Dentist of the Month: November 2012

Our “Dentist of the Month” will be answering ten questions straight from dental patients and DentalPlans.com Members. This month, Dr. Barbara Bates who has provided dental care for families in the Palm Beach area for the past 10 years will be answering your important dental health questions!

1. How can I improve my dental health?  

Dental health can be improved by maintaining a regular routine of brushing after every meal and flossing every day.  Regular check-ups and hygiene appointments are necessary for healthy teeth and gums and for early detection of a possible problem area.

2. How can my oral health affect my overall health?

Oral health can affect a person’s overall health because all our teeth are connected to our bloodstream.  Healthy teeth and gums will keep a normal balance of healthy bacteria in our bodies.

3. How do I floss correctly?

It is important to floss in between all your teeth and be sure to keep floss against the tooth surface and not to snap it into the gum tissue.  This will remove soft plaque and food debris from in between your teeth.  Flossing techniques should be discussed with your dental hygienist to be sure it is being done properly for the most benefit.

4. Do electric toothbrushes really make a difference?

Electric toothbrushes could be very beneficial when used properly.  It is important to keep a light touch and continuously maneuver the brush to reach all areas.  If a patient is unsure how to use, they should check with their dentist.

5. Is it possible to over brush?

It is possible to over brush or brush too hard which can damage important tooth structure and cause the gums to recede.  This will make the teeth sensitive.

6. Why do you accept Discount Dental Plans?

Discount Dental Plans are accepted in my office to help make patients dental treatment more affordable so they continue to come in and work toward our goal of giving them optimal dental health.

7. What is dry mouth and how can I avoid it?

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, can be caused by a number of reasons.  It is due to a reduced production of saliva and can cause tooth decay and soreness of the tongue and soft tissue.  Some reasons may be medications (such as antihistamines) or mouth breathing.  Discuss this condition with your dentist.  There are some artificial saliva products available.

8. What are the most common oral health problems?

Most common oral health problems are tooth decay, periodontal disease and malocclusion.  These things can be detected early with regular check-ups.

9. How long do dentures last?

Dentures can last many years.  Some things that could affect denture fit are extractions, weight loss or dropping and fracturing of the denture.

10. How will dentures affect my eating?

Upper dentures are usually stable due to the palate allowing for suction.  It is important to be careful with hot temperatures because the denture can mask the temperatures.  Lower dentures can be less stable because the tongue can cause it to move when eating and talking.  There are denture adhesive pastes or implants that can stabilize them.

Do you have a question for our Dentist of the Month? Let us know in the comments below!

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