Preventive care is a foundation of dentistry. At Dovedale Family Dentistry, we believe strongly in taking a preventive approach to dental care. Promoting health through preventive and routine hygiene care is the heart of our practice. More than just “cleaning”, these visits allow us to monitor your health and catch potential problems early. We take the time to care about your specific needs! Ask us about the latest techniques and products to assist you, we are here to help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.
Do I really need to have my teeth professionally cleaned?
Yes. Even if you brush and floss after every meal and before bed, bacteria-harboring plaque can accumulate in the tiniest crevices, grooves and pits. Overtime, the teeth will begin to decay in those areas, which may result in pain and partial or total tooth loss.
What should I expect at my cleaning and exam consultation?
Your cleaning and consultation will consist of a visible examination of the teeth and gums. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you may also require x-rays for a more comprehensive view of your teeth. You’ll also consult with our dentists about any oral health problems you may have been having or questions that you may have. The cleaning will follow, during which a dental hygienist will use special instruments to remove hardened plaque from your teeth. Finally, your teeth will be polished before our dentists discusses any treatment recommendations he may have for you.
What types of guidelines should I follow after my visit?
In between dental cleanings and consultations, be sure to maintain good oral habits at home. This includes daily flossing and brushing after meals. It’s also important to use a fluoridated toothpaste.
Dental Exams, Cleanings and X-Rays
Avoid cavities, infections and bad breath with your regular dental exam and cleaning! The Canadian Dental Association recommends that a routine dental examination and cleaning are performed every 6 months.
We care about your oral health and want you to be at your best! Our office takes the time to perform a comprehensive examination of your teeth and gums and tissues, including an oral cancer screening, and we utilize low radiation digital x-rays to customize a personalized treatment plan. All of our cleanings are performed with an ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque and calculus from the teeth.
Plaque and calculus on the teeth and below the gums can cause several dental problems including tooth decay, gum disease, bone loss, bad breath, and potentially tooth loss. Always remember that regular and routine dental cleanings can eliminate plaque and calculus build-up and remove harmful bacteria. Keep those teeth healthy and pearly white!
Do you or your spouse snore in your sleep?
If so, there is a solution to those deafening, nighttime sounds. Most people are unaware of the other problems brought on by snoring (in addition to the lack of sleep), including persistent dry mouth and sore throat.
These symptoms are not nearly as severe as the underlying risk factors associated with deep snoring, which is usually diagnosed as sleep apnea. High blood pressure and cardiopulmonary health problems are often directly linked to this widespread health condition; sleep apnea is characterized by consistent bouts of ceased breathing during the night, to the point where the individual will often wake up extremely fatigued and lethargic the next day.
Headaches, excessive thirst, memory problems, and overall poor productivity are all caused by these recurring interruptions in one’normal sleep pattern. The worst part for people who sleep alone is they often go months or years without knowing what is wrong.
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, it would be a good idea to partake in a sleep study. The sooner you know what is causing your sleep troubles, the sooner you can find a way to fix it. Since heart failure is not out of the question for sufferers of severe sleep apnea, it is very important that you get help now.
One method that has significantly helped millions of patients get rid of their snoring problems is the
Sports Guards / Night Guard
Dental mouth guards have long been used to protect the teeth, gums and supporting tissues from damage, injury and trauma. There are two types of sports mouth guards – over the counter (OTC) and custom.
While OTC guards are helpful for occasional use, many dental patients require the benefit of a customized dental mouth guard fitted by a dentist to effectively prevent injury.
Do I need a dental mouth guard?
There are many reasons why wearing a dental mouth guard could be right for you.
A few examples include:
- Nighttime wear to prevent damage from teeth grinding and bruxism
- Tooth and lip protection during high-impact sports, such as martial arts
- To serve as a barrier between the lips and oral appliances, such as metal braces
- To protect fragile bridgework
What should I expect when my dentist fits me for a mouth guard?
Your visit will consist of taking an impression of your teeth that will be used as a mold for your new mouth guard. You may even be able to leave your dental appointment with your custom mouth guard in-hand.
Should I follow any special instructions?
Before you leave your dentist’s office with your new mouth guard, you’ll receive instructions on how and when to wear it. If you suffer from TMJ disorders or bruxism, for example, you will likely wear your mouth guard at night. If you participate in recreational sports, however, you may only need to wear your mouth guard during physical activity.
Dental sealants are clear coatings applied to the surfaces of a child’s molars to prevent the development of tooth decay. They work by preventing food and plaque from resting in the grooves and crevices of molars – an area especially susceptible to cavities.
Will dental sealants affect the feel or appearance of my child's teeth?
Sealants bond directly to the teeth, where they harden to a clear or tooth-colored coat. This makes them virtually undetectable to others. Though it is normal to feel new sealants with the tongue, most children quickly adapt to their presence.
What will my child experience when getting sealants?
The process of getting sealants is fast and painless. The tooth is cleaned before the dentist paints the sealant onto the enamel. The sealant will immediately harden, acting as a barrier between bacteria and the chewing surface of the teeth. In most cases, sealants will last several years before needing to be reapplied. However, regular visits to the dentist will be necessary to monitor the condition of the sealants and examine their effectiveness.
Will sealants prevent all cavities?
While sealants are extremely effective for preventing tooth decay in children, they do not replace other forms of preventative oral health care. Children should still brush and floss each day using a fluoridated toothpaste. Regular dental exams and a balanced diet low in sugar are also essential for good long-term oral health.
TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint)
TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint, which is the bone structure, muscles and connective tissues that surround the jaw and control chewing. When patients experience disorders of this joint, they are said to have a temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD. Symptoms of TMD include pain and tenderness near the jaw, as well as popping or clicking in the joint when speaking or chewing. There are many ways of treating TMJ disorders, ranging from non-invasive therapy and bite splints to injections or surgery. Left untreated, however, TMJ disorders can lead to headaches, muscle pain, malocclusion and tooth damage from grinding or clenching.
How do I know if TMJ treatment is right for me?
You will first need to be formally examined and diagnosed with TMJ disorder. You dentist will evaluate the extent of the condition and determine what course of treatment is best for you. Usually, the initial approach involves conservative treatments, such as self-care, physical therapy and bite guards. Medications may also be used to relax the jaw or relieve pain. Patients who do not respond to conservative treatments may be considered for surgery or joint injections.
What should I expect if I undergo treatment for TMJ?
TMJ treatment varies from patient to patient, so your experience may be very different than someone else’s. You’ll probably be asked to adopt certain lifestyle changes to help facilitate rehabilitation in your jaw. For example, you may be asked to avoid sudden jaw movements, such as yelling or yawning. You may also need to begin sleeping on your back and take steps to reduce your stress levels.
Will I need to follow any special post-care instructions while being treated for TMJ?
Your post-treatment care instructions will vary according to the type of treatment you receive. If you undergo an aggressive treatment, such as surgery, you may be temporarily subject to an all-liquid diet. You’ll also need to apply ice to the face to minimize swelling and also keep the surgical site clean and dry.