Categories

Archives

How Often Should You Visit the Dental Office? A Guide for All Ages!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: February 3, 2023
how often should you go to the dentist

We often talk about the need for regular dental checkups as this ensures not just your oral health but also your overall health. However, how often should you go to the dentist?

The thumb rule is to see a dentist every 6 months. Of course, if you are facing any specific dental issue, your dentist will fix your schedule depending on your bespoke condition.

Who should visit dental office more often?

The following categories of people, who have a higher risk of dental disease, may be required to see a dentist sooner than 6 months. These include:

  • Pregnant Women
  • Diabetics
  • Smokers
  • People who are suffering from gum disease
  • People who are prone to build up of plaque

What do dental checkups every 6-month entail?

1. Regular Exams

First things first, a six-monthly regular dental exam will ensure that your teeth are healthy. Importantly, they will help identify & address issues before they become critical. There are issues you are not experiencing symptoms for and can be addressed in the bud. Importantly, dental exams also help screen for issues like oral cancer, which can be cured if detected in the initial stages.

Overall, as they say, prevention is far better than cure; this is exactly what these exams help with.

2. Teeth Cleaning

The importance of regular teeth cleaning is immense. Of course, they help address tooth stains and give you a confident smile. Other than that, there could be an accumulation of plaque on your teeth. That it looks unsightly. More importantly if plaque left untreated turns into tartar. These are breeding spaces for bacteria and can also lead to tooth decay, gum disease as also bone loss in extreme conditions. Besides if the bacteria enter the bloodstream, it can lead to several issues including but not limited to strokes. Periodic teeth cleaning involves more than aesthetics.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Cost of teeth cleaning

3. Oral treatment in case of health issues

If you have any health issues, it is important to visit the dentist to know if the health issue has any oral implication. If so, the dentist will be in the best position to advise you of any oral treatments that may be necessary.

How often should child visit dentist?

Besides the above factors, with growing children, the importance of regular dental checkups cannot be overstated. In fact, the first visit to the dentist should be within 6 months of the first tooth erupting. Regular dental visits will ensure that the dentist can check that the development of the teeth is healthy.

Research has shown that children who only visit a dentist when there is a problem are more likely to have dental issues than children who are taken for regular dental visits.

The importance of regular dental visits for children also stems from the fact that it will help develop the habit of dental checkups even as they transition into adulthood. Broadly, such children are less likely to avoid the dentist’s chair on account of any irrational fears.

How often should senior citizens visit dentist?

When it comes to older adults, regular check-ups are exceedingly important. This is on account of several reasons- the first that senior citizens are likely to have dentures. Additionally, they are prone to several health issues that could have an implication on oral health as well. Some of the common dental conditions they tend to suffer from include root decay, dry mouth, tooth loss, darkened teeth, thrush, and more. When these issues are caught early, they can be cured. However, if they progress, they may sometimes be hard to reverse or may need invasive measures.

What can you expect during Dental visits?

A regular dental visit will entail the following:

  • The dentist will undertake a thorough examination of your mouth, teeth, and gums.
  • They will ask you about any oral health and general health issues you may be facing.
  • Ask you about any use of tobacco or alcohol.
  • Advise you about how to improve your oral hygiene.
  • If there are any issues that the dentist notices, he will advise the right treatment.
  • Also, undertake to screen for oral cancer. Should there be any noticeable issues, you may be referred to a specialist. Some of the signs and symptoms of oral cancer include:
    • Mouth sore that does not heal
    • Patch inside the mouth
    • Lump
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Bleeding
    • Chronic sore throat
    • Changes in bite
    • Weight loss
    • Pain in mouth, and more.

Rest assured that oral cancer screening as undertaken by the dentist is not an invasive procedure. The dentist will examine areas inside and outside your mouth.

What to do between dental visits?

While regular dental visits are important, what is even more important is the oral hygiene that you follow between dental visits. These include:

  • Brushing your teeth twice daily.
  • Using Fluoride Toothpaste.
  • Flossing at least once a day.
  • Using mouthwash.
  • Keeping your tongue clean.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Cavity vs Stain – Detection and Prevention

To sum up

It is important that regular dental checkups be given the importance they deserve. The usual tendency is to head to a dentist only when you are dealing with a dental issue.

However, it is important to remember that these issues & any others that can be snowballed and avoided with regular dental checkups. Pain or any other symptom is not a predictable indicator of a health issue. In other words, you may develop a condition & have no pain associated with it. It is important therefore not to assume that just because something does not hurt, it is not a problem.

It is important that other than answering the questions that the dentist asks, to the best of your knowledge, you also ask any questions that you may have. Remember that no question is too insignificant.

