Frequently Asked Questions
How do I use dental floss?
Floss is cheap, so don't be stingy! Tear off about a forearm's length to start. Wrap one end around the middle finger of one hand to 'anchor' it and pick up the other end about 4-6 inches away with the middle finger of the other hand. This allows you to manipulate the floss with your thumb and fore finger. As you soil a section of floss, 'reel' in another 4-6 inches of clean floss with the anchor finger as you release the floss with the other finger. Never shoe-shine the teeth in a back-and-forth motion as you will either notch your teeth and/or cut your gums.
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.
What causes tooth decay?
Tooth decay, also know as dental caries, is caused by acids which are produced by bacteria in the presence of sugar. To prevent decay bacteria, sugar and acids must be periodically removed by way of brushing and flossing. Simple tips like, don't sip sugar drinks such as soda, drink the soda straight down as constant sipping is harmful. Ask Dr. Irwin for other tips to prevent tooth decay.