Your Frequently Asked Dental Questions, Answered

Below, Dr. Mark Galli answers frequently asked questions from his Encinitas dentistry patients. If you have additional questions that are not answered here, Dr. Galli welcomes you to call or email our practice today.

How often should I brush and floss my teeth?

It’s important to brush and floss your teeth regularly to remove food particles, bacteria and other debris from your mouth. Aim to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste (check for the Seal of Approval from the American Dental Association on your products). Floss at least once daily and clean the tongue and along the gum line, where a toothbrush can miss. Ask you hygienist for special instruments to help with these areas. Rinse your mouth out well after brushing and flossing.

How often should I schedule a dental exam and cleaning?

Professional teeth cleanings and exams are important for maintaining the health of your teeth and gums and preventing serious problems. Ideally, you should visit Dr. Galli three times a year for a dental exam and cleaning. He will advise whether you should visit more or less frequently, based on your oral health status.

I don’t like the appearance of my smile. What can be done to improve it?

Dr. Galli offers a variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures to improve your smile. Depending on your specific concerns, a comprehensive smile design is usually the starting point to help you decide what is best. You may benefit from teeth whitening, placement of porcelain veneers, Invisalign to straighten the teeth, or bonding and smoothing.

I need to replace a missing tooth. What are my options?

In many cases, the best way to replace a missing tooth is with a dental implant, which recreates the entire tooth, root and crown. Another option is to close the gap with a dental bridge. See Dr. Galli for a consult to discuss which restorative dentistry option is best for you.

I am missing most or all of my teeth. Are dentures my only option?

No, however, dentures are a good option for multiple missing teeth. Today, dentures are much more stable than they used to be if they are secured in the mouth with a few dental implants. Dr. Galli can talk to you about additional solutions during a consultation.

How can I fix my crooked or crowded teeth?

Many people prefer to straighten their teeth with the Invisalign system, as opposed to traditional orthodontic braces. Invisalign uses a series of plastic aligners that are comfortable, clear and removable to gradually shift teeth into the desired position and alignment.

My gums are tender and bleed when I brush and floss. Do I have gum disease?

Swollen, bleeding gums are a symptom of gum disease, but that is not always the case. It’s best to schedule an appointment with Dr. Galli so he can diagnose the problem and explain gum disease treatment options, if necessary.

What should I do about bad breath?

Most cases of bad breath are due to neglecting oral hygiene. Other cases stem from an oral health problem. If you avoid odiferous foods, brush and floss regularly (including brushing your tongue), yet still have bad breath, you should have Dr. Galli examine your mouth to rule out an underlying condition like gum disease or dry mouth.

Don’t See Your Question Answered Here?

Encinitas dentist Mark Galli invites you to call or email our office to set up an informational consultation.