Good dental hygiene and oral care is vital for both children and adults. Early treatment prevents problems affecting a child's health, well-being, self-image and overall achievement. Dr. Sara will discuss with you several preventative options for your child's dental health, including sealant applications and fluoride supplements, if needed. We encourage parents to get involved with teaching their children proper brushing and flossing techniques and bringing their children in for regular visits with Dr. Sara.
Did you know that adults can achieve a healthier lifestyle simply by having good oral hygiene? Research indicates possible links between the bacteria causing gum disease and systemic diseases like cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and pre-term birth. Dr. Sara recommends eating a balanced diet, brushing and flossing daily and regular dental checkups to prevent periodontal disease and maintaining your overall health.
Brush your teeth after breakfast, after lunch or right after school, following dinner and at bedtime. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth and the surface of each tooth. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth and the outside, inside and chewing surface of all of your front and back teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse. As soon as the bristles start to wear down or fray, replace your toothbrush with a new one. Do not swallow any toothpaste; rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after you finish brushing. It is important to carefully floss and brush daily for optimal oral hygiene.
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Floss daily to remove food particles and plaque that brushing cannot reach. Dental floss is a thin thread of waxed nylon that is used to reach below the gum line and clean between teeth. It is very important to floss between your teeth every day. Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out any food particles or plaque. Floss behind all of your back teeth. Floss at night to make sure your teeth are squeaky clean before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not go away after the first few times, let a staff member know at your next appointment.
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Selecting a diet that promotes oral health is important. Foods high in sugar can cause tooth decay. The more frequently you eat sugar or sugary foods, the more likely you will experience tooth decay and cavities. If you do eat foods high in sugar, do not consume them frequently. Always give your teeth a good cleaning afterwards. The protein in dairy products binds to the outer tooth and prevents bacteria from sticking to the surface of the tooth. Choose healthy snacks like, fresh fruit, raw vegetables or popcorn. Try not to snack before bedtime. Be sure to see your dentist regularly.
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Most of your visits to see Dr. Sara will be checkups. Regular checkups (Dr. Sara recommends every six months) will help your teeth stay cleaner, last longer and can prevent painful problems from developing.
A thorough cleaning
Checkups include a complete cleaning, from one of our talented hygienists. Using special instruments and care, we will scrape below the gum line, removing built-up plaque and tartar that can cause gum disease, cavities, other problems. We will also polish and floss your teeth while we have you still in the chair.
A full examination
Dr. Sara will perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth, looking for signs of disease or other problems. Her goal is to help you maintain good oral health and prevent problems from becoming serious. Dr. Sara does this by identifying and treating them as soon as possible.
Depending on your age or symptoms, Dr. Sara may recommend X-rays. X-rays can show problems that may otherwise go overlooked. Things such as damage to jawbones, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors, as well as decay between the teeth. We uses X-ray machines that emit virtually no radiation — no more than you would receive from a weekend watching your favorite TV show. But, as a precaution, we will still ask you to wear a lead apron when having an X-ray. If you are pregnant, please inform us before hand, as X-rays should only be taken in emergency situations.
In some situations Dr. Sara may ask to take a Panoramic X-ray, or Panorex. This type of film provides a complete view of your upper and lower jaw in a single picture. This allows Dr. Sara to better understand your bite and the relationship between the different teeth and your arch.
Your Next Visit
If Dr. Sara give you a big thumbs-up, you probably won't need to come back for another six months. If more treatment is required, we will schedule an appointment for you before you leave the office. Please don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have —this is your big chance to get the answers you need.
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