How often do I need a check up?
Every six months is usually recommended, unless your dentist recommends a different time frame. A professional cleaning removes plaque, tartar and stains from your teeth. It also helps prevent gum disease and improves your appearance.Is my diet important?
Yes. You should limit snacks and eat nutritious meals made up of foods from the five major food groups. Avoid sugar and acidic soft drinks.Is drinking carbonated soft drinks harmful?
Yes. Soft drinks contain acid that is the primary cause weakening tooth enamel. If you drink soft drinks (sugar or sugar-free) regularly, you should do so in moderation. Consider healthy alternatives, such as water. For more information, ask our staff for Minnesota Dental Association's brochure on "Sip All Day, Get Tooth Decay" or go to their website at http://www.mndental.org
Is tobacco use bad for my teeth?
Yes. Tobacco is harmful to your teeth and all of the tissue in your mouth. It can cause stains on your teeth and cause bad breath. But the most import issue to your oral health is that tobacco use has been identified as a major risk factor for the development of oral cancer. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.orgHow can I recognize oral cancer?
You should take an active role in detecting the early signs of oral cancer by periodically checking your lips, gum tissue, tongue, cheek lining and the floor and roof of your mouth. Some of the things to look for are color changes, lumps, sores or tenderness. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene and see your dentist for regularly scheduled appointments with your dentist for a thorough periodic examination. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org
What can I do to help prevent tooth decay?
Eat a well balanced diet and limit eating foods and drinks with sugars and starches. Also limit carbonated soft drinks. Maintain good daily oral hygiene.
Is flossing really important?
Yes. It is important to floss everyday to clean the areas that your toothbrush cannot reach.
How often should I brush every day?
You should brush a minimum of 2 times a day or as Dr. Gitzen recommends, "brush as often as you need to brush in order to keep your mouth clean and healthy".What kind of toothbrush should I use?
There are two types of toothbrushes to choose from. standard (manual) and electric. Actually many patients use a combination of both.
Standard: Choose a toothbrush with soft nylon bristles. Most people find a small to medium toothbrush head more comfortable and easier to manipulate in your mouth. Your toothbrush should be replaced when the brush begins to lose its shape and the bristles become frayed, no less than every three months.
Electric: The advantages of using an electric toothbrush is that in general, it does a better job. The high speed movement may disrupt the bacterial plaque more effectively. Choose an ADA accredited product such as Sonicare (for more information, visit their website at http://www.Sonicare.com
). Oral-B (for more information, visit their website at http://www.Sonicare.com
). or Crest.
How often should I replace my toothbrush?
You should replace your when the brush begins to lose its shape and the bristles become frayed, no less than every three months.Should I continue to use the same toothbrush if I have been ill?
If you are ill and have a fever, you should clean your brush daily. Soak in an antiseptic mouth rinse after every use and wash in the dishwasher once a day to help kill the bacteria.If you are taking an antibiotic, follow the above instructions for daily care and then after the 3rd full day after taking antibiotics, throw your brush away. It is important to not expose yourself to bacteria that could re-infect you.Do you recommend using a mouth rinse?
Yes. We recommend using an antiseptic mouth rinse to help kill the bacteria in your mouth. Use ADA certified products such as Listerine Antiseptic Mouth rinse and rinse twice a day or use a periodontal rinse, such as Breath Rx Anti-Bacterial Mouth Rinse, which will help prevent plaque that can lead to gingivitis.