Oral Hygiene FAQs

What causes tooth decay?

Decay is caused by bacteria that collect on teeth and feed on the carbohydrates in our diet. The bacteria produce acid that wears away at the enamel on our teeth. If decay is left untreated, it can cause pain, infection and even tooth loss. Protect your teeth against decay by brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, visiting your dentist regularly, and avoiding sugary foods.

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What are the most common oral health problems?

Cavities and gum disease are the most common problems. Both can be prevented with regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups.

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What is dry mouth and what can I do about it?

Dry mouth is caused by a reduced flow of saliva. Saliva is needed to help control bacteria and wash away food debris. Certain medications, some diseases, smoking and chewing tobacco can cause dry mouth. If you suffer from dry mouth, call us and we can recommend ways to treat it.

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How often should I see a dentist?

Once every 6 months is good for most people, but some people with special conditions may need to see their dentist more often. Schedule an appointment to find out what’s best for you.

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How often should I change my toothbrush?

Every 3 months or sooner if the bristles become worn and frayed. If you’ve been sick with a cold or other bacterial infection, it’s wise to replace your toothbrush once you’re better.

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What are some of the symptoms of oral cancer?

Oral cancer often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot in the mouth. It can affect the lips, gums, cheeks, tongue and palate. More than 34,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer yearly. Early detection is key to effective treatment. In addition to an oral cancer screening that is part of every exam, Aspen Dental also offers a state-of-the-art oral cancer screening that can detect the disease in its earliest stages. Seeing a dentist every 6 months is crucial in the fight against oral cancer.

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