Don’t think too much just schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Sharda Patel to make aware of your oral condition with regular dental checkups. Dr. Sharda Patel is a Pleasanton-based dentist who provides various dental services including regular dental checkups, teeth cleaning, and advanced pediatric dentistry. Schedule an appointment now or mail us at office@dentaloasispleasanton.com.

Scaling and Root Planing: Process, Pain, and Aftercare Tips

By | Date posted: | Last updated: January 25, 2023
does scaling and root planing hurt

Scaling & Root Planing, also referred to simply as deep cleaning is an effective way to remove tartar & treat inflamed gums. For people suffering from Periodontitis, this is a much-needed treatment as in its absence patients can contend with the loss of teeth, gums & bone.

Risk factors that developed periodontitis

  • Diabetes
  • History of gum disease in the family
  • Dental bridges that haven’t been fitted correctly
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Poor oral hygiene, and more.

When do you need scaling and root planing?

There are several conditions that necessitate scaling and root planning

1. Oral Health

The accumulation of plaque & tartar is the perfect ground for bacteria to grow. In the early stages it could lead to Gingivitis where gums become red & swollen. This may progress to periodontal disease where there is inflammation of the gums & the bone that surrounds the teeth.

2. Overall Health

Gum disease is linked to a variety of other problems including the risk of heart disease and stroke. Ensuring that you undertake scaling & root planning will stop the bacteria from the teeth entering the bloodstream.

3. Look & feel

The procedure helps remove unsightly plaque, tartar & stains on your teeth & helps you look better & feel confident.

4. Stops bad breath

Bacteria causes a lot of bad breath, which is removed once the plaque and tartar are cleared away.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Cost of Dental Cleaning

Scaling and Root Planing Procedure

Process of Tooth Scaling

Your dentist will use an ultrasonic scaler, where its metal tip will remove the tartar that has accumulated on your teeth. There is a water spray on the scaler that washes the tartar away. The remaining pieces of tartar may be removed using a manual scaler & a scrapping device.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Prophylaxis Cleaning Vs Deep Cleaning

Process of Root Planing

While the process is similar to scaling. Root planning is undertaken below the gum line. Essentially the gum tissue will be gently pushed, and tartar will now be removed from the roots. Sometimes it may also be necessary to inject an antibiotic into the gum pockets.

After the procedure is complete, your dentist will want you to come back for a follow-up appointment. If the inflamed tissue has settled, pockets surrounding the gums are smaller & bleeding has stopped, you may in future only need periodic maintenance visits. However, if the pockets have become deeper, more visits may be needed.

Does scaling and root planing hurt?

You are likely to experience some pain & discomfort after the treatment. Increased sensitivity in the tooth & gums is also common. You could also witness swelling & redness in the gums.

Typically the pain subsides within 24-48 hours. You could experience minor bleeding during brushing, but it will soon go away. In case the bleeding continues, a moistened tea bag or gauze will come in handy to put pressure on the area. If you experience bleeding even after 48 hours, do contact the dental office.

Scaling and Root Planing Aftercare

Here are some effective after care tips.

1. Saltwater Rinses

Warm saltwater will not only relax your gums it will also remove any debris from around the teeth.

2. Gentle Brushing

After scaling & root planning treatment, it is important to brush softly so that your teeth & gums aren’t irritated. The use of a de-sensitizing toothpaste is ideal. Toothpastes that contain potassium nitrate could provide relief.

3. Water Flosser

The use of a water flosser will be ideal as you will not have to force your way between the teeth, up to the already irritated gums.

4. Soft Food

Consuming soft food for the first 48 hours is ideal. Soups, ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, cooked vegetables are Avoid eating nuts, popcorn or any other hard & crunchy food. Also avoid any hot & spicy food as also the intake of alcohol.

5. Physical Activity

Avoid physical activity immediately after the procedure.

6. Pain Relievers

For discomfort & pain, your dentist could recommend mild pain relievers. Do take the medications as advised along with following all instructions.

7. Dental Appointments

Ensure that you stick to your dental appointment schedule, as you may need more than one sitting for your scaling/root planning treatment.

In case you experience worsening pain, develop a fever or if the healing does not take place as expected, do not hesitate to contact your dentist.

To sum up

Teeth scaling & Root Planing are common procedures that are used to treat periodontal disease. These are performed as an outpatient procedure. The mild side effects that you may experience settle in a few days. The advantage that the procedure brings to your overall health is immense.

If you are facing any dental problems then schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Sharda Patel – a Pleasanton based dentist who provides several dental services like teeth whitening and tooth extraction including scaling and root planing.

National Children’s Dental Health Month: Facts, Figures, and How to celebrate it!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: January 19, 2023
children's dental health month

February is celebrated as National Children’s Dental Health Month. This month is dedicated to creating awareness about the importance of dental health and the essential measures to prevent dental diseases in children. Your child has equal risk of having dental diseases as you have. The parent is therefore responsible for taking care of their child’s oral health in the same way that they take care of their general health, such as through vaccinations and check-ups with a pediatrician. If you want to know more about national children’s dental health month and what you can do this month, continue to read this article.

