Why is it important to visit your dentist regularly?
Proper dental care will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but will also contribute to your overall health. There are numerous benefits in having dental checkups on a regular basis, including:
- Catching tooth decay and periodontal problems in the early stages, which can prevent gum disease and tooth loss and save your smile!
- Preventing bad breath; brushing, flossing, and seeing Dr. Foroutan regularly will help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath.
- Helping you smile with confidence: regular teeth cleanings will remove plaque, tartar, and stain from your teeth.
- Diagnosis of many systemic diseases that can have an oral manifestation, including but not limited to oral cancer, which may save your life.
My teeth feel fine; do I still need to see a dentist?
Your teeth may feel fine, but it’s still worthwhile to see the dentist regularly, because many dental problems can exist without any symptoms. Also with so many advances in dentistry, you no longer have to settle for stained, chipped, missing, or misshapen teeth. Today’s dentists offer many treatment choices that can help you smile with confidence, including:
- Professional teeth whitening
- Fillings that mimic the appearance of natural teeth
- Tooth replacement and full smile makeovers
What should I consider when choosing a dentist?
Choosing a dentist who “clicks” with you and your family is important, and you may wish to consider several dentists before making your final decision. During your first visit, you should be able to determine whether a dentist is right for you. During your appointment, consider the following:
- Is the appointment schedule convenient?
- Is the office easy to get to and close by?
- Does the office appear to be clean and orderly?
- Was your medical and dental history recorded and placed in a permanent file?
- Does the dentist explain techniques for good oral health?
- Is information about cost presented to you before treatment is scheduled?
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 will help prevent cavities.
- 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), and avoid tobacco (which can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, and eventually lead to oral cancer).
- Brush your tongue! This 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 at least twice a year.
At what age should I start taking my child to see the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) 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 Dr. Foroutan can examine 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 a dentist for a regular checkup at least once every six months. Patients with a greater risk for oral cancer or gum disease may be required to come in more than just twice a year. Dr. Foroutan will help you determine how often you should have your checkups and cleanings.
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 can be prevented by remembering to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once.
What is a filling?
A filling is a synthetic material that a dentist uses to fill a cavity after all the tooth decay has been removed. Fillings do not generally hurt, because we will numb your mouth with an anesthetic. Fillings are made from a variety of different materials, including composites, gold, or ceramic.
How often should I brush my teeth?
The general guideline is to brush 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 you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. You should spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth, and remember to brush your tongue; it will help keep your breath fresh!
When should I change my toothbrush?
It is recommended to replace your toothbrush every three months. If you are using an electric toothbrush, be sure to read the instructions because they may differ from those for a regular toothbrush.
Patients with gum disease are encouraged to consult with our office in this regard. If you’ve been sick, be sure to replace 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 systemic diseases.
Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease. If detected, it is treatable. Gingivitis left untreated 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 our office every six months will help prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of periodontal disease. Common signs of gum disease are:
- 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 vital 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. Foroutan will work closely with your orthodontist 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.