Why is visiting the dentist so important?
Visiting our office 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:
- Helps prevent tooth decay
- Protects against periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to tooth and bone loss
- Prevents bad breath; brushing, flossing, and seeing our team regularly will help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath
- Gives you a more attractive smile and increases your self-confidence
- Helps keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco
- Strengthens your teeth so you can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of your life!
My teeth feel fine; do I still need to see a dentist?
Your teeth may feel fine, but it’s still vital to see us regularly because problems can exist without your knowing. Your smile’s appearance is important, and we can help keep it not only beautiful but HEALTHY.
With so many advances in dentistry, you no longer have to settle for stained, chipped, missing, or misshaped teeth. Dental specialists offer many treatment choices that can help you smile with confidence, including but not limited to:
- Professional teeth whitening
- Fillings that mimic the appearance of natural teeth
- Tooth replacement and full smile makeovers
What should I look for when choosing the right dentist or dental specialist for me?
Choosing a dental care professional who “clicks” with you and your family is important, and you may wish to consider several doctors before making your final decision. During your first visit, you should be able to determine whether the doctor is right for you. During your appointment, consider the following:
- Is the appointment schedule convenient for you?
- Is the office easy to get to?
- Does the office appear to be clean and sanitary?
- Did the doctor take the time to listen to your concerns?
- Was your medical and dental history reviewed thoroughly?
- Did your doctor/hygienist take time to explain preventive techniques for good oral health?
- Were all your questions answered regarding your treatment needs?
How can I take care of my teeth between dental checkups?
- ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth at least two times a day, and floss at least once.
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask us if you need a fluoride rinse. This may help reduce caries risk .
- Avoid foods with excessive amounts of sugar (which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth and can cause more plaque and potential cavities).
- Avoid all forms of tobacco. This can not only stain your teeth but may lead to severe gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer.
- Brush your tongue, palate, and cheeks. The tongue has tiny grooves where millions of bacteria hide, leading to bad breath. By brushing your tongue, you will remove food particles and reduce the amount of plaque-causing bacteria. Tongue brushing also helps keep your breath fresh.
- Be sure to schedule your routine checkup. It is recommended that you visit the dentist every six months and follow treatment recommendations.
At what age should I start taking my child to see the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children first see a dentist as early as six months of age and no later than one year. During this time, your son or daughter’s baby teeth will be coming in and we can monitor the health of those first few teeth. After the first visit, be sure to schedule regular checkups every six months.
How often should I see the dentist?
Children, teens, and adults should all see us for a regular checkup at least once every six months. Patients who are at a greater risk for oral cancer or gum disease may be required to come in more than just twice a year. Drs. Nodesh and Raina will help determine how often you should visit our office for regular checkups.
What is a cavity?
A cavity is a small hole that forms inside the tooth because of tooth decay. Cavities form when plaque buildup on the outside of the tooth combines with sugars and starches in the food you eat. This produces 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 may be prevented by remembering to brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss between teeth at least once.
What is a filling?
A filling is a synthetic material that dentists use to fill a cavity after all the tooth decay has been removed. Fillings are made from a variety of different materials, including composites, gold, or ceramic. If you need a filling, be sure to talk to your us about what type is best for you and your teeth.
How often should I brush my teeth?
According to Dr. Nodesh, Dr. Raina, and the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least two times a day. Brushing keeps your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy by removing bacteria-causing plaque.
It is also recommended that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride when you brush your teeth. You should spend at least a minute on all surfaces of top teeth and a minute on all surfaces of the bottom teeth, and remember to brush your tongue; it will help keep your breath smelling fresh!
When should I change my toothbrush?
Your toothbrush will eventually wear out, especially if you are brushing your teeth twice a day for two to three minutes each time. We recommend that adults and children change their toothbrush every three months. If you are using an electric toothbrush, be sure to read the directions because 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 to keep 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.
What is gum disease?
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. If detected, it is reversible. Gingivitis left untreated may turn into gum disease. Advanced gum disease will lead to tooth and bone loss, and is a irreversible condition.
