How Often Should I Go to the Dentist?

You should go to the dentist at least twice a year (every 6 months). Here’s why: most lesions (decay or soft tissue) can be easily treated if caught quickly. But everyone is unique, so we tailor our recall visits to your oral health needs. Things like stress and illness can affect your oral health, making it more important to see your dentist. It’s best to talk to your dentist about your individual needs.

How Often Should I Brush My Teeth?

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day. When you eat sugary foods, the bacteria can release acids that attack tooth enamel, which eventually can lead to cavities.

Do not brush your teeth right after eating or drinking anything acidic because acids can weaken enamel, and brushing them may remove enamel. It’s best to wait 30 minutes after consuming acidic foods to brush.

What’s the Difference: Electric Toothbrush Vs. Manual Toothbrush?

This is a common question we receive. The most important thing is that you keep up with regular brushing.

Power brushes vary, but many studies show that in general, they are more efficient in controlling plaque than manual brushes. Power brushes make the task of brushing easier and the unique movements ensure that you are covering a large area of your teeth. In addition, some brushes, like Sonicare, produce sonic vibrations that are difficult to mimic with a normal toothbrush. Other electric brushes like Oral-B and Rotadent have small heads that help you access hard-to-reach areas of your mouth.

When Should My Child First Visit the Dentist?

The sooner children get used to going to the dentist office, the better. If a child has teeth, and will at least sit in the chair and allow either the dentist or dental hygienist to look in their mouth, it’s time for a visit.  For some children, it’s as early as 3, and we will check on the development of the teeth and size of the jaw. Our family-friendly dentist office can talk to you about oral hygiene techniques and ways to avoid cavities.

What Should I Do If I Have Bad Breath?

Bad breath is commonly caused by food debris, plaque buildup around teeth and gums, and/or periodontal disease with odor-producing bacteria. However, it can sometimes be a symptom of a systemic (body) disease.

Treatments for bad breath can include a thorough scaling and polishing of teeth surfaces, both above and below the gum line; brushing the top of the tongue; improving oral hygiene through flossing, using a Water-Pik, electric tooth brushing, and using mouthwash. Avoidance of overly spicy foods can also help.

What is a Night Guard?

An occlusal “night guard” is a clear, plastic ‘horseshoe-shaped’ wafer that sits over the tops of teeth (either upper or lower), and is most often worn at night. It has a flat biting surface that keeps clenching/grinding from wearing down the surfaces of teeth, and can help prevent fractures. It also puts the lower jaw in a more comfortable (resting) position, which can reduce TMJ symptoms. Because they are clear, some folks (who are under a lot of stress) wear them during the day as well.

What Are My Options to Replace Missing Teeth?

Dr. Solich offers restorative dentistry options for your missing teeth, including crowns, bridges, and dental implants. A dental bridge is a non-removable, custom-made replacement for one or more missing teeth. It’s securely anchored to healthy neighboring teeth. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root inserted into the jawbone. A replacement tooth or prosthetic device is secured atop the implant root. Dental implants are a safe, aesthetic alternative to bridges and removable dentures.

How Do Dental Implants Work?

Implants are actually a two-stage procedure: they are surgically placed into the jawbone in the same way that the roots of our teeth reside, and then the implant is restored by either a crown, bridge, or denture. Most often, the placement of an implant is done by either an oral surgeon or periodontist, while the restoration is done by a general dentist.

How Do I Know if I Have Gum Disease?

Gum (periodontal) disease can be insidious in that it sneaks up on you without much pain or discomfort. The warning signs are bad breath, bleeding gums, and loose or sensitive teeth. If you find blood when rinsing after brushing or flossing, you may already have gum disease. Don’t wait until you have a gum infection to come in for a checkup or cleaning visit. Gum disease is much easier to treat at an early stage than after teeth are loose.

How Safe are Dental X-Rays?

Todays modern x-ray machines, and fast dental films, have significantly reduced the amount of radiation exposure from dental x-rays, making them quite safe. In fact, you will get more radiation exposure from being outdoors in the sun than you will from dental x-rays. Radiation exposure is cumulative, which means that the amount that your body can safely handle is determined over an entire year, not one or two dental visits.

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

The term cosmetic dentistry refers to all procedures used to improve the appearance of your smile. This includes porcelain veneers, bridges and crowns, teeth whitening, bonding, and white fillings.

How Do I Know if Cosmetic Dentistry is Right for Me?

First, take a look at your smile. If you don’t like what you see (discoloration, crooked or missing teeth, etc.), then we recommend you schedule a consultation. We can discuss your options, so you can make an informed decision about cosmetic dentistry and whether it is something you want to pursue.

Can I Have My Old Silver Fillings Replaced Even if They Aren’t Falling Out?

Yes. Dr. Solich can safely remove silver fillings. In fact, we recommend that people remove their silver fillings for aesthetic as well as health reasons. Silver fillings contain mercury, a known toxin. Although the ADA officially reports silver fillings aren’t harmful, we don’t take any chances with our patients. Dr. Solich can replace silver fillings with tooth-colored alternatives.

The Only Thing Wrong With My Smile is My Yellow Teeth. What Can I Do?

We offer teeth whitening options that can be done in our office or in the privacy of your own home. To determine which option is best suited for your needs, we recommend you contact our office to schedule an initial consultation.

What Is the Difference Between a Crown and a Bridge?

A crown returns strength and beauty to a single tooth that is damaged, whereas a bridge is used to replace one tooth or several teeth that have fallen out. Learn more about crowns and bridges.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers offer a quick way to get a straight, white smile without the time or discomfort of metal braces. Porcelain veneers are specifically designed to cover gaps, chips, permanent stains, misshapen teeth, and washed-out fillings. By placing porcelain veneers on the teeth that are visible when you smile, we can “reshape” your teeth for a more uniform appearance. Porcelain veneers can be placed in just two or three visits.

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