I have a terrible fear of going to the dentist yet I know I need to. What should I do?
If you fear going to the dentist, you are not alone. Up to 15% of Americans state they avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear. The first thing you should do is talk with our dentist. Once our dentist knows what your fears are, he will be better able to work with you to determine the best ways to make you less anxious and more comfortable.
How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush?
Adults and children should change their toothbrush every 3 months because they become worn out and are not as effective as they once were. You should always rinse your toothbrush out with hot water after every use.
What causes bad breath?
Bad breath (also known as halitosis) can be embarrassing and tough on those around you. Bad breath is often caused by a buildup of bacteria in your mouth that causes inflammation and gives off a bad odor. But studies show that about 80% of bad breath comes from an oral source. For instance, cavities or gum disease can lead to bad breath, as can tonsils that have trapped food particles; cracked fillings, and less-than-clean dentures.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, is often added to drinking water and is commonly found in toothpaste. Research has shown that the rate of cavities decreases in areas where fluoride is added to the water supply. Health authorities, such as The American Dental Association and The World Health Organization, both advocate the addition of fluoride to drinking water, and recommend you use toothpaste that contains fluoride, if age appropriate.
What are dental sealants and who should get them?
Dental sealants are a clear and protective coating that is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant protects the tooth from getting a cavity by shielding against bacteria and plaque. Sealants are most commonly placed on children’s permanent back teeth because they are more prone to cavities. They can also be placed on adult’s teeth.
What is Tooth Decay and a Cavity?
Decay is the destruction of tooth structure. Decay occurs when plaque, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and/or starches of the foods that we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel. A cavity is a hole in the tooth that is caused by decay. The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing twice a day and flossing daily.
What Is Gingivitis and Periodontitis?
Gingivitis (gum inflammation) usually precedes periodontitis (gum disease). However, it is important to know that not all gingivitis progresses to periodontitis.

In the early stage of gingivitis, bacteria in plaque build up, causing the gums to become inflamed and to easily bleed during tooth brushing. Although the gums may be irritated, the teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets. No irreversible bone or other tissue damage has occurred at this stage.

When gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis. In a person with periodontitis, the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These small spaces between teeth and gums collect debris and can become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line.

What is a Root Canal?

The space inside the tooth from the center, known as the pulp chamber, that travels down the length of the root to the tip (or apex) is called a “canal,” or more specifically, a root canal. The tiny canals contain the pulp of the tooth also commonly referred to as the nerve, which originates from the pulp chamber. Any trauma or infection of the nerve will result in the need for root canal therapy. Common reasons for root canal therapy include:

  • Tooth decay invades the tooth, penetrating through the enamel and then the dentin in to the pulp.
  • A tooth has become abscessed — also known as infected — from decay.
  • Trauma, such as a chipped or broken tooth, occurs and results in the exposure of the nerve.
  • A tooth is slowly dying, due to aging or past trauma that did not result in the need for treatment at the time of injury.

What is a crown?

A crown is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth. A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:

  • To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  • To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
  • To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
  • To cover misshaped or severely discolored teeth
  • To make a cosmetic modification

What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a metal device designed to replace missing teeth. The device is usually made out of titanium and is surgically placed into the jawbone where the tooth is missing. Unlike a dental bridge, an implant is permanent. A dental implant is designed to act as the tooth root and can anchor an artificial tooth or teeth such as a crown, bridge or denture.
What is a Veneer?
A veneer is a thin shell made out of porcelain or composite material. They are custom made and cemented to the front side of the tooth. A veneer can be used to treat dental conditions such as a slightly crooked tooth, discolored teeth, chipped teeth or they can even be used to cover spaces in between the teeth.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the clenching and/or grinding of your teeth, especially at night. Clenching refers to tightly clamping your top and bottom teeth together The force of clenching causes stressful pressure on the muscles, tissues and jaw. Jaw disorders, jaw pain, soreness, headaches, earaches, damaged teeth and other problems can result from bruxism. If clenching causes jaw pain, it can disrupt sleeping and eating, lead to other dental problems or create TMJ problems.