What is family dentistry?
It’s only natural to have questions about various dental practices. If you have a family, you might have heard the term “family dentistry.” Knowing what it is, what the benefits are, and how to find one near you will help you decide if a family dentistry practice is right for you and your family.
The term “family dentistry” refers to a dental practice that addresses oral health at all stages of life. A good family dentist specializes in a range of dental services, from the usual dental cleanings and fillings to more specialized procedures such as sealants, tooth replacement, crowns and bridges, and so on.
Family dentistry promotes oral health at every stage of life. Children have different dental needs than adults, and qualified family dentists deliver comprehensive oral care from baby teeth to permanent teeth. Like general dentistry, family dentistry is concerned with oral hygiene and the lifetime health of your teeth.
Here at Your Community Dental, we take pride in providing quality family dentistry for the residents of Wilmington, North Carolina and beyond.
You’ll Feel Welcome Here.
From the minute you walk in the door, we want you to feel safe and comfortable. We know going to the dentist can be scary, for all ages. You will be greeted by our friendly team of professionals who take a sincere interest in you, and we’ll make you feel right at home, like one of the family. Our office has state-of-the-art technology for all your dental needs.
We take the time to listen to your wants and needs, concerns and questions regarding your dental health. And then, together, we will discuss the best treatment, plus alternatives and fees to develop a plan of treatment to improve your dental health and appearance.
Your trust is important to us, and we know the true value of our service is measured by the satisfaction of our patients and their referral of their friends and family.
We look forward to serving you and your family for years to come. Because oral health is integral to overall health we strive to provide comprehensive, lifetime care to our patients in the Wilmington area. We will work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your immediate needs and establish preventative dental care that ensures your smile will last a lifetime!
Our goal at Your Community Dental is to build lifelong relationships for lifelong health with one-on-one care that matters.
Why is Oral Health so important?
Like many areas of the body, your mouth is teeming with bacteria — most of them harmless. Normally the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, can keep these bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:
- Endocarditis. Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart (endocardium). Endocarditis typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart.
- Cardiovascular disease. Some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
- Pregnancy and birth. Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
Certain conditions also might affect your oral health, including:
- Diabetes. Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection — putting the gums at risk. Gum disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. Research shows that people who have gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels, and that regular periodontal care can improve diabetes control.
- HIV/AIDS. Oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS.
- Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis — which causes bones to become weak and brittle — might be linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Drugs used to treat osteoporosis carry a small risk of damage to the bones of the jaw.
- Alzheimer’s disease. Worsening oral health is seen as Alzheimer’s disease progresses.
Other conditions that might be linked to oral health include eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, head and neck cancers, and Sjogren’s syndrome — an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth.
Dental care is important for all stages of life.
Children’s dental health starts early with the importance of brushing teeth and learning good oral hygiene habits and becoming comfortable with visiting the dentist. Children may have pain during the transition of Deciduous teeth (commonly known as milk, baby or temporary teeth) to Adult (or permanent) teeth, treatment of cavities, extractions, possible orthodontic needs, and young adults may have impacted wisdom teeth that need removed (third and final set of molars).
Children are also prime candidates for traumatic tooth injuries (from falls and sports). It’s important to use a mouth guard and seek immediate help from your dentist for any injury.
It’s important to care for your baby’s teeth from the start. Here’s what to do (from www.mouthhealthy.org)
- Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth by wiping the gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth. As soon as teeth appear, decay can occur. A baby’s front four teeth usually push through the gums at about 6 months of age, although some children don’t have their first tooth until 12 or 14 months.
- For children younger than 3 years, start brushing their teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician.
- For children 3 to 6 years of age, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing and remind them not to swallow the toothpaste.
- Until you’re comfortable that your child can brush on his or her own, continue to brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a child-size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. When your child has two teeth that touch, you should begin cleaning between their teeth daily.
How old should a child be to see the dentist? The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child go to the dentist by the age of one or within six months after the first tooth erupts.
The teen and young adult years offer the possibility of additional dental issues that your family dentist can treat and address.
If you have a bad bite or your teeth are crooked or out of alignment, you may benefit from braces. Braces can help improve your smile and make your teeth straighter. They can also improve your dental health and overall health because untreated orthodontic problems can make it hard to bite and chew and can interfere with eating. If you have a bad bite, you may also be prone to cavities or gum disease because it may be hard to clean your teeth. Braces come in many different styles, including tooth-colored plastic braces or traditional metal braces that come in a variety of colors. Removable clear retainers can sometimes be used. Talk to your dentist to see what the best choice is for you.
