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Prevent Disease & Decay

We do a lot to help you take care of your teeth and make sure they stay healthy. Routine dental cleaning and tooth maintenance can prevent stop problems like tooth decay and disease before they have a chance to start.

  • Regular exams and teeth cleanings to prevent disease.
  • Oral cancer screenings to find cancer at early and treatable stages.
  • Read our brushing tips and learn to brush your teeth most effectively.
  • Read our flossing tips and learn to floss your teeth most effectively.

 

Exams & Cleanings

Good for More Than Just Your Teeth

At a routine check-up with our Willits office, our team will do a lot more than check for cavities. While caring for your teeth, we’ll also look for clues that might indicate a more serious physical problem. This is especially important if you haven’t seen your family physician in a while.

Signs We Look For

Your mouth is a unique combination of teeth, skin, muscle, fluids, and germs. It gives us a chance to look inside your body without surgery.

We can spot over forty serious diseases by looking at your mouth, such as tumors, AIDS, and bulimia. We can detect signs of high blood pressure or osteoporosis based on the texture, color, and condition of your tongue.

If you don’t get annual physical examinations, you should see a dentist twice a year. Our job is to make sure every part of you, from your teeth the rest of your body, stays healthy.

 

Oral Cancer Screening

Early Detection Is the Key to Successful Treatment

Oral cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the world. It kills about one-third of patients diagnosed with it, and 28,000 new cases occur each year.

25% of oral cancers occur in people who don’t smoke or have other lifestyle risks.

Trouble Spots and Oral Lesions

If you experience any of the following symptoms, schedule an appointment.

  • Red or white spots you haven’t noticed before
  • Small sores in your mouth that linger
  • Unexplained swelling
  • Discoloration, even if it doesn’t hurt.

Most of the time, oral lesions are harmless. Biting into crunchy food can be enough to scratch the more delicate parts of your mouth. If you use tobacco or drink alcohol, have ever had HPV, or are being treated for systemic diseases like diabetes, autoimmune disorders, that seeming harmless irritation is a warning sign.

During your appointment, we’ll take a closer look. Whenever we find a lesion, we check it to be safe.

Facts About Oral Cancer:

  • 6% of all cancers that are diagnosed.
  • Symptoms include sore that won’t heal and white spots of gums.
  • Smokeless tobacco users, older men, and alcohol drinkers are common victims.
  • More than a quarter of patients diagnosed are non-smokers under 40.
  • In more the 20% of cases, HPV plays a role.
  • The family dentist is often the first to notice symptoms.
  • Early detection can lead to life-saving treatment

 

Brushing Tips

Get the Most Out of Brushing Your Teeth

Remember to brush a couple of teeth at a time using circular motions. Brushing back and forth can cause your gum to recede or can make your tooth tender by exposing the root. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and move in circles to get the best result.

Soft or Hard Bristles?

If your toothbrush has bristles that are too hard and abrasive, it can wear down your teeth. We recommend soft bristles with rounds ends.

A brush with soft, rounded, and multi-tufted bristles cleans well without doing damage to your teeth. Electric toothbrushes also work well. Move the bristles of your electric brush systematically over your teeth so it can work correctly.

How Long Should I Brush?

We recommend brushing for 3-4 minutes. Since most people brush for less than a minute while thinking more time has passed, try listening to a song while you brush.

Should I Brush at Work?

Yes. Getting debris off of your teeth as soon as you can to stop sugary snacks from turning into harmful acids.

You don’t need to use toothpaste during the day if you brush with fluoride toothpaste in the morning and at night. Just brush and rinse. If you don’t have a toothbrush with you, rinse your mouth with water for 30 seconds after lunch.

Tips to Improve Your Brushing Habits

  • Leave yourself a reminder to brush your teeth after lunch, such as a sticky note in an obvious place.
  • Brush or rinse your teeth before you get back to work.
  • Keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in a convenient place.
  • Make brushing your teeth part of your freshening up routine at work.

Flossing Tips

Should I Floss?

Yes. Flossing removes plaque and debris that stick to teeth and gums, polishes tooth surfaces, and controls bad breath. When it comes to fighting plaque, flossing is even more important than brushing.

A lot of people don’t know the best ways to brush and floss and don’t spend enough time doing it. We can show you how when you come and visit us.

How Should I Floss?

There are two flossing methods: the spool method and the loop method.

  • Spool method: take an 18-inch piece of floss and wind most of it gently around your middle finger (make sure you don’t cut off your finger’s circulation). Wind the rest around the same finger on your other hand.Move the floss between your teeth with your index fingers and thumbs. Don’t pull the floss down hard or rub the floss side to side. Form a “C” shape around your and bring it up and down, making sure to gently go below the gum line.
  • Loop method: This method is better for children or adults who have arthritis or those who lack muscle coordination.

Take an 18-inch piece of floss and make a circle. Tie it with three knots. Place all of your fingers, except the thumb, within the loop.

Use your index finger to guide the floss through the lower teeth, and use your thumbs to guide the floss through the upper teeth. Make sure you form a “C” on the side of the tooth and go behind the gum line gently.

How Often Should I Floss?

At least once a day. It should take 2-3 minutes.

What About Floss Holders?

Floss holders are a good choice if you’re just beginning to floss, those with limited dexterity, and caretakers who are flossing someone else’s teeth. However, anyone can use them if they find it easier.