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 Dr. Egan Lodge 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
My teeth feel fine; do I still need to see a dentist?
Your teeth may feel fine, but it’s still crucial to see us regularly because problems can exist without your knowing. Periodic X-rays can reveal problems not visible during an examination. There may be underlying infection that can cause serious problems if not addressed.
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).
- Don’t be afraid to 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. It is recommended that you visit the dentist every six months.
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 between the ages of 3 and 4 years old. During this time, your son or daughter’s teeth will be examined and cleaned, and givenb a fluoride application, which is so important when the teeth are developing. Depending on your little one’s tolerance, X-rays may be taken.
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, gum disease, or a high cavity rate, may be required to come in more than just twice a year. Dr. Egan Lodge will help determine how often you should visit our office for regular checkups.
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. 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 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:
- 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. Egan Lodge will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure your teeth stay clean and healthy while you’re wearing braces.