Brushing your teeth regularly and visiting our office every six months will help prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of periodontal disease. Common signs of gum disease:
- Red, irritated, bleeding, or swollen gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose teeth, or loss of teeth
- Extreme tooth sensitivity
- Receding gum line
- Abscessed teeth
If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?
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 your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Dr. Nodesh and Dr. Raina will work closely with you to make sure your teeth stay clean and healthy while you’re wearing braces.
How do I schedule my next checkup?
Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to 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.
What is a prosthodontist?
A prosthodontist is a dental specialist who specializes in aesthetic restoration and replacement of teeth to achieve their proper form and function. A prosthodontist is required to complete a minimum of 3 years of full-time, advanced postgraduate training at an ADA-accredited prosthodontic program beyond the 4 years of dental school.
Prosthodontists go through an extensive, highly focused, and comprehensive training in dental implants, cosmetic procedures, replacement of multiple missing or broken-down tooth or jaw structures, smile makeovers, full-mouth rehabilitation, surgical treatment, and much more. They handle a vast variety of cases: from single-tooth restorations to complex cases that require attention to detail and high-quality comprehensive solution.
What is an oral and maxillofacial prosthodontist?
This is a sub- or super-specialty of prosthodontics. It requires a minimum of 1 year of full-time training beyond the 7 years of dental school and prosthodontic residency. Prosthodontists who have gone through a fellowship in oral and maxillofacial prosthodontics are trained to restore beyond the teeth and mouth area. They will work with other specialties in the medical and dental field to help patients in restoring parts of their head and neck areas lost to congenital defects, cancer, trauma, or any other pathology.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.
What is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a specialist who focuses entirely on diagnosis, prevention, and treatment related to teeth and jaws that are malaligned or malposition. An orthodontist has received 2 to 3 years of additional advanced training beyond 4 to 5 years dental school.
Some of the conditions orthodontists treat are:
- Protruded, overcrowded, crooked teeth, which can be unaesthetic and hard to clean and maintain
- Excessive overbite or overjet which causes an aesthetic concern, and in severe instances, wear of teeth and dysfunction
- Spaces between teeth that are often an aesthetic concern and cause for food lodgment
- Impacted teeth (teeth stuck in the jaw bone of soft tissue) that may cause damage to adjacent teeth or jaw bones
- Bite that is not right, causing other problems like excessive wear of teeth and dysfunction
What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great time to see an orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of 7 or 8.
However, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens. About one in every five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or a child, any age is a good time to visit the orthodontist.
What are braces?
Braces are used by orthodontists to help improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:
- Clear braces/ceramic braces
- Lingual braces
- Traditional metal braces
How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or a retainer?
- ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least 1-2 times a day.
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask Dr. Raina or your family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
- During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar, which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, and can cause more plaque and potential cavities.
- Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes), or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.). HARD, STICKY, and CHEWY foods will also cause your braces to break repeatedly, which will put you behind in treatment.
- Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.
How can I take care of my retainer?
- If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep the retainer safe in its container so it does not get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and mild soap. NEVER use toothpaste to clean your retainers. You may also soak them in denture cleaner as instructed by our office. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
- Heat will distort your retainers. Keep them away from any source of heat.
- Keep them safe from pets.
- Check your retainers at least once a week by holding them against the light and observing for any cracks, perforations, or damage. If you notice any signs of wear, come see us to get a replacemnet. REMEMBER, this is the only thing that guarantees you maintain your teeth alignment.
If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?
The amount of time spent in braces will vary, depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can last anywhere from six to 36 months, but most standard treatments take about 20 to 24 months.
Do braces hurt?
Braces do not often hurt, though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.
Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?
With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces.
You should also floss daily to get between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Dr. Raina can show you how to brush and floss properly once your braces are placed.
If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?
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 your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Our team will work closely with you to make sure your teeth stay clean and healthy while you’re wearing braces.
Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.
How do I schedule my next appointment?
Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all the information you need.