Children’s Dental Health Month: Facts and Figures

Here are the facts and the figures you should know about the famous National Children’s Dental Health Month.

1. The History

National Children’s Dental Health Week celebrations were first held in February 1941 with a one-day event in Cleveland, Ohio and Akron, Ohio respectively.

Since then, the idea has expanded from a two-city event to a multi-state initiative. On February 8, 1949, the American Dental Association organized the first national celebration of Children’s Dental Health Day.

In 1955, the one-day celebration expanded to last for an entire week. A month-long celebration known as National Children’s Dental Health Month was added to the program in 1981. Since then, this awareness program is celebrated every year in February.

2. The Present State

Currently, millions of individuals in towns across the nation as well as at various military facilities are introduced to NCDHM messaging and getting benefits from it.

3. The Aim

The aim of this program is to educate parents and children about the importance of children’s oral health. It is crucial to know that in order to sustain good dental health throughout life, attitudes and behaviors must be formed early in life. Members of the dental team, parents, teachers and others are motivated to contribute to the yearly celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month to help children maintain beautiful smiles for years to come.

Good dental health for children: Why is it important?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry estimates that by the age of five, tooth decay will affect more than 50% of children. One of the most prevalent chronic disorders in children is tooth decay. Untreated dental decay can have detrimental effects, such as difficulties speaking, eating, and learning. Poor dental health in children frequently results in increased absences from school and decreased academic performance. Hence, good dental health is crucial for kids. 

Parents often have a misconception that baby teeth (milk or primary teeth) aren’t important as they will fall off. The fact is that children’s primary teeth are equally important to their dental health as permanent ones. Baby teeth guide the permanent teeth to come out (eruption). The permanent teeth start appearing at the age of six to seven years and finish by the age of 11 to 12 years. Till then baby teeth are the only teeth children have for chewing.

Moreover, if a baby’s tooth falls off early due to cavities, or for any other reason the child loses the primary teeth before time, the risk of having crooked permanent teeth highly increases. The reason behind this is that baby teeth hold the spaces for permanent teeth. If they fall off before time, the space for the permanent ones gets disturbed. Therefore, baby teeth prevent your child from getting braces in the future by preventing crooked teeth.

Furthermore, baby teeth give you a beautiful smile. The child may lack self-confidence in school if his or her smile is poor because of decayed front teeth or lost baby teeth before time.

Keeping good dental health in children: What should I do?

Parents should know the basic do and don’ts for keeping their child’s teeth healthy and clean. They are discussed below.

Do’s for Children Dental Health

  • Wipe your infant’s gum pads daily with a clean cotton cloth especially after breastfeeding.
  • Brushing should be started after the eruption of the first baby tooth. Before two years of age use non-fluoridated toothpaste. After that fluoride toothpaste is recommended. Fluoride content can be easily seen in the ingredient section of the toothpaste packet.
  • Give your child fresh fruits and vegetables to eat for snacking.
  • Motivate children to brush two times daily and floss once a day. Flossing is not required for baby teeth because teeth contacts are not tight and natural gaps are present to provide space for future permanent teeth. But flossing is required for permanent teeth, so for teenagers with full permanent ones, flossing once a day is absolutely needed.
  • Assist your child in brushing up to six years of age. It is a fact that until your child learns to tie their shoelaces, they cannot brush their teeth.
  • Make an appointment for your child’s first dental checkup before their first birthday or soon after their first tooth erupts.
  • Drinking fluoride tap water also protects from dental decay. Fluoride in tap water (community water fluoridation) helps to repair the tooth’s surface.
  • Visit your dentist to know if your child needs sealants that can prevent the occurrence of cavities.

Don’ts Children Dental Health

  • Avoid putting infants to sleep with a bottle.
  • Do not use a silicone finger brush to clean your toddler’s baby teeth. A baby toothbrush should be used instead.
  • Do not use a whole lot of toothpaste for brushing. A very small amount of pea size toothpaste is more than enough for your child’s teeth.
  • Avoid sticky and sugary foods.
  • Avoid soda or juice at mealtimes, offer water instead.

National Children’s Dental Health Month: How to celebrate It?

National Children’s Dental Health Month is celebrated in several ways. There are frequent poster, coloring, and essay competitions, health fairs, free dental exams, museum exhibitions, lectures in the classroom, and tours of dental offices as part of local celebrations. These visual aids educate children about their oral health in a fun and interesting way. The parents, children, and caregivers are educated about the correct brushing techniques, the measures to take to make dental health good, the importance of dental health, and visits to the dentist, etc. 

