When you want to practice good oral hygiene, it is important that you understand the necessity of visiting the dentist on a regular basis and caring for your teeth on your own between checkups. We want to make sure that each time you visit our office, you have a productive visit. We want to work with you to make sure that your teeth and your mouth are healthy for the rest of your life. We will provide you with comprehensive dental care, help you understand the best method of maintaining your smile on your own and work with you to create your treatment plans.
Dental Cleanings and Regular Checkups
A regular dental checkup is an important part of maintaining the health of your mouth. When you come in for a regular visit, you will meet with a dental hygienist who will:
- Check your mouth to identify any problems that you may not be able to see or feel
- Look for signs of tooth decay or evidence of cavities on each of your teeth
- Thoroughly check your teeth and gums for any evidence of gingivitis or periodontal disease
- Give your teeth a deep clean, rinse and polish
If you make an appointment to visit the dentist every six months, you can talk with your dentist about any pain or discomfort you are feeling in your mouth. If you have any other questions about your oral health, teeth or mouth, you can speak to your dentist or hygienist, who will help you understand their answer to your question. When you are talking with your dentist during a checkup, you may also be able to discuss new treatment options that could be beneficial for your smile, your oral health or even a specific tooth.
Using the Right Products
Your toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss and any other product that you are going to use to keep your mouth healthy should be chosen carefully. Each product that you are using in your mouth should be approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Talk with your dentist if you do not know which products you should be using for your mouth.
Learn More about Your Teeth
When we are born, we have 20 baby (primary) teeth that start pushing up through the gums around six months of age. By the time we are 21, we usually do not have any of these original teeth yet because all 32 of our permanent teeth have pushed through the gums to take the place of our baby teeth.
Learning and understanding more about your teeth can be very interesting and even fun!
Click on either/both of the links below to learn more about your teeth.
Anatomy of a Tooth
Bone – The “alveolar” bone contains the roots of our teeth. It forms the tooth socket and gives the tooth the support that it needs to stay in the mouth.
Cementum – This is a bone-like tissue that covers the root of the tooth. It is tough and yellowish. The cementum helps hold the tooth in the socket. The periodontal ligament is the network of fibers that attaches the tooth to the bone.
Dentin – Dentin is harder than bone but is a porous tissue that is located under the enamel and the cementum.
Enamel – This is the shiny, tough, and “white” outer surface of the tooth that is visible. Enamel is actually translucent and displays the color of the dentin that is underneath the enamel. Enamel is the hardest substance in the body.
Gingiva (Gums) – Your gums consist of the pink flesh that covers the bones and surrounds the teeth.
Periodontal Ligament – This is the fibrous tissue between the tooth and the socket. It holds your tooth in place.
Pulp (Nerve) – This is the soft center of the tooth that contains the blood vessels and nerves and also nourishes the dentin.
Know Your Teeth
Age: 6-10 months
Primary lower central incisors erupt.
Age: 8-12 months
Primary upper central incisors erupt.
Age: 9-16 months
Primary upper & lower lateral incisors erupt.
Age: 13-19 months
First molars erupt. The upper molars generally erupt before the lower molars. Average age of shed: 9-11 years.
Age: 16-23 months
Canines erupt. The upper canines generally erupt before the lower canines. Average age of shed: 9-12 years.
Age: 23-33 months
Second molars erupt. Generally the lower molars erupt first, followed by the upper molars. Average age of shed: 10-12 years.
Age: 6-7 years
The primary upper and lower central incisors are shed, and the permanent upper and lower first molars and lower central incisors erupt.
Age: 7-8 years
The primary upper and lower lateral incisors are shed, and the permanent upper central incisors and lower lateral incisors erupt.
Age: 8-9 years
The permanent upper lateral incisors erupt and the primary upper first molars are shed.
Age: 9-10 years
The primary upper and lower canines and the lower first molars are shed, and the permanent lower canines erupt.
Age: 10-12 years
The primary upper and lower second molars are shed, and the permanent upper canines erupt, as well as upper and lower first and second premolars.
Age: 11-13 years
The permanent upper and lower second molars erupt.
Age: 17-21 years
The upper and lower third molars (or wisdom teeth) erupt.