Visiting the dentist regularly will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. Dental care is important because it:
Ontario Dental Association (ODA) recommends that children first see a dentist by the age of one year, or when the first teeth appear. Take your child to the dentist for regular checkups to make sure there are no problems.
Children, teens, and adults should all see the dentist for a regular checkup at least once every six months – that’s twice a year! Patients who are at a greater risk for oral cancer or gum disease may be required to see the dentist more than just twice a year. Our doctor will help determine how often you should visit the dentist for regular checkups.
A cavity is a small hole that forms inside the tooth and is caused by tooth decay. Cavities are formed when plaque buildup on the outside of the tooth combines with sugars and starches in the food you eat. This can produce an acid that can eat away the enamel on your tooth. If a cavity is left untreated, it can lead to more serious oral health problems. Cavities can be prevented by remembering to brush your teeth at least three times a day, and floss in between teeth at least once.
A filling is a synthetic material that Dr. Winter uses to fill a cavity after all of the tooth decay has been removed. Fillings do not generally hurt because the dentist will numb your mouth with an anesthetic (typically Novocain) and relax your body with a light dose of nitrous oxide. Fillings are made from a variety of different materials, including amalgam, composites, gold, or ceramic. If you need a filling, be sure and talk to Dr. Winter about what type is best for you and your teeth.
Ontario Dental Association recommends you should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing keeps your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy by removing bacteria-causing plaque. It is also recommended that when you brush your teeth, you use a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. You should spend at least two minutes on the top teeth and two minutes on the bottom teeth, and remember to brush your tongue; it will help keep your breath smelling fresh!
Your toothbrush will eventually wear out, especially if you are brushing your teeth twice a day for four minutes each time. Your dentist recommends that adults and children should change their toothbrush every three months. If you are using an electric toothbrush, be sure to read the directions as you may not need to change toothbrush heads as frequently. Patients with gum disease are encouraged to change their toothbrush every four to six weeks in order to keep any bacteria from spreading. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with hot water to kill germs and keep the bristles clean. If you’ve been sick, be sure to change your toothbrush as soon as possible.
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is mostly caused by plaque and bacteria buildup that is not treated in its early stage. Other causes of periodontal disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease, and, if detected, is treatable. However, if you have gingivitis and it is left untreated, it may turn into gum disease. Advanced gum disease will lead to tooth and bone loss, and is a permanent condition. Brushing your teeth regularly, and visiting the dentist every six months will help prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of periodontal disease. Common signs of gum disease:
Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next dental checkup at your convenience. If you are a new patient, please let us know, and we will provide you with all the information you need for your first dental visit.
Here are some ideas on adapting standard toothbrushes:
It is still important to visit your dentist regularly, even if you no longer have your natural teeth. Your dentist will examine your mouth to check for any difficulties including problems with the tongue, the joints of the jaw, as well as screen you for disease (e.g. oral cancer). Many issues including disease are highly treatable when identified at an early stage.
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