Wisdom Teeth, also referred to as third molars, get their name by being the last teeth to come in during young adulthood, the time of life when you gain maturity or “wisdom.” The majority of people have most of their permanent teeth by age 13. Your wisdom teeth should come into your mouth between the ages of 17-21. Sometimes they do not have enough room to come in correctly or are in the wrong position to come straight up. When that happens, your dentist may refer to them as impacted and they may have to be removed.
Not everyone’s teeth develop on the same schedule. That’s why it’s important to see your dentist regularly so he or she can monitor the progress of your wisdom teeth. Every patient is unique, but in general, wisdom teeth may need to be removed when there is evidence of changes in the mouth such as:
- damage to adjacent teeth
- gum disease
- tooth decay (if it is not possible or desirable to restore the tooth)
Your dentist or specialist may also recommend removing your wisdom teeth to prevent problems or for other reasons, such as when removal is part of getting braces, treating gums, or other dental procedures.
You know smoking is bad for you in general, so it should be no surprise that all forms of tobacco are also harmful to your oral health. For one, they can cause bad breath, but that’s only the beginning. Other possible oral health impacts include:
- stained teeth and tongue
- dulled sense of taste and smell
- slow healing after a tooth extraction or oral surgery
- difficulties in correcting cosmetic dental problems
- gum disease and tooth loss
- oral cancer
Bottom-line: a smoke-free environment is healthier for you and for those around you. Make a plan to quit, stick to it and start living a healthier life. The National Institute on Drug Abuse considers nicotine to be the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the U.S. For tips on quitting or how to help your child quit, visit Smokefree.gov.
Not only do family dentists understand how children’s teeth change with age, but they also recognize that children may fear going to the dentist. Our family dentists have a gentle approach so that children will develop positive associations with regular dental checkups and build good oral hygiene habits for life.
In adults, check-ups are essential to determine the need for fillings, crowns, inlays, onlays, extractions, and to look for signs of gum disease and cancers of the mouth. Adults may also wish to have teeth straightened, whitened, or to have someone investigate other cosmetic dentistry options.
Older adults may need extractions in order to prepare for dentures, partial dentures, or other prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth. Additionally, older adults should have regular exams to look for signs of gum disease, cancers of the mouth, and to determine the need for any additional treatments.
Follow your heart.
Many studies have shown a connection between gum disease (periodontitis) and other serious conditions, including heart disease. Research suggests that periodontitis is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease and that people with chronic gum disease have increased thickness of their neck blood vessels. There is also a strong correlation between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and evidence that people with diabetes benefit from professional teeth cleanings.
Even though oral health isn’t a key to heart disease prevention, it’s important to take care of your teeth and gums:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Floss daily.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months — or sooner if the bristles become bent.
- Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.
Our Services Include:
Corrective and Restorative Dentistry. Are you unhappy with your smile? We encourage you to call us at 910-342-9210 and talk to our friendly, highly trained staff about our corrective dental and restorative dentistry.
Regardless of how meticulous you are about your oral health care, problems can always occur. These conditions can compound and lead to a bite misalignment, bone degeneration, or even further tooth loss. However, at Your Community Dental, we can customize a treatment plan that will restore your smile and promote overall excellent oral health.
Professional Teeth Cleaning. We recommend that you visit us at least twice a year for a regular check-up and professional teeth cleaning. A professional cleaning will remove plaque and tartar that brushing and flossing at home just can’t handle. Professionally eliminating this build-up of plaque and tartar helps to prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. The best dental care we can provide for you is preventative care. Regular check-ups and professional teeth cleaning prevent small problems from becoming more complex and difficult to treat.
Innovative Technology for Dental Care. Here at Your Community Dental, we utilize the most advanced, up-to-date technology in order to diagnose and treat dental problems with the highest level of accuracy and effectiveness. We use 21st century training and non-invasive, painless equipment to instantly produce high-resolution dental images that allow our dentist to identify problems such as tooth decay, worn enamel, gum disease, or micro-fractures that would normally remain undetectable and untreated.
Whether you are bringing in your baby or preparing for dentures, our team at Your Community Dental wants to “go that extra smile” for you with care throughout all stages of your life and for all members of your family.
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