Family Dentistry

Family dentistry services are the cornerstone of a healthy smile. You and your family dentist can make a great team for maintaining optimal oral health for all of your family members when everything goes according to plan. Both patients and professionals have important roles in this process.

For the patients, it’s essential to practice good oral hygiene habits, including brushing and flossing, on a daily basis. Professional care is needed to keep your smile in good shape or to repair the damage that has occurred. Both home care and professional care are crucial to preserving your oral health, and neither should be neglected. Be sure to practice good oral hygiene habits every day, and see your dentist twice a year for checkups and professional cleanings.

Preventive Care

Preventing oral diseases begins at home with routine brushing and flossing. This is an important first step to minimizing the presence of disease-causing oral bacteria. However, your home oral hygiene regimen still needs support with preventive care from your family dentist. You should be scheduling these checkups twice a year.

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At these routine appointments, the dentist will examine your teeth and gums for signs of oral diseases and recommend treatment if necessary. Routine dental exams also include an oral cancer screening, which can be life-saving. Oral cancer is highly treatable and has a good prognosis when it is still localized at the time of diagnosis. However, survival rates plummet when oral cancer has invaded surrounding tissues.

Patients may also consider adding a fluoride treatment to a cleaning and exam. This supplemental intervention helps to strengthen teeth. This affordable, quick treatment add-on offers another layer of protection for your smile.

Experienced dental hygienists also provide professional cleanings at these appointments, which are another important weapon in your arsenal against tooth decay and gum disease. You may be doing your best at brushing and flossing, but bacteria-laden plaque and tartar can still accumulate in some areas of your smile, especially the spots that are hard to clean thoroughly. A dental hygienist has a better angle on some of the areas of your smile and can use specialized instruments to thoroughly clean between the teeth and remove tartar buildup along the gum line.

General Dentistry Treatments

Unfortunately, patients sometimes will develop issues such as cavities that need to be addressed by a dentist, even when they are diligent about brushing and flossing as directed. In these cases, it’s important to seek treatment in a timely fashion, before the condition has the opportunity to progress and cause more damage. For example, it is preferable to address a cavity with a small filling rather than wait until it gets worse and needs a more involved restoration such as a dental crown.

Common General Dentistry Questions

Why should I go to the dentist regularly?

There are many compelling reasons to see your dentist on a semi-annual basis. First of all, this allows the dentist to monitor your smile for signs of issues like cavities or gum disease and provide treatment early in the disease process if any problems are detected. If you don’t see your dentist on a regular basis, it’s likely that any cavities or gum disease that develop will become more severe and require more intensive treatment. In the case of oral cancer, early diagnosis can truly save your life. Additionally, it’s also a good idea to have a dentist who is familiar with your baseline and can use that knowledge to provide treatment for a dental emergency, should one occur.

How often should I brush and floss?

Your home oral hygiene routine is essential to keeping your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. You should be brushing your teeth twice each day and flossing daily, ideally right before one of your brushing sessions.

Keep in mind that frequency is not the only consideration when it comes to your oral hygiene regimen. You need to be brushing for a long enough period of time – two minutes each session – and using proper technique. If you’re brushing too aggressively or not giving your gumline enough attention, you aren’t gaining the maximum benefit from this practice. If you have any questions about how to brush and floss your teeth correctly, you should check in with your dentist or dental hygienist at one of your regular visits.

How often should I have a cleaning?

Patients should have their teeth cleaned every six months to clear away any plaque or tartar that might build up even if you are brushing and flossing every day. It can be difficult for patients to thoroughly clean all areas of their smile, especially in the rearmost portion of the smile or behind the front teeth along the gumline. Dental hygienists can clean those areas more thoroughly as an additional measure to reduce the presence of oral bacteria. If you delay such cleanings, the oral bacteria can attack your teeth and gums and cause harmful oral diseases.