Bennett Family Dentistry
Michael Bennett, DDS
Ashley Blattner, DDS
Ross Bennett, DDS
Blake Essner, DDS
Cape Girardeau Family Dentist Dr. Bennett
Our Family Caring For Your Family
(573) 334-8013
1200 N. Cape Rock Drive
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
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preventive care

What causes tooth decay?

Tooth decay is caused by acids which are produced by bacteria in the presence of sugar. To prevent decay these bacteria, sugar and acids must be periodically removed by way of brushing and flossing.

What is the best kind of toothbrush?

Generally speaking, a soft bristled toothbrush is best. Whether you use a manual toothbrush or an electric, anything harder than soft, is too hard. Stiff bristles may give you that clean feeling, but they can also abrade your teeth and cause gum recession.

How often should I get dental checkups?

For most people, a checkup and cleaning every 6 months is standard protocol. Depending on a person's dental health, however, a dental cleaning every 3 to 4 months may be recommended.

How often should I get x-rays?

For most people, a complete radiographic survey should be done every 3 years, and a "check up" or "recall" set every 6 to 12 months. A complete set of x-rays is estimated to expose you to the same amount of radiation you get on a flight from San Francisco to Seattle.


Doctors use x-rays as an aid in diagnosing problems. Without x-rays, "seeing" the problem will be difficult if not impossible.

Step 1 - Place bristles along the gum line at a 45 degree angle. Gently brush using a circular motion along the outer and inner tooth surfaces.
Step 2 - Brush each tooth individually. Tilt brush vertically behind the front teeth. Using the front half of the brush, use the same circular motion.
Step 3 - Place the brush against the biting surface of the teeth and use a gentle back-and-forth motion. Brush the tongue to remove odor-producing bacteria.

Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind some of it around your middle finger (3 turns). This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty. Shorten the length between the two fingers to 6 inches and wind some floss (1 turn) around the opposite middle finger. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers.


Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth. Hold the floss tightly against the tooth as you gently rub the side of the tooth with an up and down motion. Before retrieving it, clean the adjacent tooth surface.


As you finish cleaning each contact wind the dirty floss once around the first middle finger and slide more new length of floss to proceed to the next contact.

Teeth that are suffering damage from gum disease will always be more sensitive to cold and if you avoid cleaning them due to this sensitivity, it can only make the problem worse.

After dental treatment, some teeth may be more sensitive because this is their way of dealing with injury. Injuries to teeth such as cavities, gum infection and jaw clenching can damage the nerves in a tooth. The sensitivity should not last long after treatment as long as your teeth are kept clean, otherwise the sensitivity is likely to get worse. If your teeth are ever extra sensitive, please consult with Dr. Bennett as this could be a sign that you need a root canal or gum tissue treatment.

Fluoride

Fluoride is an important part of healthy tooth development and will help prevent cavities.

Fluoride can provide protection from tooth decay in a couple ways:
1) It helps to strengthen the tooth's enamel so it can repel the acid that is formed by plaque.
2) Teeth that have been damaged by plaque can repair and re-mineralize themselves with the help of fluoride.

Fluoride is incapable of repairing already formed cavities, but it does assist in reversing low levels of tooth decay and helps in preventing new cavities from forming.

Tongue Scraper

In general, the tongue, with its rough surface, is the most common source of bad breath. "Tongue scrapers" are very effective in keeping the tongue clean.

Sonicare

Sonicare's unique, patented combination of high speed bristle motion with extra wide sweeping motion creates effective, yet gentle, dynamic fluid cleaning motion. You get excellent plaque removal, especially in hard-to-reach areas such as between and below the gum line. You can count on naturally whiter teeth and healthier gums.

Sonicare is excellent in battling gum disease, dry mouth, bad breath and tooth sensitivity. Its sweeping motion is very good in cleaning around dental restorations such as implants, crowns and veneers as well as cleaning braces.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is derived primarily from forest and agricultural products. The dental benefits of using Xylitol to prevent caries were first recognized and published in 1975. Xylitol is available in many forms such as gums, mints, chewable lozenges, toothpastes, etc. The efficacy of these products varies depending on two critical aspects which are the amounts of Xylitol contained, and the frequency of use. We recommend that you consult with your dentist about Xylitol and its benefits towards your oral health.

Research has shown that gum disease can influence heart disease and other health conditions in negative ways. They suggest that gum disease could even be a more serious factor in heart disease than smoking, cholesterol, hypertension and age. One reason for this is the fact that the bacteria found in diseased gums can come loose and move throughout the body. When this bacteria reaches arteries it can cause arterial plaque to build up and harden which in return adversely affect blood flow.

Plaque

Plaque is essentially the start of gum disease problems. Plaque is a build-up from bacteria in the mouth and particles from the foods you eat every day.


Once sugars are introduced to plaque, it turns into a tooth eating acid that sits just above the gum line. If regular oral care isn't standard, the acid will start eating at the teeth producing cavities and the plaque can cause gum disease.


Plaque that is allowed to sit for a prolonged period of time can cause cavities, gingivitis, and other problems in your mouth. If it's left longer than that, serious dental procedures may be required to restore your decaying smile.

One of the earliest stages of gum disease is gingivitis. Gingivitis causes the gums to become swollen and bleed due to the toxins, enzymes and plaque byproducts that are created. In order for your gums to return to a healthy state, treatment from Dr. Bennett is required in addition to proper oral hygiene.

When the bone tissue starts to deteriorate, this is known as a form of gum disease called Periodontitis. This happens when the byproducts of plaque attack the tissues that hold your teeth to the bone. The gums begin falling away from the teeth and form pockets in the gums which allows more plaque to collect below the gum line. When this occurs, the patient becomes more sensitive to hot and cold and the roots of the teeth are more vulnerable to decay.

Advanced periodontitis occurs when a major amount of gum and bone tissue has been lost and the teeth are losing more and more support due to the loss of periodontal ligament and bone. Some teeth are unable to be saved and must be extracted. If left untreated, advanced periodontitis can cause severe health problems elsewhere in the body.

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Cape Girardeau Family Dentist

Office Hours

  • Monday:
  • Tuesday:
  • Wednesday:
  • Thursday:
  • Friday:
  • 7:30am - 5:00pm
  • 7:00am - 5:00pm
  • 7:30am - 6:00pm
  • 7:00am - 5:00pm
  • 7:00am - 4:00pm

Contact Info
Phone | (573) 334-8013
Fax | (573) 334-4101
E-mail |

Thank You!
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