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.
Why is visiting the dentist so important?
Visiting the dentist regularly will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but will 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 the dentist 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!
What should I look for when choosing the right dentist for 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. During your appointment, consider the following:
Is the appointment schedule convenient?
Is the office easy to get to and close by?
Does the office appear to be clean and orderly?
Was your medical and dental history recorded and placed in a permanent file?
Does the dentist explain techniques for good oral health?
Is information about cost presented to you before treatment is scheduled?
Is your dentist a member of the ADA (American Dental Association)?
How often should I see the dentist?
Children, teens, and adults should all see a dentist for a regular checkup at least once every six months. Patients who are at a greater risk for oral cancer or gum disease may be required to visit more than just twice a year. We will help determine how often you should visit our office for regular checkups.
What is a filling?
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 Dr. Beckman about what type is best for you and your teeth.
What is gum disease?
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. If detected, it is treatable. 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 the dentist every six months will help prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of periodontal disease. Common signs of gum disease:
Red, irritated, bleeding, or swollen gums
Chronic bad breath
Loose teeth, or loss of teeth
Extreme tooth sensitivity
Receding gum line
How do I schedule my next checkup?
Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next dental checkup at your convenience. If you are a new patient, please let us know and we will provide you with all the information you need for your first dental visit.
Who is a dentist?
A dentist is a specialist who works to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Dr. Beckman completed at least eight years of schooling, and earned a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree. 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
Periodontics (gum disease)
My teeth feel fine; do i still need to see a dentist?
Your teeth may feel fine, but it’s still necessary to see the dentist regularly because problems can exist without your knowing. Your smile’s appearance is important, and Dr. Beckman 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 dental practices 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 can I take care of my teeth between dental checkups?
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 office 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 may 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 the dentist every six months.
What is a cavity?
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.
How often should I brush my teeth?
According to Dr. Beckman 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; that will help keep your breath smelling fresh!
If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?
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 that your toothbrush can’t reach.
This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Dr. Beckman will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.