If you care about your oral health, preventive dentistry is crucial. At Rochester Advanced Dentistry we encourage our patients to never skip out on preventive dentistry appointments and to take proper care at home to prevent cavities, gum disease, and other serious dental problems from occurring.

We understand that preventive dentistry doesn’t always make sense to people who haven’t dedicated their lives to learning about dentistry. That’s why we’ve taken the time to answer all of our patient’s most frequently asked questions about preventive dentistry.

If you still have questions after reading through our blog, feel free to ask our Rochester, Michigan dentists during your next dental appointment.

woman with a wide smile and curly black hair

Should I Floss Before or After Brushing?

We get this question a lot. Although flossing at any time is better than not flossing at all, flossing before you brush is actually more effective. If you floss before you brush, it releases any bacteria, plaque, and food that’s stuck between your teeth. Then, when you go to brush your teeth, you will brush this away.

However, when you brush and then floss, the bacteria, plaque, and food particles can release and spread around your teeth and mouth – making that sparkly clean smile dirty again. It’s like washing your car and then driving through mud directly afterward. It just makes sense to drive through the mud and then wash your car.

How Often Should I See My Dentist?

Most people don’t know this, but you should visit us twice a year for dental cleanings and check-ups. Some people think that once they reach adulthood, they no longer need to come twice a year, but that’s quite untrue. It’s more important than ever for adults to continue bi-annual visits to allow teeth to remain healthy for the rest of their lives.

Without regular visits, cavities can quickly turn into infected teeth and gingivitis can turn into full-blown periodontal disease. Regular visits help prevent minor dental problems from progressing to a point of no return. If you don’t want to experience severe pain or spend tons of money to fix what could have been minor dental problems, make sure you never miss a dental cleaning and exam.

What Type of Toothbrush Should I Use?

With lots of toothbrushes on the market, we understand why you might not know which one to choose. If you can, we highly recommend investing in a good electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes brush your teeth significantly better than a manual toothbrush, especially for lazy brushers. Electric toothbrushes have built-in timers so you brush your teeth for two minutes. Some even have Bluetooth capability that connects with an app on your phone and tells you if you missed any areas brushing and still offer many more benefits.

If you can’t afford an electric toothbrush – no problem. Choose a manual toothbrush with soft bristles and one that has an ADA recommendation on it. As long as you brush in circles around your entire mouth, you can get your teeth just as clean as you would with an electric toothbrush.

How Important is it to Treat Periodontal Disease?

Do you want to potentially lose your teeth? If your answer is “no” (it should be), then yes, periodontal disease is very important to treat. As soon as your gums become inflamed, gum disease will begin to progress. As the infection takes over your gums, you will start to lose jaw bone which can make your teeth feel loose. Your gums will also start receding away from the teeth. Eventually, you will either need a bone and gum graft with periodontal treatment, or you will lose your teeth.

My Cavity Doesn’t Hurt. Do I Need a Filling?

Just because your cavity doesn’t hurt doesn’t mean you don’t need a filling. Cavities don’t always cause symptoms. However, if you leave it untreated, it will only get worse and then infect your tooth root causing the need for a root canal. In some cases, an infected tooth will stop causing the pain because the tooth’s nerve has died. It’s important to get a filling as soon as possible to prevent causing more damage to your tooth.

Why Do I Need an Oral Cancer Screening?

Unless you regularly inspect every inch of the inside of your mouth, you might not notice any unusual growths or spots. Oftentimes, these unusual growths or spots can be a sign of oral cancer. During your regular dental cleanings, we look for potential signs of oral cancer. This can help you receive an early diagnosis and much easier treatment that will increase your odds of a full recovery.

Why Do I Need X-Rays Taken?

Not every dental problem is easily seen to the naked eye. Dental x-rays give us an inside look at what’s going on in your mouth. We might discover impacted teeth, cracked or damaged teeth, cavities, and much more. X-rays help us diagnose problems early.

Is it Worse to Skip Brushing or Flossing?

If you’re thinking of skipping either brushing or flossing for some reason, flossing is more important as long as it’s done correctly.  Flossing helps remove plaque and debris stuck between the teeth and underneath the gumline – the two areas that are most likely to cause cavities and gum disease. Both are extremely important and you shouldn’t skip out on either, though.

How Do I Effectively Clean My Tongue?

Cleaning your tongue effectively is essential for maintaining fresh breath, and removing plaque and bacteria from your mouth. The best way to clean your tongue isn’t actually with a toothbrush. It’s with a tongue scraper. The next best thing is with a toothbrush. Make sure to not skip this step after thoroughly flossing and brushing your teeth to maintain fresh breath and good oral health.

Have more questions about preventive dentistry? Ask them at your next dental cleaning in Rochester, MI at Rochester Advanced Dentistry. Call (248) 656-2020 to book an appointment today!