What is the Field of Dentistry?
The field of dentistry is related to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of conditions, diseases of the tooth, gums, mouth, and jaw. Dentistry services are considered essential for optimal whole-body health.
What is the Role of the Dentist?
The dentist is the person who cares for your teeth and works to diagnose, treat and prevent oral health issues. The dentist will have completed at least eight years of schooling and has received either a DDS or a DMD degree. They may also be a pediatric dentist, which specializes in caring for children from infancy through their teen years. Possible specializations also include:
- Endodontics (root canals)
- Oral and maxillofacial surgery
Why Visit the Dentist?
One of the most common questions children in particular have is “Why should I visit the dentist?”. Visiting the dentist regularly helps keep the teeth and mouth healthy and maintain overall health. Dental care is essential in:
- Preventing tooth decay
- Protecting against periodontal disease
- Improving the look of your smile
- Preventing bad breath
- Minimizing tooth staining
- Strengthening teeth
Should I See a Dentist if My Teeth Feel Fine?
Yes! Your teeth may feel fine now, but it’s important to see a dentist regularly to detect problems before they become a long-standing issue. Your dentist can help keep your smile looking great and ensure you retain confidence in your appearance. Expert dental treatments can ensure your day-to-day life is comfortable and rewarding.
The following dentistry services are now available at Dr. J Dental:
- Comprehensive teeth whitening
- Fillings designed to mimic natural teeth
- Professional tooth replacement and smile enhancement
How Can I Choose the Right Dentist for Me?
It’s important to choose a specialist who clicks with you and your family and so you may wish to review several experts before making that final decision. Make observations during your initial visit and review the following:
- Did they offer convenient appointment scheduling?
- Is the office in a convenient location?
- Is the business clean and organized?
- Did they record your medical history in a permanent file?
- Was the dentist communicative in explaining your dental health?
- Do they provide information on the cost of the service before your treatment?
- Is the dentist a member of the American Dental Association?
How Can I Safeguard My Teeth Between Checkups?
- Remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once per day
- Use a fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities
- Avoid sugary foods (the data shows sugar increases bacteria levels in your mouth, leading to more plaque and cavities) and avoid tobacco (it stains teeth, causes gum disease, and may lead to oral cancers).
- Brush your tongue to remove food particles and reduce the amount of plaque-causing bacteria in your mouth!
- Schedule a routine checkup with your dentist every six months
What Age Should My Child Begin Dental Care?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children see a dentist at around six months of age and no older than one year old. This is the time in which the child’s baby teeth are coming in and the dentist must examine the health of the child’s first few teeth to ensure they’re coming in properly.
How Regularly Should I See a Dentist?
In the industry, it’s recommended that children and adults see their dentist for regular checkups every six months. Those who are a greater risk of oral cancers and gum disease should see their dentist more regularly. Your dentist will help you decide on a schedule that’s right for you and your oral health.
How Is a Cavity Defined?
A cavity is a small hole in the tooth caused by tooth decay. The cavities are formed when plaque begins to build on the exterior of the tooth and combines with sugars and starches in the food you eat. This can produce an acid that eats away at the enamel. When left untreated, cavities can lead to more serious health issues. They can be prevented by brushing regularly and flossing between your teeth, as well as working with your dental specialist.
How Do You Define a Filling?
A filling is a synthetic material used by a dentist to fill the cavity after the decay has been removed. Fillings don’t generally hurt because the dentist will numb the mouth with an anesthetic. They’re made from materials including composites, ceramic and gold. Your dentist can help you determine which material best suits your oral health needs.
How Regularly Should I Brush My Teeth?
The ADA recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice per day. The process keeps your teeth, gums, and mouth in peak condition. You should use a soft bristle toothbrush and a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Spend at least a minute cleaning the top teeth and a minute cleaning the bottom teeth to keep your mouth fresh and healthy!
How Often Should I Change my Toothbrush?
It’s important to change your toothbrush when it wears out. Dentists recommend that adults and children change their toothbrush every three months to avoid oral health issues. Those with electric toothbrushes may only need to change their brush every six months. If you have gum disease, your dentist could recommend you switch your brush every four to six weeks to minimize the spread of bacteria. It’s important to rinse with hot water after brushing to kill any remaining germs in the mouth.
How Does Gum Disease Develop?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease is mostly caused by plaque and bacteria buildup that hasn’t been treated in its earliest stages. Further causes of the disease include teeth grinding, tobacco use, some medications, and genetics. The beginning stages of gum disease is gingivitis, which left untreated then leads to full gum disease. Over time, the disease can lead to tooth and bone loss, which is then a permanent condition. Simply brushing your teeth regularly and visiting your dentist every six months can help prevent gum disease.
Common signs of gum disease include:
- Red, irritated, bleeding, or swollen gums
- Receding gum line
- Loose teeth, or loss of teeth
- Extreme tooth sensitivity
- Abscessed teeth
- Chronic bad breath
Do I Still Need a Dental Checkup if I Have Braces?
It’s even more important for patients receiving orthodontic treatment to see their dentist regularly. Food may be caught in places that the toothbrush cannot reach. And this can cause bacteria to build up, leading to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist and orthodontist will work together to ensure your teeth stay healthy and clean.
How Can I Schedule my Next Appointment?
You can simply call our practice today to schedule an upcoming appointment. Our front desk team will book the appointment for you at your convenience. New patients should let the front desk team know and ask about the information required for the first practice visit!