth for any problems, and routine checkups should occur every six months.
How often should I see my dentist?
No matter how old you are, all patients should receive regular inspections every six months. Those with known risks for gum disease, tooth decay, or oral cancer may need more frequent checkups. Talk with your doctor to find out how often your teeth should be evaluated.
What’s a cavity?
When a tooth decays, little holes form in the tooth. These holes are cavities. The outside of our teeth can develop plaque. When we eat foods with high sugars or starch, these ingredients react with the plaque, yielding a harmful acid. The acid can stay in your mouth, eroding your tooth’s enamel. If cavities aren’t properly dealt with, more severe oral problems can threaten your dental health. To keep cavities from forming, avoid sugary foods and floss and brush regularly.
What’s a filling?
Once your dentist eradicates your tooth decay, he fills in the cavity – the hole – with an artificially designed filling. Receiving a filling is painless, as your doctor will use an anesthetic to sufficiently numb the area. Made from ceramic, gold, or other materials, fillings can further protect your teeth from decay. Before deciding on the type of filling you need, discuss your options with your dentist.
What’s the right way to brush my teeth?
The American Dental Association says your teeth need to be brushed a minimum of twice daily. Regular brushing cleans teeth, eliminates bacteria, and keeps your gums healthy. Dentists prefer patients use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush with fluoride toothpaste. Time yourself! Spend a full minute on your upper teeth and another full minute on your lower teeth, and your smile will shine with health and beauty. Don’t forget to brush the tongue to deter bad breath!
How often should I replace my toothbrush?
If you practice good oral care – at least two brushings a day – you’ll probably need a new toothbrush every three months. This varies for patients with electric toothbrushes. Read the instructions specific to your toothbrush to see what is recommended. Patients suffering from gum disease should replace their toothbrushes more frequently – once every four to six weeks. When you’re finished brushing your teeth, run your toothbrush under very hot water. This will destroy any germs on your toothbrush, and your bristles will stay sterile. If you’ve recently recovered from an illness, you’ll probably want to replace your toothbrush.
What’s gum disease?
When bacteria and plaque are left untreated in the mouth, gum disease, or periodontal disease, can set in. Gum disease can also develop from grinding your teeth, genetics, using tobacco, or taking certain medications. Before gum disease is full-fledged, it shows itself in its early phases as gingivitis. If gum disease is severe, it can result in bone loss and tooth loss. Once it’s set in, gum disease is not reversible.
Gum disease is often noticed by these symptoms: a diminishing gum line, intense sensitivity, swollen and bloody gums, infected teeth, prolonged bad breath, and loose or missing teeth.
To reduce your risks of gingivitis and gum disease, brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist routinely.
Will I need dental checkups every six months if I have braces?
Absolutely! Since having braces means it’s harder to reach food with a toothbrush, regular cleanings can ensure that your future smile isn’t only straight, but that it’s clean and white. The lingering food particles can harbor bacteria, which can progress to more serious conditions such as cavities, gingivitis, and even periodontal disease. Your orthodontist and dentist can work as a team to give you a straight, gorgeous smile for life.
How can I schedule an appointment?
We’re just a call away! Our friendly front desk team can assist you, finding an ideal time for your upcoming checkup. If you’re new to our practice, mention this on the phone, and we’ll make sure you’re all set for your initial visit.