How old should my child be before they come to the dentist?
A good rule of thumb is about 3-4 years of age. We encourage you to bring your little one in when you come in for a cleaning, or when a well behaved older sibling comes in. In this way they can see good behavior, get a ride in the dental chair, choose a prize, and have a good experience before they ever come in for any work of their own.
Do you recommend sealants?
Absolutely! An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Sealants are good way to help prevent tooth decay, and they are normally about ¼ the fee of a filling! They are not a 100% guarantee of remaining cavity free, but every study that I have read shows them to be in the 90% effective range in preventing decay on the chewing surfaces of our teeth.
How often should I get my teeth cleaned?
Brushing and flossing our teeth a few times a day does not stop plaque and tartar from forming, but it does slow it down significantly for most of people. The majority of us will do well if we get our teeth cleaned every six months. We can help you determine what might be best for you. Whatever the case may be for you, it is well worth it to be consistent and make whatever effort is needed to get your teeth cleaned on a regular basis.
What type of toothbrush is best?
I’m tempted to say, “anything that you will actually use”, but that would not be quite true! If you use a manual brush, we strongly recommend a soft bristle toothbrush.
If you use an electric brush, there are three that I prefer. The Oral-B Genius X is a wonderful rotating head toothbrush and is great for most people. The Sonicare is also a good brush and much improved over earlier models. If you have a history of periodontal disease, or many crowns, bridges, or some implants, you should consider a brush called the Rotadent. Any of these brushes are good if used properly.
Is there a connection between periodontal disease and heart disease?
Yes. The American Heart Association has come forward with the announcement that there is a direct link between periodontal disease and some heart conditions. They strongly endorse staying in good periodontal health, especially if there is any history, or family history of heart disease.
What causes bad breath, and what can I do about it?
Bad breath can have many causes, and an individual my have one or more things working against them as it pertains to their breath. The more common causes of bad breath include the following:
Food debris and colonies of bacteria residing under the gumline for a period of time cause bone loss and swelling in the gums, which traps more food debris and bacteria underneath the gums, etc.
Tobacco dries the mouth, which causes bad breath.
Dry mouth has many causes such as mouth breathing, side effects of many medications, and salivary gland problems.
Conditions such as diabetes, liver and kidney problems, bronchitis, and pneumonia are among several conditions that affect the body in such a way that they can cause bad breath.