Conclusion

National Children’s Dental Health Month is a great step toward creating awareness about dental health in children. By actively participating in these programs, one can gain more knowledge about how to keep oral health intact and prevent dental diseases in the future, like tooth decay and gum disease.

If you are living in Pleasanton or any areas nearby Pleasanton, then you should contact Dr. Sharda Patel who provides pediatric dentistry services which focus on your child’s healthy and happy smiles. If you want a consultation for your child’s health, feel free to call at 925-846-4491 or schedule dental appointment now.

Routine Dental Exams: To maintain the health and strength of your teeth

By | Date posted: | Last updated: November 21, 2022
routine dental exam

Taking good care of your teeth and gums doesn’t just lead to good oral health but is also conducive to improved overall health. Routine dental exams are a strong component of dental care as they help maintain the health and strength of your teeth. In fact, these go a long way in minimizing the risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Recommended Routine Dental Exam Duration

Typically, routine dental visits are recommended once every six months. The dentist, however, may recommend more frequent visits if you are at risk and there are active conditions that threaten your teeth and gums. The risks could include smoking or even consumption of medications that cause dry mouth, and more.

It is important to remember that several oral conditions are asymptomatic in the early stages and hence regular dental checkups can go a long way in diagnosing them before they become chronic. In fact, your dentist will make use of advanced technologies so as to detect conditions that cannot be seen with the naked eye. For example, dental x-rays. It can reveal cavities, signs of gum disease, bone loss and other such issues, well before they become chronic.

What does include in Routine Dental Exam?

1. Cleaning of Teeth

Routine Dental check-ups also involve Prophylaxis cleaning of teeth and thus removing plaque, which if left on the teeth can harden into tartar that not only erodes the teeth but is also known to cause severe gum infection. For patients who need more than regular cleaning, there is also the option of deep cleaning. Scaling & Root Planning is effective in removing the tartar beneath the gum line.

2. Oral Cancer Screening

Importantly, regular dental visits also involve screening for oral cancer. In fact, oral cancer is a common cancer of the head & neck that affects people all over the world. There are as many as 54,000 diagnosed cases of oral cancer in America alone, each year. While oral cancer isn’t hard to diagnose, it is important to have an early diagnosis for effective treatment. With late detection, fatality rates tend to be high.

The areas examined during an oral cancer screening include:

  • Lining of the cheek
  • Floor and roof of the mouth
  • Gums
  • Lips
  • Tongue
  • Tonsils

 

Typically, oral cancer screening involves the following:

A. Visual exam

This largely involves looking for lesions in the mouth and throat. These may show up as thick white patches or abnormally red areas.

B. Palpation

This involves your healthcare provider to look for any lumps around the face, neck, and jaw.

C. Oral cancer screening dye

Coating any lesions with a dye is another tool to help identify areas that may be cancerous.

D. Oral cancer screening light

The use of special light can also help identify abnormal tissues in the mouth. Under this light, a healthy tissue will appear dark, however any abnormal tissue will appear white.

If the screening indicates any abnormality, the dentist will then refer you to a specialist.

Preparation required for a dental exam

There are no major preparations required for a dental exam. However, if you suffer from some health conditions such as heart issues, immune system disorders or have had any recent surgeries, you may be required to take some antibiotics before your exam. Also, in case you are pregnant, be sure to tell your dentist so as to avoid dental x-rays.

It is important to maintain oral hygiene between check-ups. This involves:

  • Brushing your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Flossing your teeth daily.
  • Cleaning the surface of your tongue to remove bacteria.
  • Using a mouthwash.
  • Replacing your toothbrush every three or four months.
  • Eating a healthy diet, avoiding sweets and sugary drinks.
  • No smoking.

 

Advantages of routine dental checkups

Some of the advantages of regular dental exams include:

1. Improved Overall Health

With regular oral checkups, you can you keep your oral health maintained. Some of the common oral diseases include:

  • Cavities
  • Gum Disease
  • Periodontitis
  • Oral cancers, and more.

 

Additionally, good oral health is a key indicator of your overall health. Compromised oral health can lead to issues with heart and other major organs, digestive issues, premature birth and more.

2. Improved Savings

It stands to reason that timely diagnosis will ensure you have to contend with lesser trouble as opposed to a scenario where the disease has already spread. What it also means is that you do not have to spend a fortune dealing with complex issues. After all, you would rather pay for routine dental exams that could detect a cavity, as opposed to a more painful root canal treatment that could result from leaving a cavity unattended.

To sum up

In order to keep your mouth healthy, good care of teeth & gums is essential. This is made possible by practicing good dental habits at home, as also ensuring you do not miss your regular dental exams.

At Dental Oasis Family Dentistry, we perform the anxiety-free dental check-ups and treatments. To keep your teeth and gum healthy, schedule a dental appointment now.