Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Dental Care
What is the best way to floss my teeth?
You want to clean your teeth with floss (waxed or unwaxed is up to you) by "sawing" the floss between your teeth. gently pass the floss through the gum tissue as you wrap the floss around the corner of the tooth. Clean by moving the floss up and down approximate 10 to 12 times. Use a new area of the floss as you progress from one tooth to the next.
Why do I need to see the dentist every six months?
Preventive care by way of frequent check-ups is your best guarantee of preserving the health of your teeth. Even if you have the best oral hygiene habits you may have a genetic predisposition to tooth decay. Early diagnosis of decay is the key to minimizing its effect and saving your teeth from needing root canals or from breaking. Early detection also helps to reduce dental costs.
When should my children begin dental exams?
Although is it desirable to see children as early as possible, some children aren't ready to sit for a lengthy dental visit at an early age. We often suggest that a young child visits our office and observe the parents or older siblings during a cleaning appointment. We have found learning by example to be a very effective method. The child is allowed to observe the office and get to know our staff in a safe, non-threatening environment. We usually suggest that children begin their first exams the time they are three years old.
What is fluoride and does it really protect my teeth?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element, discovered to help prevent tooth decay when fluoride was found in higher concentrations in the local drinking water in many states. When used properly in small amounts, fluoride is a very safe material. The amounts found in local drinking water are safe and are less than are found in many naturally occurring water sources. Fluoride becomes incorporated into the structure of the teeth. It provides additional strength and is slightly antibacterial in nature. It helps the most as the teeth are forming.
What is gingivitis and is it different from gum disease?
The terms gingivitis, pyorrhea, periodontal disease and gum disease are synonymous. Gingivitis is the oral response to a bacterial infection. There are some body dysfunctions, which allow an increased incidence of periodontal disease, Down syndrome, autoimmune diseases and others, but generally, bacteria are the cause of the infection. Healthy gingival tissues exhibit a balance between the type and the number of bacteria present. The disease occurs when the balance is disrupted and bacteria becomes predominant. Tissue swelling, redness, exudate, and pain generally accompany the disease process. Left unaltered, the disease affects the bone support for the teeth. The exact sequence is not totally understood, but there is more bone loss than regeneration. This process of more loss than replacement directly correlates to the amount and duration of the infection, although there may be some individual differences. Unless the disease process is addressed, the bone loss continues.