Why dental health is important?

Dental health is important for many reasons. First, nutrition is extremely important for our overall health and having healthy teeth and gums is essential to be able to eat healthy. In addition, dental diseases, especially gum disease can affect your overall health. Severe gum disease has been associated with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other serious medical conditions. Having excellent dental and oral health is crucial for your overall health.

Why is it important to go to the dentist?

Regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. Some problems, like tooth decay and gum disease do not present with noticeable symptoms and can be detected early only by a dentist.

How often do you get your teeth cleaned?

Typically, adults should have their preventive dental visits every six months. People with higher risk for decay and periodontal disease may need to visit the dentist more often. Your dentist will suggest your preventative and maintenance schedule based on the clinical findings and the risk factors.

How can I prevent getting cavities?

Good oral hygiene is essential to prevent cavities. Brush, floss and rinse with fluoride rinse. Do not snack and sip between meals. You need to visit your dentist regularly. Talk with your dentist about dental sealants; they can be very efficient in preventing cavities, especially in the back teeth.

Why do my teeth hurt or bleed when I brush/floss?

Sometimes, your gums can bleed when you brush or floss. This is a sign of inflammation of the gums, called gingivitis; or inflammation of both the gums and the supporting tissues, called periodontitis. Either way, you should see your dentist about this. In addition, your teeth can become sensitive when brushing, rinsing or drinking cold beverages. This may be a symptom of recession of the gums or deep cavity. Your dentist can determine the cause of your problems and treat it very efficiently.

What do they do during a dental exam?

Dental exam typically includes comprehensive evaluation of your teeth and gums. The dentist will evaluate the oral cavity, including cheeks, tongue, oral mucosa, gingiva and teeth. The dentist will typically record any existing decay and restorations. Often, x-rays are needed to aid in the exam. The diligent dentists also perform oral cancer screenings, where the oral cavity is checked for any abnormalities or signs of oral cancer. Finally, the dentist should develop a comprehensive treatment plan to address the problems and present it to the patient.

How often should I replace my toothbrush?

You should replace your toothbrush every 3 months or sooner if the bristles on the toothbrush are frayed. Also, it is not a bad idea to change your toothbrush every time you get sick.

How often should you go to the dentist for a checkup?

Checkups in the dental office are typically done twice a year, if not needed before. In some cases, where patient have higher risks for developing caries or periodontal disease, they should have regular checkups more frequently, like every 3 months.

How long will the results of teeth whitening last?

No teeth whitening methods can whiten your teeth permanently and forever. Typically, some change in the final shade achieved with these procedures will occur between one to three years after the treatment. This however does not mean all results are lost as most of the whitening effect will be there. Some of the patients’ habits like smoking, drinking coffee and oral hygiene habits can affect the longevity of the teeth whitening treatment. Nevertheless, some people’s teeth maintain the desired white shade after these procedures for over 10 years without any further treatment. It is always a good idea to talk to your dentist about this as different teeth whitening techniques have different effects.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround your teeth. It is caused by the bacteria in the dental plaque, the sticky film of bacteria on our teeth. The bacteria in the plaque initiate a response from our own immune system, which in turn causes inflammation to occur. Periodontal disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.

What causes periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is caused by the reaction of our own body to the presence of dental plaque bacteria. The bacteria from the sticky film, called dental plaque incite an immune response from our body, weakening the supporting tissues around our teeth, causing infection, swollen and bleeding gums, and sometimes tooth loss.

Why should I floss?

Flossing properly can help you remove about 40% of the dental plaque, the bacteria containing sticky film that is the major cause of gum disease. The gum areas between your teeth are natures “blind spots” that cannot be easily reached with the toothbrush so flossing is essential for removing plaque from those areas.

How do I prevent tooth decay?

Tooth decay can be prevented in most cases. Brush twice a day, floss at least once a day and use a fluoride-containing mouth rinse. Do not snack between meals and eat healthy. Use xylitol chewing gum after and between meals. Visit your dentist regularly.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a reversible form of gum disease. When bacteria from the dental plaque cause our body to respond to their presence, inflammation occurs. When the infection is located simply in the gingiva and has not spread into the bone or other supporting tissue; it is called-gingivitis. Gingivitis is easily reversible with professional cleanings and good oral hygiene.

How do I stop from getting cavities?

Cavities can be prevented with good oral hygiene habits, good nutritional protocol and regular dental care. Brush, floss and rinse. Eat healthy and do not snack between meals. Visit your dentist as recommended or every 6 months at least.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease is caused by the response of our own immune system to the challenge of the oral bacteria. The bacteria from the saliva form a sticky film, called dental plaque on all surfaces in the mouth, including our teeth. These bacteria, if not removed, build up more and more until they provoke an immune response from our body. During the “battle” between the bacteria and our own body, the “battlefield” (gums, connective tissue and bone) is damaged and/or destroyed. This weakens the bone and supporting tissues around our teeth, and eventually can lead to tooth loss.

How do you stop tooth decay?

The best way to resolve an existing tooth decay problem is to visit your dentist. Dentists have to physically remove the decay and treat the damaged tooth in order to resolve your problem. Filling, root canal and/or crown may be recommended depending on the extent of the damage caused by the decay.

What causes gingivitis?

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gingiva that surrounds the teeth. The oral bacteria that accumulate in the dental plaque most often cause this by challenging our immune system. If not removed our gums can become swollen, bleed, cause discomfort and eventually lead to true destruction of the supporting tissues, even tooth loss.

What does a deep cleaning consist of?

Deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planning is a specific procedure used to treat patients with periodontal disease. Patients with deeper periodontal pockets and lots of plaque and tartar, especially under the gums, often require this procedure. The dentist or dental hygienist will utilize specific instruments (curettes) to clean all tooth surfaces and smoothen all roughness on the roots and under the gums. The dentist or the dental hygienist usually does it under local anesthesia, in most cases.

Why is it important to maintain good oral hygiene?

Good oral hygiene is crucial in maintaining your dental and gum health. Effective oral hygiene is the best tool to remove the harmful bacteria from your teeth and prevent decay and periodontal (gum) disease. The process of dental plaque formation and the settling of bacteria in it is quick and never-ending process. Therefore, it is essential to use a proper brushing and flossing technique; and do it on a regular basis, in addition to your regular dental visits.

Why should I go to the dentist regularly?

Every problem is treated easier if caught on time. If you develop gingivitis, it is reversible and relatively easy to treat with good cleaning and solid oral hygiene. If left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis and the loss of bone and supporting tissues is mostly irreversible. Similarly, incipient decay lesions can be treated relatively easy while deep caries can lead to inflammation of the nerve of the tooth. If left untreated, this may require root canal treatment, or even extraction of the tooth in question.

I have dentures. Is it necessary for me to still see my dentist?

Your dentist does much more than just “checking teeth”. Visits to the dentist are still recommended for people wearing complete dentures. Oral cancer screenings are part of the oral exam and should be performed on all patients, especially the denture-wearing patients. Your dentist will also check if the denture still fits well and anything needs to be done to ensure perfect fit and complete functionality.

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