When Should I Bring My Children To Southport Family Dental?

The short answer: as infants! Infants should be seen by our office after the first six months of age, and at least by the child’s first birthday. By this time, the baby’s first teeth, or primary teeth, are beginning to erupt and it is a critical time to spot any problems before they become big concerns.


Do I Really Have To Floss Every Day?

Yes! Flossing may be the single most important weapon against plaque. Flossing helps to prevent cavities, periodontal disease, and other dental problems later in life. It also increases blood circulation in your gums and removes plaque and debris that stick to your teeth and gums. Floss after each meal or at least twice every day.


Do I Need To Use Mouthwash With Fluoride?

Just drinking public water will provide a certain measure of fluoride protection. But for years, health professionals have endorsed the practice of supplementing our intake with certain dietary products, and topical fluorides in many types of toothpaste and some kinds of rinses. Fluoride is absorbed into structures, such as bones and teeth, making them stronger and more resistant to fractures and decay. A process in your body called “reminerlization” uses fluoride to repair damage caused by decay.


What’s The Best Mouthwash?

The Food and Drug Administration classifies mouth rinses into two categories: therapeutic and cosmetic. In general, therapeutic rinses with fluoride have been shown to actually fight cavities, plaque and gingivitis. On the other hand, cosmetic rinses merely treat breath odor, reduce bacteria and/or remove food particles in the mouth. They do nothing to treat or prevent gingivitis. People who have difficulty brushing (because of physical difficulties such as arthritis) can benefit from a good therapeutic mouth rinse.


Can Nutrition Impact Your Oral Health?

The same recommendations that guide children’s nutrition remain relevant for adult oral health. Eat foods rich in calcium and other kinds of minerals and maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Avoid excessive starches and sugars found in junk food and soda, which can erode tooth enamel. Good nutrition and a balanced diet improve oral health for children and adults alike.


Why Do I Need X-rays?

"To see is to know ... not to see is to guess. We won't guess about your health."

In my years as a Registered Dental Hygienist, I have discovered that dental x-rays, or radiographs, have been a hot topic with patients. Should they be taken once a year? Twice a year? Are they harmful? Why do we really need them? All of these questions are more than reasonable and every patient deserves the answers.


Southport Family Dental prides itself on providing the best dental care possible. However, any patient that refuses necessary dental radiographs is denying us an imperative diagnostic tool. It's like asking a mechanic to fix your car, but not allowing him to look under the hood. We don't want to guess why a tooth aches, we want to know. In order to treat a symptom, we have to be able to see the problem.


So let's talk about the frequency or radiographs, the significance of them, and why they are needed for proper dental treatment.


Why do I need x-rays?

For Adults:

  • To show decay in between the teeth that we cannot see visually during an oral exam.
  • To examine the bone levels in between the teeth that accompanies periodontal disease.
  • To evaluate the tips of roots for any infections.
  • To check for possible decay underneath existing fillings.
  • Examine an area before a dental procedure such as applying braces, implants, or extracting a tooth.

For Children:

  • To show decay in between the teeth.
  • To determine if there is enough space for incoming adult teeth.
  • Checking for development of wisdom teeth.



Frequency of dental radiographs depends on the medical history, dental history, and current oral condition of each patient.


Bitewings or "checkup x-rays" are a total of four images taken, two on each side of the mouth. We take these images once a year to determine if there are any cavities hiding in between the teeth or underneath any existing fillings.


Full Mouth Series or "full set" is a set of 18 images taken once every three to five years. This allows us to see the tips of all roots of the teeth, in addition to cavity detection and bone evaluation.


PA or Periapical is usually a single image taken of a localized area at an emergency visit or any time a patient is experiencing a symptom.


Our radiograph frequency protocol is designed for us to be able to catch any areas of concern before they evolve into a larger issue. Teeth are constantly changing. So as a dental team, it is our mission to keep up with those changes and prevent any treatment that could have otherwise been avoided.


If you have any further questions, please feel free to speak to Dr. Pizzino or any one our Southport Family Dental team members today!

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