1. Why should I go to the dentist regularly?|
Regular checkups are helpful because most dental problems do not have any symptoms until they reach the advanced stages of the disease process. Dr. Bart can detect and treat dental problems that may arise before they develop into painful conditions requiring additional services and higher costs.
2. Why should I floss, isnít brushing enough?
Flossing helps to reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth. There are millions of bacteria feeding on food particles left on your teeth and they live in plaque, which can be removed by flossing. Brushing your teeth gets rid of some of the bacteria in your mouth, but flossing gets rid of the bacteria your toothbrush canít reach. If you do not floss, you allow plaque to remain between your teeth. Eventually it hardens into tartar, which only a dentist can remove. If you floss regularly, both you and Dr. Bart will notice the difference at your next cleaning appointment.
3. How can I get my kids to brush their teeth?
Make it fun! If you are enthusiastic about brushing your teeth, your children will also be enthusiastic. Children want to do the things their parents do. If your children see you brushing your teeth and displaying good dental habits, they will follow. Also, begin to take your children to the dentist at an early age. All children should be seen by their 1st birthday or 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth. Ask Dr. Bart for other creative ways to get your children to brush their teeth.
4. How can I prevent cavities?
Great question! Here are some tips to minimizing the number of cavities you get:
These good dental hygiene habits will go a long way toward a no-cavity visit.
- Always spend 2-3 minutes brushing your teeth; it takes that long to get rid of the bacteria that destroys tooth enamel. Also, do not brush too hard as it takes very little pressure to remove bacteria and plaque.
- Floss at least once a day. It is the only way to get bacteria from between your teeth.
- Watch the sugar you eat. There is sugar in candy, fruits, crackers and chips—the foods that the bacteria in your mouth like best.
- Be mindful of foods like raisins and peanut butter that stick to your teeth. They can provide a constant supply for the bacteria eating into your teeth.
- Try to minimize the times during the day when sweet items are eaten—and clean your teeth afterwards.
- If you cannot brush after a meal, rinse your mouth with water—which can help to remove food from your teeth.
- Chewing sugarless gum after a meal can also help. Chewing stimulates the flow of saliva which acts as a natural plaque-fighting substance.
- Do not forget your regular dental visits!
5. Why does the dentist take X-rays?
Many diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues cannot be seen when your dentist examines your mouth. An X-ray examination is able to reveal:
- small areas of decay between the teeth or below existing restorations/fillings
- infections in the bone
- periodontal (gum) disease
- abscesses or cysts
- developmental abnormalities
- some types of tumors
Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save time, money and often unnecessary discomfort.
6. What causes morning breath?
Bacteria found on teeth, in mouth crevices and on the taste buds of the tongue break down food particles, producing sulfur compounds. It is actually these sulfur compounds that give our breath a bad odor. During waking hours, saliva helps to wash away bacteria and food particles, and helps to dissolve the foul smelling sulfur compounds. However, saliva production in the mouth decreases when we sleep, thus the sulfur compounds are not as readily dissolved. Chronic, long-term mouth odor can be a sign of a more serious illness. See Dr. Bart if mouth odor is a concern.