What is dentistry?
Dentistry is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions, disorders, and diseases of the teeth, gums, mouth, and jaw. Often regarded as necessary for complete oral health, dentistry can have an impact on the health of your entire body.
Who is a dentist?
A dentist is a specialist who works to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Dr. Tindle completed eight years of schooling to obtain her Doctorate of Medical Dentistry.
Why is visiting the dentist so important?
Visiting our office regularly will not only help keep your or your child’s teeth and mouth healthy, but will also help keep the rest of the body healthy. Dental care is important because it:
- Helps prevent tooth decay
- Protects against periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to tooth and bone loss and contributes to many other health issues
- Prevents bad breath; brushing, flossing, and seeing us regularly will help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath
- Creates a more attractive smile and increases the person’s self-confidence
- Helps keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco
- Strengthens the teeth so you or your son or daughter can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of your life!
My teeth feel fine; do I still need to see a dentist?
Your teeth may feel fine, but it’s still important to see us regularly because problems can exist without your knowing. Your smile’s appearance is important, and we can help keep it healthy and looking beautiful.
With so many advances in dentistry, people no longer have to settle for stained, chipped, missing, or misshapen teeth. Today’s dentists offer many treatment choices that can help you smile with confidence, including:
- Professional teeth whitening
- Fillings that mimic the appearance of natural teeth
- Tooth replacement and full smile makeovers
What should I look for when choosing the right dentist for me?
Choosing a dentist who “clicks” with you and your family is important. During your first visit, you should be able to determine whether the dentist is right for you. During your appointment, consider the following:
- Is the appointment schedule convenient?
- Does the office appear to be clean and orderly?
- Was your medical and dental history recorded and placed in a permanent file?
- Does the dentist explain techniques for good oral health?
- Is information about cost presented to you before treatment is scheduled?
- Is your dentist a member of the ADA (American Dental Association)?
How can I take care of my teeth between dental checkups?
- ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth at least two times a day, and floss at least once!
- Make sure to use toothpaste that has the ADA seal of approval, and ask us if you need a prescription fluoride paste. This will help prevent cavities.
- Avoid foods with a lot of sugar or carbohydrates (which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in the mouth and can cause more plaque and potential cavities), and avoid tobacco (which can stain the teeth, cause gum disease, and eventually lead to oral cancer).
- Be sure to brush your tongue! This will remove food particles and reduce the amount of plaque-causing bacteria. Tongue brushing also helps keep your breath fresh.
- Be sure to schedule your routine checkup. It is recommended that you visit the dentist every six months or as the doctor prescribes.
At what age should I start taking my child to see the dentist?
Dr. Tindle recommends that you bring your child to the office as early as 6 months and no later than one year. Your son or daughter’s baby teeth will be coming in and we can monitor the health of those first few teeth. After the first visit, be sure to schedule regular checkups every six months.
How often should I see the dentist?
Children, teens, and adults should all see the dentist for a regular checkup at least once every six months. Patients who are at a greater risk for oral cancer or gum disease may be required to come in more than just twice a year. Dr. Tindle will help determine how often you or your child should visit our office for regular checkups.
What is a cavity?
A cavity is a small hole that forms inside the tooth because of tooth decay. Cavities form when plaque buildup 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 remembering to brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss between teeth at least once.
What is a filling?
A filling is a material that dentists use to fill a cavity after all the tooth decay has been removed. Dr. Tindle most often uses a resin material that’s the color of your tooth and has adhesive properties to prevent leakage.
How often should I brush my teeth?
According to Dr. Tindle and the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least two times a day. Brushing keeps your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy by removing bacteria-causing plaque.
It is also recommended that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride when you brush your teeth. You should spend three minutes brushing your teeth, and remember to brush your tongue; it will help keep your breath smelling fresh!
When should I change my toothbrush?
Your toothbrush will eventually wear out, especially if you are brushing your teeth twice a day for three minutes each time. We recommend that adults and children change their toothbrush every three months. If you are using an electric toothbrush, be sure to read the directions because you may not have to change toothbrush heads as frequently.
Patients with gum disease are encouraged to change their toothbrush every four to six weeks to keep bacteria from spreading. After brushing, rinse your brush with water to 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. Gum disease has been linked with heart disease, diabetes, strokes, pancreactic cancer and other health issues.
Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease. If detected, it 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 our office 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 us regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. We recommend you have your teeth cleaned every four to six months while in braces.
How do I schedule my next checkup?
Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to schedule your next dental checkup at your convenience. 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.