How often should I go to the dentist?

Most adults and children should go to the dentist for regular cleanings every 6 months. Routine dental examinations should be every 12 months. People who are at greater risk for tooth decay, or have oral diseases such as periodontal disease should be seen every 3 or 4 months.

How often should I floss my teeth?

You should floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing removes the food debris, plaque and bacteria from between your teeth that cannot be reached with a toothbrush. Plaque, and the bacteria associated with plaque cause tooth decay and can lead to gum disease (gingivitis) and the loss of bone around your teeth (perioidontal disease). Recent studies show that routine flossing helps to prevent stroke and heart attacks.

How often should I brush my teeth?

According to the American Dental Association you should brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes. Brushing helps to remove plaque and bacteria which causes tooth decay and lead to gum disease. Always use a soft bristled toothbrush. Never use a medium or hard bristled toothbrush, as it can damage the tooth surface and gum tissues.

How often should I change my toothbrush?

You should change your toothbrush every 3 months. If you use an electric toothbrush, you may only need to change the brush head every 6 months, but follow the manufacturer's instructions.

What is tooth decay?

Tooth decay is a disease called "caries." It is caused by bacteria. Bacteria eat sugar (carbohydrates), and turn that sugar into acid. The acid produced by the bacteria burns a hole in your tooth, destroying the tooth over a period of time.

What causes teeth to stain?

Staining may be caused by aging or chemical damage to teeth. People who smoke, drink coffee, tea, red wine, and dark beverages increase the risk of staining their teeth.

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are made of a polymer that is bonded to the deep grooves on the chewing surface of the back teeth (usually in children immediately after eruption). Sealants create a barrier on the tooth that helps to prevent plaque and bacterial invasion. Sealants are only placed on teeth that are free of decay.

What can be done to replace missing teeth?

There are several options to replace missing teeth. One option is a fixed bridge.  if there are teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth. Another option, if no adjacent teeth are present to support a fixed bridge, is a removable partial denture. Another option is an implant and implant crown.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is usually made out of titanium and is surgically placed into the jawbone where the tooth is missing. A dental implant acts as the tooth root. Dental implants can be restored with individual crowns, or can serve as the foundation for bridgework or dentures.

What is a crown?

A crown (sometimes called a "cap") is used to protect a tooth that has a very large cavity, or is fractured. A crown can also be used to treat teeth for cosmetic reasons. Crowns can be made out of an array of materials.

What is a veneer?

A veneer is a cosmetic procedure whereby a thin shell of porcelain is custom made and shaded, then bonded to the front surface of the tooth. A veneer can be used to treat slightly misaligned teeth, discolored teeth, or to fill in gaps between teeth.

What is tooth whitening?

Tooth whitening is a procedure that can enhance and whiten your smile. Tooth whitening can be done in-office under the supervision of a dentist, or at with a take home kit. The in office procedure gives immediate results, and is far more common these days. The in-office (Zoom! II brand) method utilizes ultraviolet light to activate the whitening solution. The take home system is dispensed in office, whereby custom whitening trays are made by the dentist, then the patient takes the system home and whitens their own teeth. Some other take home whitening systems uses universal trays, and still others use strips. Not everyone is a candidate for tooth whitening. It is advised that you have a dental exam to determine the best tooth whitening option for you.