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Why is visiting the dentist so important?

General Dentist FAQ HoustonVisiting your dentist at Midtown Houston’s polishDENTISTRY regularly can not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but also help keep the rest of you body healthy. Regular visits can prevent problems down the road. Dental care is important because it:

  • Helps prevent tooth decay
  • Protects against periodontal (gum) disease – which is the number one cause of tooth loss and bone loss
  • Prevents bad breath – brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist regularly will help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath
  • Increases your confidence when you have a healthy, bright, white smile
  • Helps keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco
  • Strengthens your teeth so that you can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of your life!

My teeth feel fine. Do I still need to see a dentist?

Don’t wait until something hurts, before you go see the dentist. If you do, chances are more work will be needed than if you came preventatively. Your teeth may feel fine, but it’s still important to see the dentist regularly because problems can exist without you knowing. Your smile’s appearance is important, but the overall health of the mouth is our main priority. With so many advances in dentistry, you no longer have to settle for stained, chipped, missing, or misshapen teeth. We can offer many treatment choices that can help you smile with confidence, including:

How can I take care of my teeth between dental checkups?

  • BRUSH AND FLOSS! It doesn’t get much simpler than this. You should be brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. You should be brushing for at least 2 minutes minimum and making sure that you floss every tooth front and back.
  • Brush your tongue. This will reduce bacteria in mouth and also help freshen your breath
  • To help prevent cavities, use toothpaste that contains fluoride. You need this small amount in between your dental visits to help keep teeth strong.
  • Avoid tobacco- this can not only stain your teeth, but also cause gum disease, recession, bone loss and will lead to oral cancer
  • Try to limit foods and candy high in sugar
  • Be sure to schedule your routine checkup. It is recommended that you have a cleaning and check up at least every six months, unless otherwise recommended by your dentist

At what age should I start taking my child to see the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children first see a dentist as early as six months or when first tooth erupts and no later than one year of age. During this time, your child’s baby teeth will be coming in and your dentist can examine the health of your child’s first few teeth- they can get cavities too! After the first visit, be sure to schedule regular checkups every six months.

How often should I see the dentist?

Most children, teens, and adults should all see the dentist for a regular checkup at least once every six months. Some patients who are at a greater risk for oral cancer or have gum disease may be required to see the dentist more than just twice a year. Your dentist at Midtown Houston’s polishDENTISTRY will help determine how often you should visit the dentist for regular checkups.

What is a cavity?

A cavity is a hole that forms inside the tooth because of tooth decay. Cavities are formed when plaque builds up on the outside of the tooth combines with sugars and starches in the food you eat. This produces an acid that can eat away the enamel on your tooth. If a cavity is left untreated, it can lead to more serious oral health problems. Cavities can be prevented by seeing the dentist every six months, and by brushing and flossing your teeth daily.

What is a filling?

Once the decay inside your tooth is removed and only healthy structure remains, a synthetic material is used to fill it back up. This material can be composite, ceramic, or even gold – it is shaped to match your natural tooth’s form and your mouth’s bite. Once completed it will function as a healthy, normal part of your tooth.

When should I change my toothbrush?

Whether you have an electric toothbrush with heads or a manual toothbrush, it should be changed every three months or when the bristles start to flare out. If you don’t it will not be as effective when using it and therefore may not act as the preventative measure we want. 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 and has migrated under the gums. Other causes of periodontal disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease, and, if detected, 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 the dentist 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 that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

How do I schedule my next checkup?

Simply call or email us: (713) 942-0101 or infomidtown@polishdentistry.com We are always accepting new patients. If you are a new patient, please let us know and we will provide you with all the information you need for your first dental visit.