Practicing good oral hygiene means maintaining your smile by visiting Shevlin Dental Center regularly and taking care of your teeth and gums between checkups. We want to make sure that you get the most out of your office visits, and that your teeth stay healthy for life! We'll work with you to provide complete dental care, and show you how to maintain your smile at home with the right dental products for you and your family.
Dental Cleanings and Regular Checkups
Regular dental checkups are an important part of maintaining your oral health. Checkup care intervals - usually every 3-6 months - are determined according to your individual needs. During your regular checkup, your hygienist will:
- Check for any problems that you may not see or feel
- Look for cavities or any other signs of tooth decay risk
- Inspect your teeth and gums for gingivitis and signs of periodontal disease
- Provide a thorough teeth cleaning, rinse, and polish
Visiting Shevlin Dental Center at regular intervals also allows us to watch for signs of potential problems as well as encourage you to pursue or increase healthy choices, and gives you the chance to talk with us about questions or concerns you may have. Checkups and cleanings are also a great way for you to find out about new treatments that may benefit your smile.
Choosing the Right Toothpaste and Toothbrush
How do you feel when you walk down the Oral Healthcare products aisle at the drugstore or grocer? Confused?
Toothpastes, toothbrushes and other dental products have been "over-marketed" to consumers with misleading and inflated claims...
Here are some TIPS based on up to date, accurate, scientific laboratory and clinical research:
Fluoride toothpaste? ALWAYS.
Whitening toothpaste? DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY There are three whitening agents in whitening toothpastes....
-Peroxide:bleaching agents aren't in your mouth long enough to work.
-Titanium dioxide whitening agent: just a very fine white powder - looks good for a few minutes then washes away.
-Abrasive agents:yes, they remove stain better, but they also remove tooth enamel and root surface ! Not good.
Tartar Control toothpaste? DON'T BUY IT. Many people are sensitive to the ingredients and will have significant gum and soft tissue irritation.
Can toothpaste reverse cavities or rebuild enamel? NO ! Those ads on TV are misleading - at best.
How to Choose a Toothpaste - At the market, look toward the bottom shelves for a simple, inexpensive fluoride toothpaste. Sometimes they are hard to find! Active ingredient: Sodium Fluoride. No bells, no whistles, no magic bullets. Brand doesn't matter, HOWEVER abrasiveness matters. Choose a toothpaste from this list that has less than a '100' index. The others will likely contribute to gum recession and abrasion of enamel and root surfaces.
Research has found electric toothbrushes, like Sonicare and Oral-B to be most effective and least abrasive on the gums. A regular toothbrush can do an adequate job, too, but requires very accurate technique and extra time. Our recommendation? Oral-B or Sonicare.
FLOSS: There has never been consistent research to prove one floss is better than another. What is more important it that you USE any floss you choose on a regular basis.
WATERPIK: Yes, the Waterpik helps. No, it does not replace floss. If you have gum disease (periodontitis), hard to clean areas, or you are susceptible to decay, a waterpik can help. If you have difficulty with dexterity and cannot floss, a waterpik is certainly better than nothing at all !
MOUTHWASHES: over the counter (OTC) mouthwashes, even with fluoride, are not effective at preventing or treating gum disease or cavities. Swishing with water works as well as OTC mouthwashes. If you want to use mouthwash for the freshening effect on your breath, that's fine....but use alcohol free mouthwash. Don't be fooled by the ads, mouthwashes do not prevent disease.
PROFESSIONAL LEVEL PREVENTION: In the last decade there have been powerful advances in cavity prevention and periodontal disease treatment. If your risk for cavities or gum disease increases, we will discuss more effective ways to reduce your risk.
Did you know that at birth, people already have 20 primary (baby) teeth that begin erupting after six months, and that by age 21 there are no more primary teeth, and all 32 permanent teeth have erupted?
Getting to know your teeth can be fun and educational!
Click on the links below to learn more facts about your teeth.
- Anatomy of a Tooth
- 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 2nd 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 2nd molars erupt.
Age: 17-21 years
The upper and lower 3rd molars (or wisdom teeth) erupt.