Why Is Oral Hygiene So Important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum disease (periodontal disease) than
from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their
life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good,
daily tooth brushing and flossing techniques.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque.
Plaque is a colorless film that sticks to your teeth at the gum line.
Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and
flossing, you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
How To Brush
While brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth, position the brush at
a 45-degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Gently move the brush in
a circular motion several times using small, gentle strokes. Use light
pressure while putting the bristles between the teeth, but not so much
pressure that you feel any discomfort.
When you are done cleaning the outside surfaces of all your teeth, follow
the same directions while cleaning the inside of the back teeth.
To clean the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth, hold the
brush vertically. Make several gentle back-and-forth strokes over each
tooth. Don’t forget to gently brush the surrounding gum tissue.
Next you will clean the biting surfaces of your teeth by using short,
gentle strokes. Change the position of the brush as often as necessary to
reach and clean all surfaces. Try to watch yourself in the mirror to make
sure you clean each surface. After you are done, rinse vigorously to remove
any plaque you might have loosened while brushing.
If you have any pain while brushing or have any questions about how to
brush properly, please be sure to call the office.
How To Floss
disease usually appears between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot
reach. Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from those
surfaces. However, it is important to develop the proper technique. The
following instructions will help you, but remember it takes time and
Start with a
piece of floss (waxed is easier) about 18" long. Lightly wrap most of the
floss around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest of the floss
around the middle finger of the other hand.
To clean the
upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each
hand. Gently insert the floss tightly between the teeth using a
back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or try to snap it in to place.
Bring the floss to the gum line then curve it into a C-shape against one
tooth. Slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel
light resistance. Move the floss up and down on the side of one tooth.
Remember there are two tooth surfaces that need to be cleaned in each space.
Continue to floss each side of all the upper teeth. Be careful not to cut
the gum tissue between the teeth. As the floss becomes soiled, turn from one
finger to the other to get a fresh section.
between the bottom teeth, guide the floss using the forefinger of both
hands. Do not forget the backside of the last tooth on both sides, upper and
When you are
done, rinse vigorously with water to remove plaque and food particles. Do
not be alarmed if during the first week of flossing your gums bleed or are a
little sore. If your gums hurt while flossing you could be doing it too hard
or pinching the gum. As you floss daily and remove the plaque, your gums
will heal and the bleeding should stop.
Caring For Sensitive Teeth
after dental treatment, teeth are sensitive to hot and cold. This should not
last long, provided your mouth is kept clean. If your mouth is not kept
clean, the sensitivity will remain and could become more severe. If your
teeth are especially sensitive, consult with your doctor. They may recommend
a medicated toothpaste or mouth rinse made especially for sensitive teeth.
brushing and flossing will keep dental calculus (tartar) to a minimum, but a
professional cleaning will remove calculus in places your toothbrush and
floss have missed. Your visit to our office is an important part of your
program to prevent gum disease. Keep your teeth for your lifetime.
nutrition plays a large role in your dental health. Brushing and flossing
help keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong. However, a balanced diet
will help to boost your body’s immune system, leaving you less vulnerable to
How often and
what you eat have been found to affect your dental health. Eating starchy
foods such as crackers, bread, cookies, and candy causes the bacteria in
your mouth feed on it, they then produce acids, which attack your teeth for
up to 20 minutes or more. Foods that stick to your teeth or are slow to
dissolve give the acids more time to work on destroying tooth enamel.
Sticky and starchy foods
create less acid when eaten as part of a meal. Saliva production increases
at mealtime, rinsing away food particles, and neutralizing harmful acids.
Foods such as nuts,
cheese, onions, and some teas have been shown to slow growth of decay
causing bacteria in the mouth.
Your Child's First Visit
dental visit is usually short and involves very little treatment. We may ask
the parent to sit in the dental chair and hold their child during the
examination. The parent may also be asked to wait in the reception area
during part of the visit so that a relationship can be built between your
child and your dentist.
gently examine your child's teeth and gums. X-rays may be taken (to reveal
decay and check on the progress of your child's permanent teeth under the
gums). We may clean your child's teeth and apply topical fluoride to help
protect the teeth against decay. We will make sure your child is receiving
adequate fluoride at home. Most important of all, we will review with you
how to clean and care for your child's teeth.
What Should I Tell My Child About Their First Dental Visit?
We are asked
this question many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way
that you would before their first haircut or trip to the shoe store. Your
child's reaction to his/her first visit to the dentist may surprise you.
Some First Visit Tips
- Take your child for a
"preview" or online tour of the office.
- Read books with them
about going to the dentist.
- Review with them what
the dentist will be doing at the time of the first visit.
- Speak positively about
your own dental experiences
What Will Happen During The First Visit With Your Dentist?
- Examination of your
child’s mouth, teeth, and gums.
- Evaluate adverse
habits like thumb sucking.
- Check to see if your
child need fluoride.
- Teach you about
cleaning your child’s teeth and gums.
- Suggest a schedule for
regular dental visits.
