Dundee Dental Associates
Q: Why do regular dental visits matter?
A: Regular dental visits are important because they can help identify oral health problems early on when treatment is likely to be simpler and more affordable. They also help prevent many oral problems from developing in the first place. Visiting your dentist regularly is also important because sometimes other diseases or medical conditions have symptoms that can appear in the mouth.
Q: Should I still go to the dentist even if I don't have any specific symptoms that need attention?
A: Yes. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, you can still have oral health problems that only a dentist can diagnose. Regular dental visits will also help prevent problems from developing. Continuity of care is an important part of any health plan and dental health is no exception. Keeping your mouth healthy is an essential piece of your overall health. It’s also important to keep your dentist informed of any changes in your overall health since many medical conditions can affect your oral health too.
Q: What can I expect during a dental checkup?
A: The dentist and/or hygienist will ask about your recent medical history, examine your mouth and decide whether or not you need x-rays. Depending on your treatment plan, the hygienist may use a special dental instruments to check your gums for gum disease. Your dentist may also evaluate your overall dental health and conduct an oral cancer screening by holding your tongue with gauze, checking it and your whole mouth, then feeling your jaw and neck. Additionally, the hygienist will conduct a thorough cleaning of your teeth, including flossing and fluoride treatments.
Q: How often should I brush my teeth?
A: Brushing your teeth is the cornerstone of any good oral hygiene routine. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, always be sure to brush your teeth twice a day for a minimum of two minutes with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily. Also, don’t forget to replace your toothbrush every three or four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth. Finally, make sure to use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. It makes no difference whether you choose a manual or powered toothbrush—just make sure to brush twice a day, every day!
Q: How often should I floss?
A: Flossing goes hand in hand with brushing. By flossing once a day, you help to remove plaque from between your teeth in areas where the toothbrush can't reach. This is extremely important because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed by a professional cleaning.
This information is courtesy of the American Dental Association.