Stanford Dental
Providing you with an exceptional experience at every visit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Preventative Care

How can we help you?

Do you have questions about your oral health or your treatment recommendations? That is excellent, because you should ask questions about your health!

At Stanford Dental, we consider ourselves your partners, and we’re here to help you make the right decisions for your dental needs. We welcome any questions you have, and we’re happy to answer them.

We’ve gathered a list of some of the questions that we hear the most and provided the answers for you here. If you don’t see your question, we encourage you to call our office and talk with one of our knowledgeable staff members.

Preventative Care

I have been asked how often do I need to see the dentist? The short answer is it depends on the person and the health of the mouth and body. For a long time, the correlation between a healthy body and a healthy mouth has been determined. Most dental diseases are associated with bacterial infections that occur in the mouth. If a person has no decay present and the gums are healthy and don’t bleed, then seeing the dentist two times a year can help ensure the mouth stays healthy. Normally, this occurs when a patient uses floss or a water pick and brushes in the morning and before bed. A healthy diet is also important as good nutrients influence the condition of the mouth. 
 
If a person has multiple fillings, crowns, or has decay, then seeing the dentist more regularly is advised until all decay is removed; especially if gum and or bone disease is present. Bleeding gums are a sign of active dental infection. The presence of periodontal disease or bone loss around teeth is an indication that more frequent, usually quarterly visits to the dentist are advised. Periodontal disease is not a curable condition; however, the disease can usually be successfully maintained with more frequent therapy as well as a great home care regiment by a patient on a daily basis. In a nutshell, patient care intervals are best individualized to suit each patient in order to keep them in a state of optimal  health. 
 
Another consideration should be made, a yearly oral cancer examination should be performed on all patients, especially those over 18 years of age. Many don’t know oral cancer is the 6th leading cancer in the US and the dentist is the first line of defense to detect oral cancer in the most early stages. Finally, tooth habits like clenching of teeth and grinding can cause significant damage and are best monitored and treated to prevent tooth and enamel break down. 

 

This is a very common question that comes up during a patient’s dental appointment. There are so many different mouthwashes to choose from when you go to your local store and will make you wonder which one do I need. Every person is different when it comes to their oral care needs. Your dentist or hygienist can best guide you in the right direction.

 

DRY MOUTH

If you are experiencing dry mouth, it is best to go with a mouthwash like Biotene, Act Dry Mouth, TheraBreath, etc. Dry mouth is when your salivary glands cannot produce enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Dry mouth is often due to the side effect of certain medications or aging issues or as a result of radiation therapy for cancer. Saliva helps prevent tooth decay by neutralizing acids produced by bacteria, limiting bacterial growth and washing away food particles. Saliva enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to chew and swallow. Saliva has enzymes that aid in digestion. Decreased saliva and dry mouth can range from being merely a nuisance to something that has a major impact on your general health and the health of your teeth and gums, as well as your appetite and enjoyment of food.

 

HISTORY/PREVENTION OF CAVITIES

If you have a history of cavities, using an anti-cavity fluoride mouthrinse is a great option for you. A fluoride mouthwash does not remove plaque, it works by protecting your tooth from acids  produced by the bacterial plaque. IT IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR BRUSHING AND FLOSSING! The fluoride in the rinse works into the enamel coating of your teeth, and can help protect against cavities in people who are susceptible. Even though a proper amount of fluoride is important for adults, it is especially crucial for children. Fluoride helps prevent and reverse early stages of tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel and allowing teeth damaged by acid from plaque to remineralize themselves. They have a variety of anti-cavity mouthrinses on the market for adults and children. Just make sure to purchase ones that contain fluoride.

 

PERIODONTAL DISEASE

If you have periodontal disease you may benefit from a prescription mouth rinse recommended by your dentist. One of the mouthwashes that may be recommended is Peridex. This is a germicidal mouth rinse that reduces bacteria in the mouth. Peridex is prescribed by your dentist to help treat gingivitis (red, swollen, bleeding gums). 

There are also many other rinses containing chlorhexidine that can help treat periodontal disease along with regular brushing and flossing. Ask your dentist or hygienist what rinse would best help you!

 
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Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice but rest assure that we will not only continue best practices, but go up and beyond for the safety of our team and patients. Along with thorough sanitization, we have also updated the way we will be seeing patients so you are able to still receive the top quality care you have learned to trust. To see all our updates, please visit our blog. Please click this link to fill out this form BEFORE your dental appointment:
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