What About Preventive Care?
and children no longer have to go hand-in-hand. At our office, we are most
concerned with all aspects of preventive care. We use the latest in sealant
technology to protect your child's teeth. Sealants are space-age plastics
that are bonded to the chewing surfaces of decay prone back teeth. This is
just one of the ways we will set the foundation for your child's lifetime of
good oral health.
Most of the
time cavities are due to a diet high in sugary foods and a lack of brushing.
Limiting sugar intake and brushing regularly, of course, can help. The
longer it takes your child to chew their foods the longer the residue stays
on their teeth, the greater the chances of getting cavities.
someone eats, an acid reaction occurs inside their mouth as the bacteria
digests the sugars. This reaction lasts approximately 20 minutes. During
this time the acid environment can destroy the tooth structure, eventually
leading to cavities.
of a person's saliva also makes a difference. Thinner saliva breaks up and
washes away food more quickly. When a person eats diets high in
carbohydrates and sugars, they tend to have thicker saliva that allows more
acid-producing bacteria that can cause cavities.
Tips For Cavity Prevention
- Limit frequency of
meals and snacks.
- Encourage brushing,
flossing, and rinsing.
- Watch what you drink.
- Avoid sticky foods.
- Make treats part of
- Choose nutritious
baby teeth that come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. You will
notice this when your baby is about six to eight months old. Next to follow
will be the four upper front teeth and the remainder of your baby's teeth
will appear periodically. They will usually appear in pairs along the sides
of the jaw until the child is about 2-1/2 years old.
2-1/2 years old, your child should have all 20 teeth. Between the ages of
five and six, the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the
permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some don't. Don't worry if some teeth
are a few months early or lat. All children are different.
Periodontal diseases are
infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural
teeth. There are numerous disease entities requiring different treatment
approaches. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically
susceptible individuals. Daily brushing and flossing will prevent most
Why Is Oral Hygiene So Important?
Adults over 35 lose more
teeth to gum diseases, (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out
of four adults are affected by periodontal disease at some time in their
life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good
tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.
Periodontal disease and
decay are both caused by bacterial plaque and can be accelerated by a number
of different factors. Plaque is a colorless film that sticks to your teeth
at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily
brushing and flossing, you can remove these germs and help prevent
If not carefully removed
by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous
substance known as calculus (or tartar).
found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may
cause them to turn red, swell, and bleed easily. If this irritation is
prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to
form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone
that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to
Preventing Gum Disease
The best way
to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as
regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with
the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of
periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is
necessary to prevent its progress.
Other important factors affecting the
health of your gums include:
- Clenching and grinding
- Poor nutrition
What Is An Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
Oral and maxillofacial
surgeons are dentists specializing in surgery of the mouth, face, and jaws.
After four years of dental school, surgeons receive four to seven years of
hospital-based surgical and medical training, preparing them to do a wide
range of procedures including all types of surgery of both the bones and
soft tissues of the face, mouth, and neck.
What Is A Periodontist?
dentists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal
disease. They have had extensive training with two additional years of study
after dental school. As specialists they devote their time, energy, and
skill to helping patients care for their gums. A periodontist is one of the
eight dental specialists recognized by the American Dental Association.
Why Is Your Dentist Referring You To A
Your dentist has
determined that your gums require special attention. The periodontist and
dentist work together as a team to provide you with the highest level of
care. They will combine their experience to recommend the best treatment
available to you while keeping each other informed on your progress. By
referring you to the specialist, your dentist is showing a strong commitment
to your dental health.
What Is An Endodontist?
examines, diagnoses, and treats diseases and destructive processes,
including injuries and abnormalities of dental pulps and periapical tissues
of the teeth.
patients and interpret radiographs and pulp tests to determine pulp vitality
and periapical tissue condition. They evaluate their findings and prescribe
a method of treatment to prevent loss of teeth.
What Is A Prosthodontist?
examines and diagnoses disabilities caused by loss of teeth and supporting
structures. They formulate and execute treatment plans for the construction
of corrective prostheses to restore proper function and aesthetics of the
mouth, face, and jaw.
What Is A Pediatric Dentist?
A pediatric dentist has
at least two additional years of training beyond dental school. The
additional training focuses on management and treatment of a child’s
developing teeth, child behavior, physical growth and development, and the
special needs of children’s dentistry. Although either type of dentist is
capable of addressing your child’s oral health care needs, a pediatric
dentist, his or her staff, and even the office décor are all geared to care
for children and to put them at ease. If your child has special needs, care
from a pediatric dentist should be considered.
What Is An Orthodontist?
An orthodontist prevents
and treats mouth, teeth, and jaw problems. Using braces, retainers, and
other devices, an orthodontist helps straighten a person's teeth and correct
the way the jaws line up.
children for many problems, including crowded or overlapping teeth or
problems with jaw growth and tooth development. These tooth and jaw problems
may be caused by tooth decay, losing baby teeth too soon, accidents, or
habits like thumb sucking. These problems also can be genetic or inherited.
Why Go To An Orthodontist?
Your dentist or one of
your parents might recommend it because they see a problem with your teeth
or jaws. A child who doesn't like the way his or her teeth look might even
ask to see an orthodontist.