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Patient Education

Your Healthy, Beautiful Smile Is Our Priority

Every day in our office we speak with our patients to answer any questions that they may have regarding the health and maintenance of their oral condition. Listed below for your reference are a few questions that we are asked most often. If you would like to discuss any of these questions in more detail or if you have dental questions of your own, we invite you to call us.

FAQs

Q: When should a child have its first visit to the dentist?

A: Recent studies have shown that by the age of three, 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 when the first tooth erupts or before they reach their first birthday.

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: Why is it important that I visit my dentist every 6 months?

A: We recommend that patients visit our office at least twice each year to ensure their optimal oral health and to help avoid serious and costly future problems. 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. 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 appointment schedule with your dentist isn’t just good for your teeth, it’s an important part of your overall health.

Q: So what is “Cosmetic Dentistry”, and what types of treatments does it involve?

A: Have you ever wondered what you would look like if you had a more attractive looking smile? Providing people with a means of achieving their best smile is what Cosmetic Dentistry is all about. More and more people today are booking appointments with our dental office, not because they are having dental problems, but because they want to smile more confidently. In many cases, these smiles begin with teeth that are crooked, stained, chipped or missing all together. From simple teeth whitening to full smile reconstruction, the end result in most cases is a healthy, attractive looking smile that provides a greater sense of self-confidence and enjoyment of life. If you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth, ask us about what specific treatments in cosmetic dentistry would benefit you.

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: 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 non-dental causes of halitosis include certain foods, smoking, alcohol, hormonal changes or simply being hungry.) If the halitosis is of oral origin, the treatment usually begins with ensuring meticulous hygiene of the mouth. 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. (it’s easy and painless).

Q: How is a mouth guard from my dentist different from one I buy at a sporting goods store?

A: High-speed collisions that occur during the play of sports like hockey, football, soccer and basketball can cause serious tooth damage. A professionally fitted mouth-guard is the best defense for any athlete against this. The mouth guards provided in our office are custom-made to perfectly fit the wearer’s teeth which can result in a more comfortable and secure fit. In addition, we use a heavier mouth guard material selected based upon each patient’s individual needs. The boil and bite mouth-guards that you purchase in retail stores simply can not provide the same level of protection.

Q: How does what I eat affect my dental health, and what can I do to protect my teeth & gums?

A: We’ve all heard, “You are what you eat,” and this is especially true when dealing with our dental health. It is especially 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.