Answers to Everyday Dental Questions
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How many times should I brush my teeth everyday?

It is recommended to brush 2-3 times per day. It is easier to remember to brush when you get ready in the morning and to brush before you go to sleep at night. If you can sneak in a brush after lunch, by all means, go for it!

Do I really need to floss?

Although a number of people hate to floss, and an even bigger number don't remember to floss, it is a very important part of your oral hygiene routine. Toothbrushes are designed to clean teeth on the surfaces that we can see. They are not designed to clean the surface between our teeth. This is where flossing comes in play. Flossing helps with cleaning the food and buildup between the teeth. When food and sugar are left alone to make a home between teeth, cavities can start to form. This is called interproximal decay.

How young should I brush my child's teeth?

As soon as their teeth start coming through the gums! It helps in keeping teeth clean, as well as getting them used to brushing their teeth. For babies, you can use a wash cloth to clean their teeth.

Why is it advised to get a professional cleaning every 6 months?

Brushing your teeth everyday is great for keeping up your oral hygiene! Seeing a dental professional every 6 months will help even more with your oral hygiene! It is advised to see them every 6 months to make sure you are getting all the areas to need to be and also cleaning areas where toothbrushes can't, under the gums. Dental professionals use special instruments that can take off plaque that has stayed on teeth and has now turned into calculus.

How do cavities start?

Cavities start when food and sugar are left to stay on the surface of the tooth. Bacteria in our mouths break down these items and secrete acid onto our teeth. The acid breaks down the tooth structure if left unchecked and causes holes, or cavities in our teeth. If you notice you are getting a cavity, please don't hesitate to come in for an exam and get the cavity filled. If a cavity is left to continue to decay, it could go deep enough to eventually need a root canal.

What to do if a tooth starts to have pain?

If you are having pain in one or more of your teeth, please give us a call so we can set up a time to find out what the cause is. It is common for people to wait too long and bear the pain because they do not want to see a dentist. We encourage you to come in as soon as you can, so that the issue can be taken care of before progressing.

How can I prevent or lessen the effects of gingivitis?

Keeping your oral hygiene habits strict is the enemy of gingivitis. Since oyu are not at the dentist everyday, it is your best fight! Brushing, flossing and the use of a tongue scraper/cleaner and a waterpik flosser are key to keeping gingivitis at bay. If you notice that your gums are bleeding or always sore/swollen, set up an appointment with us and we can assess your gums to see what professional treatment is needed. We recommend the following products:

Are dental x-rays safe?

Dental x-rays that are taken in the office will emit a small level of radiation. This was more of a concern before the advancements of dental technology. Newer equipments allow x-rays to be taken at lower radiation doses which in turn emits less radiation towards a patient. Dental x-rays are very safe and the use of a lead apron when taking x-rays also helps with the small amount of stray radiation. We also receive radiation by a lot of regular day-to-day activities such as being in the sun, flying in airplane, and even the bananas that we eat are naturally radioactive. Unless you are getting dental x-rays everyday, you are in the safe zone.

A few situations that we like to keep radiation exposure to a minimum is for pregnant women as well as young children.

What if I have a fear of going to the dentist?

Having a fear of going to the dentist can be a real thing! Whether from an unpleasant past experience or having white coat syndrome in which you have feelings of anxiety in a medical setting. We want you to know at North Valley Dentistry, we understand these situations and every time you come in to see us, our goal is to make you feel right at home. If you want to know about others' experiences with us, check out our Reviews!

Also as technology furthers, dental procedures are being done with more patient friendly methods and with shorter chair times that will make it easier on you as a patient.

What should I do if my gums bleed a lot when I brush and floss?

You should have very minimal bleeding while brushing and flossing. If you notice that there is a good amount of bleeding after these daily activities, this could mean that you may have gum disease. You can visit our Periodontics page to get more information about the PerioProtect system and then set up an appointment with us by calling 602-866-8800. PerioProtect is a great system to strengthen the gums and get your perio condition under control.