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Patient Education

Your Healthy, Beautiful Smile Is Our Priority

Your healthy, beautiful smile is our priority. An educated patient will not only understand suggested treatments but will most often make the right decisions concerning the course of their current and future dental care.

At Heritage Dental Care, we believe that education is the key to a productive and successful patient/dental office relationship. Our professional team is available to assist you with any questions or concerns. Listed below, for your reference, are documents to help our patients in their everyday dental care, as well as a list of frequently asked questions:

FAQs

Q: When should I bring my child in for their first visit?

A: Recent studies have shown that by the age of three, a child is already at risk of having cavities which can be caused by something as innocent as putting a baby to sleep with a bottle of juice or milk. Along with taking our first look at your child’s oral condition, this first appointment is also largely focused on the parents and helping them to establish a good oral hygiene program and diet for the child. We believe that a child should have his or her first dental visit by the age of 3.

It is a little known fact that a child's primary teeth are vital to the long-term health of their permanent adult teeth. The premature loss of primary teeth as a result of accidents or decay can cause serious problems, including poorly spaced and crooked adult teeth. As a result, it is just as important to care for a child's baby teeth as it is for the adult teeth that follow.

Q: Why is it important that I visit my dentist every 6 months?

A: Well, you might be surprised to learn the extent of what really goes on during your regular check-up. In addition to cleaning and polishing all the visible and hidden surfaces of your teeth, we also check for many potential problems. Tooth decay, oral cancer and periodontal (gum) disease are just a few examples of problems that can have serious consequences if left undetected.

We recommend that our patients visit our office at least twice each year to ensure their optimal oral health and to help avoid serious and costly problems. In certain cases, we may even recommend 3 or 4 visits per year in order to properly treat conditions that require more regular attention.

Maintaining a regular dental appointment schedule isn’t just good for your teeth, it’s an important part of your overall health.

Q: Why does my dentist recommend a soft bristle toothbrush? Wouldn’t harder bristles clean my teeth better?

A: Your dentist recommends a soft toothbrush to protect your teeth and gums from the damage that a firm bristle can do to your teeth and gums especially when combined with overly aggressive brushing. A firm bristle toothbrush can actually damage the enamel on your teeth and cause your gums to shrink leaving your tooth roots exposed. A soft bristle brush combined with gentle pressure and the right brushing technique will provide all the cleaning power you need. For more information, ask your dentist for advice on proper brushing and flossing techniques at your next appointment.

Q: Why is flossing so important?

A: While brushing is very effective at removing plaque and food debris from your teeth, a toothbrush simply cannot effectively clean all of the surfaces of your teeth. In particular, the spaces between your teeth are difficult, if not impossible to clean properly by brushing alone. This can mean that people who brush regularly are still very susceptible to cavities and gum infections in these areas.

The use of dental floss or tape once a day can clean these difficult to reach surfaces and provide you with a truly clean and healthy mouth. It takes just a few minutes per day, and the payback is a cleaner and healthier mouth. Please contact our office if you have any questions about the proper care of your teeth and gums. Any one of our staff members will be happy to answer your questions.

Q: So what is “Cosmetic Dentistry”, and what types of treatments does it involve?

A: Have you ever wondered what you would look like if you had a more attractive looking smile? Providing people with a means of achieving their best smile is what Cosmetic Dentistry is all about.

More and more people today are booking appointments with our dental office, not because they are having dental problems, but because they want to smile more confidently. In many cases, these smiles begin with teeth that are crooked, stained, chipped or missing all together. From simple teeth whitening to full smile reconstruction, the end result in most cases is a healthy, attractive looking smile that provides a greater sense of self-confidence and enjoyment of life.

If you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth, ask us about what specific treatments in cosmetic dentistry would benefit you.

Q: How does what I eat affect my dental health, and what can I do to protect my teeth & gums?

A: We’ve all heard, “You are what you eat,” and this is especially true when dealing with our dental health. It is especially important to keep an eye on your midday snacks, and to take regular care of your dental needs throughout the day.

Many of us enjoy little snacks between meals; the problem is that these snacks, often starchy and/or high in sugar content, can leave the teeth and gums exposed to the decay-causing elements left behind by the snack. When snacking, try nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables instead of sugary and salty items like chocolate, chips and pretzels. Also, if you drink coffee, try drinking more water to cut down on stain issues.

To maintain a regular cleaning routine, try keeping a toothbrush with you for brushing after lunch each day in addition to brushing and flossing in the morning and evening. Also, be sure to maintain a regular appointment schedule with your dentist.

Q: Is your nickname “Buzz-saw” because of the way you snore at night?

A: Don’t feel bad because you are not alone. In Canada there are millions of people who snore while they sleep.

Snoring occurs as the muscles and soft tissue in your throat and mouth relax during sleep, reducing the size of your breathing airway and increasing the speed of the air flowing through the airway as you breathe. It is this faster moving air moving through the constricted airway space that vibrates your soft tissues to cause noisy breathing or snoring.

The good news is that a high percentage of snoring cases can be treated at our dental office with a relatively inexpensive, non invasive and effective oral appliance. Similar to a retainer, these custom made appliances are worn while you sleep to move the lower jaw slightly forward to increase the space in the airway tube, reducing the air velocity and soft tissue vibration as you breathe. These small and comfortable devises have a very successful track record for minimizing and often eliminating snoring.