What is dentistry?
Dentistry is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions, disorders, and diseases of the tooth, gums, mouth, and jaw. Often considered necessary for complete oral health, dentistry can have an impact on the health of your entire body.
What is a dentist?
A dentist is a specialist who works to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Your dentist has completed at least eight years of schooling, and received either a DDS (doctor of dental surgery) degree, or a DMD (doctor of dental medicine) degree. If your doctor is a pediatric dentist, this means he specializes in caring for children from infancy through their teen years. Our dentist has received the proper education and training needed to work with young kids. Other specializations include:
Why is visiting the dentist so important?
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:
How can I take care of my teeth in between dental checkups?
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-old and no later than one-year-old. During this time, your child's baby teeth will be coming in and Dr. Wright can examine the health of your child's first few teeth. After the first visit, be sure and schedule regular checkups every six months!
How often should I see the dentist?
Children, teens, and adults should all see the dentist 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 see the dentist more than just twice a year. Our doctor will help determine how often you should visit the dentist for regular checkups.
What is a cavity?
A cavity is a small hole that forms inside the tooth and is caused by tooth decay. Cavities are formed when plaque build-up 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 two times a day, and floss in between teeth at least once.
What is a filling?
A filling is a synthetic material that Dr. Wright 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. Wright about what type is best for you and your teeth.
What is a crown?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth in order to cover the tooth. This crown covers the tooth to restore it's size, shape and strength, and improve it's appearance. Crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
How often should I brush my teeth?
According to Dr. Wright and the American Dental Association, you should be brushing 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 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!
When should I change my toothbrush?
Your toothbrush will eventually wear out, especially if you are brushing your teeth two times 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.
What is gum disease?
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is mostly caused by plaque and bacteria build-up 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:
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. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
How do I schedule my next checkup?
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.
Give us a call today!