General Dentistry

Checkups

We highly recommend that you see a dentist at least twice a year for a check-up and cleaning. This allows us to find problems you may not be able to see or feel yourself. These regular check-ups prevent such problems from becoming a larger issue down the line. We can also detect the beginnings of tooth decay and provide a treatment plan to resolve it before it is too late, or harder to deal with. Patients with gum disease and patients who have a predisposition or tendency to get cavities or plaque buildup may require more frequent visits.

When you come to our practice for your routine visit, you will receive a cleaning; tooth polishing, and prevention and care instructions. The cleaning will remove any plaque buildup around your teeth, which gathers over time, especially in hard to brush or floss places. If not physically removed by a dentist or dental hygienist, plaque can lead to cavities or disease. Regular removal of this plaque is the only way to prevent later problems. While daily brushing and flossing are necessary, they just aren’t enough.

During your checkup, recommendations will be given based on your examination and any needed digital x-rays. Digital x-rays can help a dentist determine if there are any problem areas that need to be addressed and lets him see below the surface to anticipate issues. Your checkup is also the time to address any pain or problems you have been experiencing. Be honest with us about your issues with dry mouth, chewing, swallowing, sleeping, breathing, or other oral irregularities. The sooner these are addressed, the faster it can be taken care of.

Prophy (Cleanings)

Take advantage of your dental benefits and get regular teeth cleanings. Some plans have low or no copayments/coinsurance for dental cleanings and oral exams. You will be saving money in the long run and helping to protect your oral health and avoid costly and extensive procedures and the result will be a whiter, brighter smile!

Dental cleanings can remove built-up stains from coffee, tea, wine and tobacco and leave you with fresh breath and polished teeth.

Night Guards

A high percentage of our population grinds or clenches their teeth at night, often not even aware they are clenching or grinding. Bruxism (teeth grinding) is the third most common sleep disorder in both adults and children. People who clench their teeth often do it all day, without realizing it, and often experience no pain at all. Others can experience a variety of symptoms such as migraines, neck aches, gum recession, toothaches and facial pain.

Some may do this consciously during the day, but it is a larger problem at night while you sleep. Grinding your teeth can damage enamel, wear down teeth, cause jaw pain, or irritate your gums. The noise from teeth grinding can also disturb your spouse’s sleep if loud enough. 

If you grind your teeth you should consider a night guard. The night guard, which is very similar to a mouth guard worn by athletes, provides a barrier between your top and bottom teeth while you sleep. All night guards are custom fitted for comfort and to allow for proper breathing. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and have the night guard created by a dental lab. Night guards are very durable and can be used for up to 10 years. 

There are also some things that you can do to try to stop teeth grinding. You can train your jaw to be free and easy rather than clenched. Refrain from chewing gum or on other objects like pens. You should also avoid alcoholic drinks and drinks with caffeine, as these can increase the likelihood you will grind your teeth. If you suspect you might be grinding your teeth at night set up an appointment with us today.

Reasons for a Check-Up

It isn’t always clear for parents to determine if their child requires an orthodontic solution. There are however, a few signs or habits that may indicate a need for a check-up, no matter the age:

  • Losing baby teeth at too early or late a time
  • Difficult when biting or chewing
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Sucking on one’s finger
  • Sucking on one’s thumb
  • Jaws that shift or make noises
  • Misplaced, crowded or blocked out teeth
  • Teeth that do not meet or meet abnormally
  • Jaw and teeth out of proportion to the rest of the face
  • Biting of the roof of the mouth or the cheeks

If you are concerned that your child or teen may have any of the above symptoms, contact us today and schedule an orthodontic consultation.

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