See some of our frequently asked questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about dentistry and oral health issues. If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.

Yes, even when we take great care of our teeth and gums problems can still arise. Fortunately, when dental problems are detected early the treatment is usually quite simple, and can prevent dental disease from progressing. Keeping your mouth healthy is an essential part of overall health and well-being. Additionally, some medical conditions have symptoms that may appear in the mouth. Put simply, regular dental visits are an investment in yourself.

Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.

Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums.  The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay.  Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar).  If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease.

Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids.

Toothbrushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with a soft bristle brush and toothpaste.

Electric toothbrushes are also recommended.  They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently.  Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time. Be careful not to use a “scrubbing” motion with electric toothbrushes as this may lead to excessive wear and abrasion of root surfaces and cause potential sensitivity of your teeth.  This is a common complication of over-vigorous use of an electric toothbrush.

Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline.  Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.  The type of floss you use is not as significant as just using floss regularly.

Rinsing – Rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush.  If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to check with Dr Davis or your hygienist to ensure that it’s the right product for your dental needs.

  • You have pain, or tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Your gums are puffy and/or they bleed when you brush/floss
  • You have persistent bad breath, or a bad taste in your mouth
  • Pain or swelling in mouth, face or neck
  • You experience jaw pain, or “popping” when opening or closing, chewing; you have an uneven bite
  • You have a spot or sore in your mouth that isn’t healing/going away
  • You don’t like the way your teeth/smile look
  • You have a history of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gum disease, tooth decay or HIV

Dental exams with Dr Davis are usually scheduled every 12 months and cleanings with one of our RDH’s every 6 months – although your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more frequent visits depending on your dental health care needs.

Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums.  At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities.  Additionally, there are many other things that are examined to detect any changes and prevent small problems progressing. These include:

  • Medical history review: Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and illnesses, gives us insight into your overall health and also your dental health. For some people, the dental office is the health care setting they visit the most.
  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays: Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.  X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Oral cancer screening: Checking the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Checking the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Checking current fillings, crowns, etc.
  • Removal of calculus (tartar)Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for sometime and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Calculus forms above and below the gum line, and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
  • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums.  This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
  • Teeth polishing: Removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during toothbrushing and scaling.
  • Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed (electric dental toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, fluorides, rinses, etc.).
  • Review dietary habits: Your eating habits play an important role in your dental health.

We are committed to providing you with the best possible care, and to do so will require regular check-ups and cleanings.

Healthy Habits

Brushing for two minutes twice a day, and flossing daily, are essential for everyone. It’s the best way to fight tooth decay and gum disease. Remember, keeping your mouth healthy is an essential element in maintaining overall health.

Keep in touch

Continuity of care is an important part of any health care, dental care included. When Dr Davis or one of our great RDH’s see you regularly the better able they are to catch problems early on and more easily treated. It’s also important that you keep us informed of any changes to your overall health.

Let’s chat

We love having healthy, satisfied patients, and we love a good conversation. Let us know if you have any questions about your treatment options, oral health or procedures.

We work with all major PPO dental insurance plans, and are contracted providers with a number of them. We are happy to verify your plan benefits before your appointment, and are here to help you navigate the (sometimes confusing) world of dental benefits.

For patients with larger treatment needs we will work with you to find payment plans that are comfortable for you and your family.

Are you ready to book your appointment?

Click on the link below or visit us in the Encinitas Village Shopping Center near Trader Joe’s. We look forward to seeing your smile!

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