At Jamestown Family Dental Clinic we put you and your loved ones first. Our top quality dentistry services are tailored towards helping you and your family achieve lasting oral and overall wellness. General dentistry services are vital for the maintenance of a healthy, happy smile. We believe that the best way to solve a dental issue is to keep it from happening in the first place. Our general dentistry services focus on preventative care and maintenance, and helping patients develop good habits that will aid them throughout their lives.
The general rule of thumb is to go to the dentist every six months for a professional exam and cleaning. If you have some dental issues—periodontal disease, for example—your dentist may recommend increasing the frequency of visits.
Even once every six months may seem like a lot. But, to paraphrase the old saying, an ounce of prevention keeps you from buying a pound of cure.
Regular visits help spot dental problems early when they can be treated in a safe, simple, affordable manner. And when your dentist sees you often, he or she can help you prevent many problems from developing in the first place.
Some diseases have symptoms that show up in the mouth. Your dentist, who’s received the equivalent of a medical-school education, can detect suspicious-looking signs and point you toward medical care. Dentists are valuable allies on your health team.
A proper brushing technique is the first step to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. You should be brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day. You should hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush in a gentle circular motion. Brush all surfaces of each tooth including the chewing surfaces. Don’t forget to brush your tongue also! This helps remove food partials to help remove odor-causing bacteria.
The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends flossing once a day. When flossing, use about 18 inches of floss. This should allow for enough clean floss to use on each tooth in the flossing process. Slide the floss up and down between each tooth.
1. Eat a proper diet.
Sugary foods that cling to your teeth for a long time are more likely to cause tooth decay than foods that wash away with saliva. Snacking and sipping on soda feed bacteria in your mouth that produce teeth-unfriendly acids.
Fresh fruits and veggies increase saliva flow. To wash away food particles, turn to unsweetened tea, coffee, and sugar-free (especially xylitol-based) gum.
2. Brush with fluoride toothpaste and floss.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, especially after meals. (Monitor young children’s toothpaste usage, though. The difference between a helpful and harmful dose of fluoride can be small.) Clean in between your teeth with floss or an interdental cleaner.
3. Visit your dentist regularly and actively participate in your care.
Your twice-yearly cleanings can help prevent problems, as we talked about earlier. Your dentist is also a crucial partner in helping you deal with small issues before they balloon into bigger ones. Ask questions, and follow your dentist’s recommendations.
One of the issues your dentist is always on the lookout for is small oral spots or sores that you most likely aren’t aware of. These spots could be oral cancer.
According to the ADA, oral cancer kills more US residents than either cervical or skin cancer (melanoma). As things stand now, only half of all people diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than five years.
But if you visit your dentist on the recommended six-month schedule, you’d be likely to be in the half of oral cancer patients that go on to live long lives.
In about 10% of patients, the dentist may notice a small red or white spot or sore. Most of these are harmless, but to be on the safe side, your dentist may do a biopsy.
If the biopsy comes back positive, it’s not the end of the world. You can treat oral cancer at an early, nearly-always-curable stage.
Three-quarters of oral cancers are associated with tobacco usage. Smokeless tobacco can also lead to periodontal disease.
We’ve all heard that smoking can cause cancer, but smokeless tobacco (snuff) is also bad news. One can of snuff a day delivers as much nicotine as 60 cigarettes. At that rate, snuff usage can cause periodontal disease and pre-cancerous lesions in as little as 3-4 months.
What about electronic cigarettes? Since they’re so new, there’s not much evidence available on their ill effects. But the evidence there is isn’t encouraging. Vaping may be healthier than smoking, but you’re still inhaling addiction-causing nicotine and toxic chemicals, which contributes to cancer.