How often should I brush my teeth?

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Your toothbrush should be replaced every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed.

How often should I go to the Dentist for checkups?

For most people, twice a year is usually sufficient; however, only you, your dentist and your hygienist can determine how often is actually necessary. Checkups are needed for regular assessments of the condition and well being of your mouth; therefore, regular checkups are a MUST in order to maintain a healthy, happy smile!

What are dental sealants?

A dental sealant is a plastic, professionally-applied material that is put on the chewing surfaces of back teeth (premolars and molars) to prevent cavities. Sealants provide a physical barrier so that cavity-causing bacteria cannot invade the pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth.

Are dental sealants just for children?

The potential to develop decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are the obvious candidates. Some adults at high risk of decay can benefit from sealants as well. Your dentist can tell you if you would benefit from dental sealants.

How does food cause tooth decay?

When you eat, food passes through your mouth where it encounters germs or bacteria that live in your mouth. This union of food, germs and bacteria create a sticky film of bacteria called plaque.
Bacteria loves sugars found in many foods, and will use the sugar to produce acids that are able to destroy the hard surface (enamel) of the tooth. If this sticky substance is not removed from your teeth, tooth decay will eventually occur.

What causes bad breath?

If you do not brush and floss daily, particles of food will remain in your mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Food that collects between the teeth, around the gums or on your tongue can rot, leaving an extremely unpleasant odor. Dentures, not cleaned properly, can also contain odor-causing bacteria and food particles.

What are the signs of gum disease?

  • red, swollen or tender gums
  • gums that bleed when you brush
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • bad breath that does not go away
  • notice pus between your teeth and gums
  • loose teeth
  • a change in your bite (the way you teeth come together)
  • a change in the fit of partial dentures

Can I prevent gum disease?

You can help prevent periodontal (gum) disease by:
Brushing your teeth really well twice a day (with a toothbrush in good condition).
Cleaning between your teeth with floss or an interdental cleaner.
Eating a balanced diet that limits between meal snacks and visiting your dentist regularly.

I have a knocked out tooth. What do I do?

If the tooth is dirty, hold the tooth by the crown (not the root) and carefully rinse off. Do not scrub or remove any attached tissue fragments. Try to gently re-insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If you are unable to do this, place the tooth in a cup of milk and get to your dentist as quickly as possible. Don't forget to take the tooth with you!

What is nitrous sedation?

Nitrous oxide (N2O) or laughing gas, is simply a gas which you can breathe in. It is colorless, sweet-smelling, and nonirritating and when administered will create a state of conscious sedation. This technique is advantageous for those patients that experience mild anxiety and fear when visiting the dentist.  This technique's use is dependent upon the level of anxiety of the adult patient. 

Why are x-rays taken?

X-rays are extremely useful and important as a diagnostic tool and may reveal the following information:
•position of your teeth
•impacted teeth
•presence and extent of dental decay
•any bone damage
•an abscessed tooth
•jaw fracture
•any malocclusion of teeth
•other abnormalities of the jaw bone or teeth

What is a composite restoration?

Composite resins have mainly been used on the front teeth, where a silver filling would be noticeable; however, the dental industry has been steadily moving towards using the composite more often. Thanks to advances in modern dental materials and techniques, teeth can now be restored with more aesthetic and natural appearing filling materials. Increasingly, these fillings are now also being used on the back teeth. Even though these fillings have the advantage of being the color of the teeth, they are more expensive than silver amalgam and may not last as long on surfaces exposed to heavy chewing forces.

These tooth colored fillings are made up of a composite quartz resin and contain a light sensitive agent. The materials come in a variety of shades so that they will match the color of your own teeth. Composite materials are now available that have been specifically designed to withstand the incredible forces you can exert when chewing on your back teeth.

After placement, composites are hardened by shining an intense light on them for a specified period of time, usually around ten seconds. The light instantly hardens these fillings. You can eat right away because the composite is instantly hardened and requires no setting time.

What is the difference between a DDS and a DMD?

The DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) and DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) are the same degrees. The majority of dental schools award the DDS degree; however, some award a DMD degree. The education and degrees are the same.