Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is very important because keeping the mouth and teeth clean is a method of prevention for a variety of dental hygiene problems. Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases (periodontal disease), than from cavities and three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by brushing and flossing daily and effectively.

Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, that constantly forms naturally on the teeth at the gumline. Plaque that is not removed within a couple of days can harden and become difficult to remove. This build-up is called calculus or tarter. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.

Our hygienists recommend using a soft tooth brush. Position the brush at a 45 degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. When brushing the surfaces of the outer sides of your teeth, gently move the brush in a circular motion several times using small, gentle strokes brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth. Use light pressure while putting the bristles between the teeth, but not so much pressure that you feel any discomfort.

If you have any pain while brushing or have any questions about how to brush properly, please be sure to call our office.

Follow the same directions above for cleaning the inside of the back teeth. To clean the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth, hold the brush vertically. Make several gentle back-and-forth strokes over each tooth. Don’t forget to gently brush the surrounding gum tissue.
Next you will clean the biting surfaces of your teeth by using short, gentle strokes. Change the position of the brush as often as necessary to reach and clean all surfaces. Try to watch yourself in the mirror to make sure you clean each surface. Finish by rinsing with water or mouthwash to remove all the plaque and food particles from your mouth.
Periodontal disease usually appears between teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach.Flossing is important in the tooth-cleaning process because it removes the plaque between the teeth and at the gumline. If using flow is awkward or difficult for you, ask your dental hygienist for more information about different flossing techniques and devices.

Start with an 18″ piece of floss and lightly wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest of the floss around the middle finger of the other hand, using your index fingers to guide the floss between the sides of the teeth.

To clean the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Gently insert the floss tightly between the teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or try to snap it in to place. Bring the floss to the gumline then curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel a light resistance. Move the floss up and down on the side of one tooth. Remember there are two tooth surfaces that need to be cleaned in each space. Continue to floss each side of all the upper teeth. Be careful not to cut the gum tissue between the teeth. As the floss becomes soiled, turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section.

When you are done, rinse vigorously with water to remove plaque and food particles. It is not unusual the first week of flossing for your gums to bleed or become a little sore. If your gums hurt while flossing you could be doing it too hard or pinching the gum. As you floss daily and remove the plaque you gums will heal and the bleeding should stop.

There are so many products on the market it can become confusing and choosing between all the products can be difficult. Here are some suggestions for choosing dental care products that will work for most patients.

Automatic and “high-tech” electronic toothbrushes are safe and effective for the majority of the patients. Dr. Mundy prefers Philips Sonicare toothbrush for the best results.

Some toothbrushes have a rubber tip on the handle, this is used to massage the gums after brushing. There are also tiny brushes (interproximal toothbrushes) that clean between your teeth. If these are used improperly you could injure the gums, so discuss proper use with your doctor.

Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses if used in conjunction with brushing and flossing can reduce tooth decay as much as 40%. Remember, these rinses are not recommended for children under six years of age. Tartar control toothpastes will reduce tartar above the gum line, but gum disease starts below the gumline so these products have not been proven to reduce the early stage of gum disease.

There is a natural sugar alcohol the helps prevent cavities that Dr. Mundy recommends to his patients. Xylitol looks and tastes like sugar, but it is not a promoter of tooth decay like sugar and starch. Xylitol is a natural sweetener found in fruits and vegetables as will as the human body. To learn more about Xylitol and products that use this sweetener, click here.

Anti-plaque rinses, approved by the American Dental Association, contain agents that may help bring early gum disease under control. Use these in conjunction with brushing and flossing.

Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental calculus to a minimum, but a professional cleaning will remove calculus in places your toothbrush and floss have missed. Your visit to our office is an important part of your program to prevent gum disease.  As a matter of fact, it is the most important part. Long term studies over many years with a variety of patient types have shown conclusively that properly performed professional cleanings done consistently on a patient specific time schedule are far more likely to produce good outcomes than any toothbrush type, toothpaste, mouthrinse or any other type of treatment done at home or even in the dental office. In other words,“Keep coming back…it works!”

Sometimes after dental treatment, teeth are sensitive to hot and cold. This should not last long, but only if the mouth is kept clean. If the mouth is not kept clean the sensitivity will remain and could become more severe. If your teeth are especially sensitive consult with your doctor. They may recommend a medicated toothpaste or mouth rinse made especially for sensitive teeth.

Child Preventive Care

At our office we are concerned with all aspects of preventative care. We use the latest in sealant technology to protect your child’s teeth. Sealants are made of material that is bonded to the chewing surfaces of decay prone back teeth. This is just one of the ways we will set the foundation for our child’s lifetime of good oral health.

Cavity Prevention

Cavities are frequently due to a diet high in sugary food and a lack of brushing. Limiting sugar intake and brushing regularly can help your child from experiencing cavities. The longer it takes your child to chew their foods the longer the residue stays on their teeth, the greater the chances of getting cavities.

Every time someone eats, an acid reaction occurs inside their mouth as the bacteria digests the sugars. This reactions lasts approximately 20 minutes. During this time the acid environment can destroy the tooth structure, eventually leading to cavities. Consistency of a person’s saliva also makes a difference; thinner saliva breaks up and washes away food more quickly. When a person eats diets high in carbohydrates and sugars they tend to have thicker saliva, which in turns allows more of the acid-producing bacteria that can cause cavities.

Baby Teeth

Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth but they are important to chewing, biting, speech and appearance. For this reason it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.

The first baby teeth that come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. You will notice this when your baby is about 6-8 months old. Next to follow will be the four upper teeth and the remainder of your baby’s teeth will appear periodically. They will usually appear in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about 2 1/2 years old.

