(and Answers, Too!)

What should I do if I have bad breath?

Bad breath is not only embarrassing; it can indicate that something isn’t right. Bad breath in the morning, while dieting, or accompanying a cold is quite normal and can be addressed with proper oral hygiene, brushing or scraping your tongue, mouth rinses, and Xylitol chewing gum. If your bad breath persists throughout the day or is chronic, it could be caused by a gum or tooth infection, or an improperly fitted oral appliance, and should be addressed as soon as possible. Chronic bad breath could also indicate health conditions such as liver conditions, Diabetes, or chronic sinus infections, so if we don’t find an oral infection and your bad breath persists, please talk to your doctor.

How often should I brush and floss?

Your at-home oral care routine is one of the most important factors in keeping your mouth – and the rest of you – healthy because it helps control oral bacteria every day. Proper brushing and flossing disrupts the biofilm of plaque, preventing it from turning into tartar, also known as calculus. If tartar does build up, the bacteria can cause periodontal disease and begin to destroy both the gums and the bone. Brush at least twice a day for two full minutes, especially before bedtime. Flossing, after you brush, is critical to remove any plaque that is caught in the tight contacts between your teeth. It’s also your best defense in preventing cavities that occur between the teeth. Sometimes flossing before you brush can be helpful. It helps clear the bacteria from between your teeth, which can then be swept away with the toothbrush. Ask your dental hygienist at your next cleaning appointment what is best for you!

How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?

We recommend that all patients be seen at least twice a year, but depending on your oral and overall health and the conditions of your gums, we may recommend more frequent visits.

How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?

Gum disease is often painless in the early stage, so many patients are unaware that they have it. Regular checkups and screenings are crucial for that very reason. We can detect the early signs of periodontal disease and stop it before it begins to affect your health. If you have any bleeding when you brush and floss or are experiencing chronic bad breath, please call us right away to schedule a periodontal check-up.

Why is it important to use dental floss?

The bacteria that causes gum disease doesn’t only inhabit the front of your teeth – they like to coat the surfaces between your teeth as well. These surfaces can usually not be reached by your toothbrush. Daily flossing disrupts the colonies of bacteria, cleans away food particles that may be stuck, and helps you keep your breath fresh and healthy.

How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?

A cosmetic dentist can transform almost any smile. Even stained, crooked, gapped, or broken teeth can easily be repaired using a variety materials and techniques. Sometimes a simple teeth whitening can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of a smile. Other times we may use a combination of cosmetic dental procedures such as dental implants to replace missing teeth; orthodontics to straighten teeth and close gaps; add porcelain veneers to perfect, strengthen and restore. If you have concerns about the appearance of your smile, talk to us about your cosmetic dentistry options today.

What are porcelain veneers and how can they improve my smile?

Porcelain veneers are thin, ceramic shells created to perfectly mimic healthy, beautiful tooth structure. They are bonded to the front of your teeth to lengthen and strengthen, while camouflaging anything from gaps and intrinsic stains, to poorly shaped or chipped teeth. In addition, because they are custom designed for you, they will fit your smile and your personality perfectly.

How early can we consider orthodontic treatment for children?

Children can have a range of orthodontic problems. Some are related to teeth, and others are related to jaw size and overall growth and development. We expect to see some “key” permanent teeth in your child’s mouth by age 7. These teeth will help us determine if early treatment is indicated. Generally, jaw problems are treated as early as possible.

How should I take care of my dental implants?

One of the greatest benefits of dental implants is that they can be cared for much like natural teeth. You can brush and floss your dental implant just as you do the rest of your teeth – no soaking or special cleansers needed. Just be sure to keep up with your regularly scheduled hygiene visits and exams, so we can be sure the implant is healthy and secure.