Visiting the Dentist
Infection, movement, and other abnormalities can happen to your teeth all the time. To make sure that you are staying ahead of any potential issue, you should visit your dentist at least once every six months.
For your first appointment, we recommend you bring the following forms and documents:
- A picture ID
- Insurance card or number and any related insurance forms
- Any referral paperwork
- List of current prescriptions and relevant medical history
- Any dental X-ray in your possession taken in the last six months
- List of questions regarding your treatment
The length of your appointment will depend on the treatment. If you are coming in for a routine visit, the process will take about an hour. On the other hand, if you need extensive dental work or a surgical procedure, you should expect to be in the office for several hours and possibly return for a follow-up or to complete the procedure.
Regular visits to the dentist help you stay on top of potential dental health issues and allows you to receive thorough cleanings and other necessary preventative treatments.
During a routine checkup, you should expect to meet with your dentist or hygienist and answer several questions about your dental health and at-home care routine. Afterward, you will receive a specialized teeth cleaning and a check for cavities and gum disease.
At-Home Dental Care
According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Each time you brush your teeth you should do so for two minutes. This helps prevent cavities and prevent staining.
Although effective and necessary, brushing your teeth doesn’t catch all the food particles that can get stuck between the crevices of your teeth. Flossing regularly helps remove particles that can cause infections and halitosis (chronic bad breath).
Millions of people suffer from sensitive teeth and there are several options for decreasing this condition:
- Use desensitizing toothpaste made specifically for sensitive teeth
- Buy a toothbrush with soft bristles
- Avoiding eating acidic foods
- If you suffer from tooth grinding, consider purchasing a mouthguard
Swelling of the gums and frequent bleeding is a sign of gum disease (periodontitis), a disease caused by an infection resulting from plaque or bacterial build-up. Periodontitis is painful and can harm soft tissue. It can even threaten the stability of your teeth, so you should visit your dentist right away if this problem persists.
While you’re awake, your mouth is constantly producing saliva which serves as a natural lubricant and cleanser. When you sleep, your saliva production decreases and if food particles remain in your teeth, bacteria in your mouth will break down those particles – without saliva, this process produces morning breath.
Dental Care for Children
Fluoride is an important mineral for adults and children alike. Fluoride helps strengthen teeth and protect the enamel from bacteria which reverses decay and prolongs the oral health of your child.
There are several ways that a dentist can help keep your child’s oral health in top shape. Most commonly, dentists provide dental sealants that help protect tooth enamel from chipping and staining.
Typically, dental braces are used once a child has lost most or all of their primary (baby) teeth, and a majority of their permanent teeth have had the opportunity to grow in. This tends to happen between the ages of eight and fourteen.
Although X-rays do emit some radiation, the levels are miniscule and do not cause any harm. However, we take extra precautions with children and do not prescribe X-rays routinely. We only use them when necessary.
According to The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, you should bring your child to the dentist as early as one year of age or within six months after the first tooth comes in.
Common Questions about Dental Treatment
Despite the bad reputation, root canal treatment is relatively painless. The purpose of the procedure is to alleviate pain and stop the infection from worsening or spreading to other teeth. There is typically some tenderness to the treatment area after the procedure is over but much of that pain can be alleviated with medications.
Although there are many over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments, there is no substitute for a professional whitening treatment. A dentist can provide effective treatment that can range from light to whitening gels that demonstrate results after just one visit.
A dentist does more than just check teeth. We examine your overall dental health, state of your jaw bone, and condition of soft gum tissue. Even if none of your natural teeth remain, you should definitely visit the dentist regularly.
Poor dental hygiene and frequently eating sugary foods can cause cavities on the tooth surface. These cavities can cause pain and sensitivity. If you are experiencing pain as a result of cavities, your dentist will provide a dental filling to remediate the condition.
In the vast majority of cases, chronic bad breath is caused by a dental condition such as bacterial infection. In most cases, a dentist can diagnose and treat the source of your bad breath.