Q: What’s with the New York Times article on flossing?
A: Only floss the teeth you want to keep :D
Q: What does my O’Kane & Monssen preventive visit include?
A: We know any dental appointment can be stressful for some people, but we are family to our patients. And, the office staff is comforting and helpful. Your appointment will include a comprehensive exam and professional dental cleaning. Specifically, we’ll:
Dental exam centered on your dental needs
Oral cancer screening
Functional bite analysis
Review diagnostic x-rays (if needed)
Periodontal exam, checking the health of gums and bone
Beautifully cleaned and polished teeth
Q: Honestly, what is plaque?
A: Plaque is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris and saliva. Gross, we know. The bacteria can produce toxins (poisons) that inflame your gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease. Yes, you want to get plaque and tartar removed by a professional twice a year.
Q: Are x-rays important?
A: O’Kane & Monssen uses the latest digital dental radiographs (x-rays). Digital x-rays are the best tools to really understand the overall health of your teeth. We can see hidden dental abnormalities as well as understand health issues like abscesses or cysts. Our x-rays reveal critical health issues including bone loss, decay between teeth, developmental issues, poor teeth and root positions, problems inside a tooth or below the gum line. Using this safe method of detection, we can help you achieve better dental health.
Q: Are dental x-rays safe?
A: Yes. The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of x-rays is equivalent to how much you’d receive in a regular day from natural sources. Digital dental x-rays produce a lower level of radiation and are considered safe. We limit your exposure to radiation when taking dental x-rays, and we only do x-rays based on our assessment of your dental health.
Q: How often should dental x-rays be taken?
A: It depends on each patient’s individual needs. At O'Kane & Monssen, we’ll only recommend necessary x-rays based your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age consideration, and risk for disease. We recommend a full mouth series of dental x-rays for new patients; these x-rays are good for five to ten years.
Q: What are the best tips for keeping my smile looking great?
A: In addition to visiting your friendly dentists at O’Kane & Monssen, the biggest steps you can take start at home. Funny enough, eating balanced meals, reducing the number of snacks you eat, and correctly brushing and flossing goes a long way to controlling plaque and bacteria that cause disease. Also consider interdental brushes, rubber tip stimulators, tongue cleaners, irrigation devices, fluoride, medicated rinses – these all contribute to good dental home care.
Q: What’s the best way to brush my teeth?
A: First, we recommend brushing twice a day, especially before going to bed at night with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and gently brush in a small, circular motion. Always feel the bristles on the gums. Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth. Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of the front teeth. Last, brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath. We love electric toothbrushes. Place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do the
work for you.
Q: Does flossing really help?
A: Flossing is simply the best way to clean between teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it breaks up plaque, preventing damage
to the gums, teeth, and bone. Use 12-16 inches of dental floss wrapped around your middle fingers and leave about 2 inches of floss between teeth using a sawing motion. Curve the floss into a "C" shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth. Floss holders are a great help too.
Q: How does rinsing my mouth help?
A: Rinsing your mouth with water after brushing, or after meals if you are unable to brush, helps reduce bacteria and keep food particles from accumulating throughout the day. It just makes daily oral care so much easier. If you are using an over-the-counter mouthwash or rinse, ask us about your brand. We can make some good recommendations for you.
Q: What’s the best way to replace a lost tooth?
A: There are a number of options, but we think a dental implant offers major advantages over other tooth replacement options. Not only does it look good and function like a natural tooth, a dental implant replaces a single tooth without affecting the health of other teeth around the replacement. A dental implant replaces your tooth root, integrates with your jawbone, so bone is kept healthy and intact.