Dental Information

Home Care

Your oral hygiene home care is the most important aspect of your dental health.  We recommend the following for good oral hygiene:

* Brush your teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.

* Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner. Tooth decay–causing bacteria still linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. This helps remove the sticky film on teeth called plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.

* Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.

* Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.

At Montclair Dental we are interested in educating all of our patients on home care, for detailed instructions on brushing and flossing, go to ADA Brushing and Flossing Instructions.

Caries/Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a destruction of the tooth enamel. It occurs when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) such as milk, pop, raisins, cakes or candy are frequently left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth thrive on these foods, producing acids as a result. Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay, which is known as a “cavity”.

For tips on how to prevent and treat tooth decay, talk to your dentist and hygienist here at Montclair Dental.  To supplement here is also information on this site.  Tooth Decay Prevention

Periodontal/Gum Disease

Research proves that up to 30% of the population may be genetically susceptible to gum disease.  Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that is linked to other health risks including heart and respiratory diseases; preterm, low birthweight babies; stroke; osteoporosis; and diabetes.  Periodontal bacteria can enter the  blood stream and travel to major organs and begin new infections.  Recent research demonstrates that inflammation may link periodontal disease to other chronic conditions.   This link talks more about the mouth and body connection. Periodontal disease is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults 35 and over.

We have treated thousands of patients with periodontal disease here at Montclair Dental with great success. For more information on types, causes, and symptoms of periodontal disease and periodontal treatments, visit The American Academy of Periodontology webiste

Bruxism (Tooth Grinding)

Brusixm or tooth grinding happens as we sleep, caused not just by stress and anxiety but by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite or teeth that are missing or crooked.  Symptoms include a loud clicking noises, headaches, tooth aches, chronic facial pain, or a sore jaw.  Grinding can also lead to teeth that are painful or loose from severe grinding; or even fractures in your teeth.  Talk to your dentist here at Montclair Dental if you have any of these symptoms, we can fit you with a custom mouth guard to properly postion your jaws while protecting your teeth during sleep.

Dry Mouth

Reduced saliva flow that results in a dry mouth is a common problem among older adults. It is caused by certain medical disorders and is often a side effect of medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers and diuretics.  Left untreated, dry mouth can damage your teeth. Without adequate saliva to lubricate your mouth, wash away food, and neutralize the acids produced by plaque, extensive tooth decay can occur.  Your dentist can recommend various methods to restore moisture, and perscription toothpaste to help reduce tooth decay is usually necessary. Sugar-free candy or gum stimulates saliva flow, and moisture can be replaced by using artificial saliva and oral rinses.  If you have dry mouth, please tell your dentist or hygienist at Montclair Dental, for more information visit information about dry mouth

Flouride and Flouridation

Community water fluoridation is the single most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay.  Fluoridation of community water supplies is simply the adjustment of the existing, naturally occurring fluoride levels in drinking water to an optimal fluoride level recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service (0.7 – 1.2 parts per million).  An individual can have a lifetime of fluoridated water for less than the cost of one dental filling.  The ADA’s policies regarding community water fluoridation are based on the overwhelming weight of peer-reviewed, credible scientific evidence.  Today, studies prove water fluoridation continues to be effective in reducing tooth decay by 20-40%, even in an era with widespread availability of fluoride from other sources, such as fluoride toothpaste.  The American Dental Assoication has a website dedicated to educating the public flouride.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Whether you call it bad breath or halitosis, it’s an unpleasant condition that’s cause for embarrassment. Some people with bad breath aren’t even aware there’s a problem. If you’re concerned about bad breath, see your dentist. He or she can help identify the cause and, if it’s due to an oral condition, develop a treatment plan to help eliminate it.  If you don’t brush and floss daily, particles of food remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath.  Bad breath can also be caused by dry mouth or medical disorders, but maintaining good oral health and regular dental visits is essential to reducing bad breath.  For more information on causes and ways to reduce bad breath talk to your dentist here at Montclair Dental and visit halitosis information.

TMJ/Temporomandibular Disorders

Two joints and several jaw muscles make it possible to open and close the mouth. They work together when you chew, speak or swallow. They include muscles and ligaments, as well as the jaw bone–the mandible (lower jaw) with two joints called the temporomandibular joints or “TMJs.”  Several muscles also help open and close the mouth.   Both TM joints have a disc between the ball and socket.  The disc cushions the load while enabling the jaw to open widely and rotate or glide. Any problem that prevents this complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones from working properly may result in a painful TMJ disorder.  Here at Montclair Dental we can help identify the source of the pain with a thorough exam and appropriate x-rays.  In many cases, only minor, relatively non-invasive treatment may be needed to help reduce the pain.  For more information visit us at Montclair Dental, and look into information on TMD.

Oral Cancer Screening

Your dentist has recent good news about progress against cancer. It is now easier than ever to detect oral cancer early, when the opportunity for a cure is great. Only half of all patients diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than five years.  Your dentist has the skills and tools to ensure that early signs of cancer and pre-cancerous conditions are identified.  Oral cancer screening is a routine part of a dental examination.  Regular check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions.  Here at Montclair we perform an oral cancer screening with every examination, for more info visit oral cancer information.

Baby Teeth

A child’s primary teeth, sometimes called “baby teeth,” are as important as the permanent adult teeth. Primary teeth typically begin to appear when a baby is between age six months and one year. Primary teeth help children chew and speak. They also hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. The ADA recommends that a dentist examine a child within six months after the first tooth comes in and no later than the first birthday.  Besides checking for tooth decay and other problems, we can show you how to clean the child’s teeth properly and how to evaluate any adverse habits such as thumbsucking.  We practice family dentistry at Montclair Dental Associates, and enjoy seeing children of all ages.  For more information on healthy teeth for young children from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry visit AAPD tips.

Air Abrasion

For certain small cavities, using air abrasion to remove structure can help preserve tooth structure.  This technique also helps roughen the tooth surface to improve retention of bonded fillings.  Using air abrasion on children can also mean NO needles and NO drills.  Here at Montclair Dental we have and use air abrasion technology whenever indicated.

Intraoral and Extraoral Cameras

With a small intraoral camera shaped like a pen, we can put a live shots of your teeth and gums on a screen. This allows you to view your mouth exactly as the doctor sees it!  We use this technology to help you understand what we are doing to help your teeth.  We also have a dental specific camera that helps us take pictures of your smile and teeth.  We use our cameras to help you see the changes that we can make for your teeth, especially for cosmetic makeovers!

Digital X-rays

Dental X-ray examinations provide valuable information that helps your dentist evaluate your oral health. With the help of radiographs (the term for pictures taken with X-rays), your dentist can look at what is happening beneath the surface of your teeth and gums.  Modern digital x-ray technology has enabled dentists to further reduce the already low radiation dose from our x-ray machines.  Our digital x-rays are visible on a computer monitor within seconds!  At Montclair Dental we make sure our patients can view their own x-rays at every visit so that any our patients understand exactly what we are showing them.   For more information about digital x-rays, here is more information on digital radiography

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Snoring has it’s own drawbacks, but to make matters worse often times snoring is linked to a very serious condition known as sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. People with sleep apnea will partially awaken as they struggle to breath, but in the morning will be unaware of the disturbances in their sleep.  The hallmark symptom of the disorder is daytime sleepiness.  Untreated, sleep apnea can be a life threatening condition.  At Montclair Dental, we are familiar with patients who suffer from snoring and sleep apnea.  We can help you obtain proper testing and achieve a diagnosis with the help of trained medical professionals.