Dentistry is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions, disorders, and diseases of the teeth, gums, mouth, and jaw. Often considered necessary for complete oral health, dentistry can have an impact on the health of your entire body.
A dentist is a specialist who works to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Both Drs. McMahan completed at least eight years of schooling in order to earn their Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS). If a doctor is a pediatric dentist, this means that he or she specializes in caring for children from infancy through their teen years. A pediatric dentist has received the proper education and training needed to work with young kids.
Other specializations include:
• Endodontics (root canals)
• Oral and maxillofacial (including pathology, radiology, and surgery)
• Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics (braces)
• Periodontics (gum disease)
• Prosthodontics (implants)
Why is Visiting the Dentist so Important?
Visiting our office regularly will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but also help keep the rest of your 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
• Prevents bad breath; brushing, flossing, and seeing us regularly will help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath
• Gives you a more attractive smile and increases your self-confidence
• Helps keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco
Strengthens your teeth so you 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 your smile healthy and looking beautiful.
With so many advances in dentistry, you 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
How do I find a dentist near me?
Choosing a dentist who “clicks” with you and your family is important, and you may wish to consider several dentists before making your final decision. During your first visit, you should be able to determine whether the dentist is right for you.
How can I protect my oral health between appointments?
Always remember to brush your teeth at least two times a day, and floss at least once! Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask our dentists if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities. Avoid foods with a lot of sugar (which increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth and can cause more plaque and potential cavities), and avoid tobacco (which can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, and eventually lead to oral cancer).
Don’t be afraid to brush your tongue! By brushing your tongue, you 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 our office every 6 months.
When should I schedule my child’s first dentist appointment?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children first see a dentist as early as 6 months of age and no later than 1 year. During this time, a child’s baby teeth will be coming in and we can examine the health of those first few teeth. After the first visit, be sure to schedule regular checkups every 6 months.
How often should I see the dentist?
Children, teens, and adults should all see the dentist for a regular dental checkup at least once every 6 months. Patients who are at a greater risk for oral cancer or gum disease may be required to see the dentist more than just twice a year. We will help determine how often you should visit our office for regular checkups.
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.
A filling is a synthetic material that a dentist uses to fill a cavity after all the tooth decay has been removed. Fillings do not generally hurt because we will numb your mouth with an anesthetic. Fillings are made from a variety of different materials, including composites, gold, or ceramic. If you need a filling, be sure to talk to us about what type is best for you and your teeth.
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is mostly caused by plaque and bacteria buildup that is not treated in its early stage. Other causes of periodontal disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics.
Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease, which can be reversed if detected early. 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 6 months will help prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of periodontal disease.
How Often Should I Brush My Teeth?
According to Dr. McMahon, Dr. John, 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 at least a minute on the top teeth and a minute on the bottom, 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 2 to 3 minutes each time. We recommend that adults and children change their toothbrush every 3 months. If you are using an electric toothbrush, be sure to read the directions because you may not need to change toothbrush heads as frequently.
Patients with gum disease are encouraged to change their toothbrush every 4 to 6 weeks to keep bacteria from spreading. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with hot water to kill germs and keep the bristles clean. If you’ve been sick, be sure to change your toothbrush as soon as possible.
Do I still need to see my dentist if I have braces?
Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist 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 will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
How do I schedule a dentist appointment?
Schedule your next appointment by calling McMahon Family Dental at (616) 457-2710. We look forward to seeing you!