At Timber Family Dental, our dedication to creating healthy, beautiful smiles is matched only by our commitment to educating our patients about the best practices for maintaining them. Whether you’re wondering about daily oral hygiene, looking to understand the symptoms of gum disease, or curious about our services, you’ll find all the answers here.
Please read on to learn more about dental care and maintaining optimal oral health. Contact our office if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment!
The best way to remove decay-causing plaque is by brushing and cleaning between your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush.
- Make sure the size and shape of your brush allow you to reach all areas easily.
- Use toothpaste that contains fluoride, which helps protect your teeth from decay.
- A fluoride mouth rinse, in conjunction with brushing and flossing, can also help prevent tooth decay.
It is also important to clean between the teeth once a day with floss or interdental cleaners. This practice effectively eliminates plaque buildup between your teeth—an area beyond the reach of your toothbrush. Flossing or using interdental cleaners can significantly reduce the risk of gum disease.
We also emphasize the significance of maintaining a balanced diet and scheduling regular dental checkups for optimal oral health. This ensures not only healthy teeth but also a radiant smile that is always looking its best.
It is estimated that four out of five people unknowingly suffer from periodontal disease. Also known as gum disease, the condition is often painless in its initial stages, leading many individuals to overlook the early warning signs. Since symptoms may not be noticeable, it’s crucial to schedule regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations. This proactive approach allows us to identify and address the problems caused by periodontal disease—ensuring prompt treatment to maintain optimal oral health.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Loose teeth
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of partial dentures
The frequency of dental visits largely depends on the condition of your oral health. For patients with healthy gums, little or no history of decay, good home care, and no significant medical conditions, we can usually help you maintain optimal dental health with cleanings and check-ups twice a year. However, everyone is different, and some patients may need more frequent cleanings or certain dental procedures.
Once we complete a thorough dental examination, we will engage in a detailed conversation regarding your specific treatment requirements and choices. Together, we will curate a personalized treatment plan while meticulously exploring the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
Absolutely! Regular flossing is highly advantageous. It effectively dislodges food particles residing in those narrow crevices, inaccessible to toothbrush bristles. Additionally, flossing stimulates and tones gum tissues. These actions collectively contribute to the prevention of gum disease.
Bad breath (halitosis), while an unpleasant and often embarrassing condition, is usually avoidable and treatable. It can be caused by improper dental hygiene, lifestyle, or a dental condition.
Taking proper care of your oral health, both at home and with regular cleanings and dental checkups, is vital for combating bad breath and ensuring freshness in your breath. Brushing and flossing daily is critical because food particles that remain in the mouth collect bacteria, which in turn cause bad breath.
- Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque, and brush your tongue as well.
- Use floss or an interdental cleaner once a day to clean between teeth.
- For our patients who need extra help in controlling plaque, we often recommend using a special antimicrobial mouth rinse.
Bad breath can also be caused by what you eat (such as onions or garlic); foods that have a strong odor convey that odor through the air we exhale as they are being digested and eliminated by the body. Even if you do brush, floss, and use mouthwash, this only masks the odor temporarily until the food is eliminated. Tobacco products also cause bad breath. If you use tobacco, come to us for tips on kicking the habit.
Dry mouth (xerostomia), a decrease in saliva flow, is a condition that can contribute to bad breath. One of the jobs of saliva is to cleanse the mouth and remove particles that may cause odor, so a decrease in saliva flow becomes a problem. Dry mouth may be caused by various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth.
- If you suffer from dry mouth, we may prescribe artificial saliva or suggest you suck on sugarless candy to induce saliva flow and increase your fluid intake.
There are many medical disorders that can affect your breath as well, such as a respiratory tract infection, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, and liver or kidney ailment. If an exam reveals that your mouth is healthy, we might refer you to your family doctor or a specialist to determine the cause of bad breath.
If you suspect that you have persistent bad breath, we strongly encourage you to schedule an examination with us. Before your appointment, it may be helpful to keep track of the foods you consume and make note of any medications you’re taking (as some medications can contribute to unpleasant mouth odors). Please notify our team if you have had any surgeries or illnesses since your last appointment. These factors can help us identify the potential cause of persistent bad breath.
Insufficient saliva production, also known as dry mouth, can arise from various underlying conditions. It doesn’t sound very serious, but left untreated, dry mouth can damage your teeth and gums.
Some medications can lead to dry mouth, such as antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, and diuretics. We can help find the source of your dry mouth and recommend methods to restore moisture to your mouth once the cause is determined, such as artificial saliva, sucking on sugarless hard candy, and increasing fluid intake.
Discolorations can be caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth. Smokers and people who drink coffee or tea on a regular basis accelerate the discoloration and require cleaning more often. This is among the most common reasons for teeth whitening.
The pain of tooth sensitivity can be sharp, sudden, and extend deep into the nerve endings of your teeth. This discomfort, felt in one or more teeth, is triggered by hot, cold, sweet, or sour foods and drinks, tooth grinding, or even by breathing cold air.
The cause of sensitive teeth is the exposure of the underlying layer of your teeth (dentin) as a result of receding gum tissue (the protective covering of the tooth roots.) There are many factors that may lead to sensitive teeth, including brushing too hard, tooth decay near the gum line, recession of the gums, or plaque build-up.
We want you to look your best, and whitening your teeth is one way we do that. At your next appointment, we will take an impression of your upper and lower teeth and make a custom tray for you that you can use at home. At your convenience, you simply place the whitening gel in the tray and wear the bleaching trays for an hour once or twice a day.
Whitening your teeth is painless and easy. However, some people have experienced a slight increase in tooth sensitivity during the process, so we recommend using sensitivity toothpaste for a week prior to starting and during the whitening process.
In some cases, simply reshaping (contouring) the front teeth may produce a dramatic result in correcting jagged, chipped, or slightly uneven teeth. Our team simply utilizes sanding discs and creativity to create a natural look with existing teeth. In other cases, additional cosmetic consultation is desired to determine if additional treatments like bonding or veneers would create a better long-term outcome.
In order to help us identify any underlying conditions and perform a complete examination for new patients, we take a full set of digital x-rays on your first visit; if you have had a full set taken within the last year at another dental office, we ask that you have those digital x-rays transferred to us. Depending on your overall health in general and oral health in particular, you may only need digital x-rays once a year, but some people will require them more frequently depending on their continued treatment, diet, oral hygiene, and/or health-related issues.
Dental sealants are a preventive dentistry measure that protects molars from developing cavities. They are a polymer resin that is brushed on the chewing surface of your teeth and then bonded to the tooth surface with a high-intensity light.
Because your teeth have many grooves on the chewing surface, food particles, and bacteria can accumulate in these grooves. As the bacteria consume the food particles, they release an acid that destroys tooth enamel. The result is a cavity. The sealant acts as a protective coating for the pits and grooves. They fill the deep grooves with acid-resistant resin, deny the bacteria a place to live, and render the tooth surface more cleanable. This process is considerably less expensive than filling a cavity.
Typically, we utilize a dental bridge to address the issue of missing teeth. This bridge, consisting of a false tooth or teeth, is securely anchored to the adjacent teeth with the purpose of providing a functional and aesthetically pleasing replacement. The bridge also helps support the teeth adjacent and directly opposite to the missing teeth. Depending on your situation, we might recommend a dental implant to fill in the space instead.