At around 2 1/2 years old your child should have all 20 teeth. Between the ages of 5 and 6 the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some do not. Don’t worry if some teeth are a few months early or late as all children are different.

Tips for Cavity Prevention

  • Limit frequency of meals and snacks
  • Encourage brushing, flossing and rinsing
  • Watch what you drink
  • Avoid sticky foods
  • Make treats part of meals
  • Choose nutritious snacks

First Time Visit

Your First Visit

We are delighted to welcome you to our practice and are pleased that you chose us to serve your dental needs. We are serious about providing superior dental care at reasonable prices, and proud of our dedication to our patients. Our goal is to help you feel and look your very best through excellent dental care.

Your first appointment will take approximately 2 hours, and yes, every bit of that time will be used!  But by the time it’s over, we will have a good understanding of your wants, needs and concerns; and you will have a good understanding of your current situation, and pros and cons of each.

To facilitate being seen just as soon as possible at the time of your appointment, we would appreciate it if you would complete the Patient Information Forms before your arrival. Please remember to bring it with you at the time of your appointment as well as any Insurance (Medical or Dental) cards that might apply to you or your family when you come.

If you are unable to make the appointment you have scheduled with us, please notify at least 2 working days in advance. We would be glad to reschedule the appointment at a more convenient time, if necessary. In the meantime, we look forward to meeting you and serving your needs.

Thanks again for choosing our dental practice!

Your Child’s First Visit

We encourage that your child’s first quick “regular” dental visit be just after their first teeth come in. We may ask the parent to sit in the dental chair and hold their child during the examination. The parent may also be asked to wait in the reception area during part of the visit so that a relationship can be built between your child and your dentist.

We will gently examine your child’s teeth and gums. X-rays may be taken (to reveal decay and check on the progress of your child’s permanent teeth under gums) and we may possibly clean your child’s teeth and apply topical fluoride to help protect the teeth against decay. We will make sure your child is receiving adequate fluoride at home. Most important of all, we will review with you how to clean and care for your child’s teeth.

We suggest you prepare your child the same way that you would before their first haircut or a trip to a shoe store. Your child’s reaction to his or her first visit to the dentist may surprise you. It may also help for your child to “preview” our office by looking at pictures on our website or coming in for a tour. Speaking positively about your own dental experiences as well as reviewing with them what Dr. Mundy will be doing at the time of the visit or reading books with them about going to the dentist are all ways to promote a positive attitude towards your child’s dentist. Visit American Dental Association for animated videos and fun ways to teach your kids about the dentist.

At our office we are concerned with all aspects of preventative care. We use the latest in sealant technology to protect your child’s teeth. Sealants are made of material that is bonded to the chewing surfaces of decay prone back teeth. This is just one of the ways we will set the foundation for our child’s lifetime of good oral health.

Dental Specialists

General dentists are most familiar with preventive, family, basic restorative and cosmetic care, but may take advanced training in specialty areas of interest. They are the first line of defense in prevention, diagnosing and treating your dental and oral health problems. If needed to, they refer you for treatment to other Dental Specialists.

What is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS)?

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dentists specializing in surgery of the mouth, face and jaws. After four years of dental school, surgeons receive four to seven years of hospital-based surgical and medical training, preparing them to do a wide range of procedures including all types of surgery of both the bones and soft tissues of the face, mouth and neck.

What is a Periodontist?

Periodontists are dentists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. They have had extensive training with two additional years of study after dental school. As specialists they devote their time, energy and skill to helping patients care for their gums. A periodontist is one of the eight dental specialists recognized by the American Dental Association.

Why is your dentist referring you to a Periodontist?

Your dentist has determined that your gums require special attention. The periodontist and dentist work together as a team to provide you with the highest level of care. They will combine their experience to recommend the best treatment available to you while keeping each other informed on your progress. By referring you to the specialist, your dentist is showing a strong commitment to your dental health.

What is an Endodontist?

The Endodontist examines, diagnoses and treats diseases and destructive processes, including injuries and abnormalities of dental pulps and periapical tissues of the teeth.

Endodontists examine patients and interpret radiographs and pulp tests to determine pulp vitality and periapical tissue condition. They evaluate their findings and prescribe a method of treatment to prevent loss of teeth.

What is a Prosthodontist?

The prosthodontist examines and diagnoses disabilities caused by loss of teeth and supporting structures. They formulate and execute treatment plans for the construction of corrective prostheses to restore proper function and esthetics of the mouth, face, and jaw.

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

A pediatric dentist has at least two additional years of training beyond dental school. The additional training focuses on management and treatment of a child’s developing teeth, child behavior, physical growth and development, and the special needs of children’s dentistry. Although either type of dentist is capable of addressing your child’s oral health care needs, a pediatric dentist, his or her staff, and even the office décor are all geared to care for children and to put them at ease. If your child has special needs, care from a pediatric dentist should be considered.

What is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist prevents and treats mouth, teeth, and jaw problems. Using braces, retainers, and other devices, an orthodontist helps straighten a person’s teeth and correct the way the jaws line up.

Orthodontists treat kids for many problems, including having crowded or overlapping teeth or having problems with jaw growth and tooth development. These tooth and jaw problems may be caused by tooth decay, losing baby teeth too soon, accidents, or habits like thumb sucking. These problems also can be genetic or inherited.

So why would you go to the orthodontist?

Your dentist or one of your parents might recommend it because they see a problem with your teeth or jaws. Or a kid who doesn’t like the way his or her teeth look might ask to see an orthodontist.

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