John W. Bristow D.D.S

Changing the world, one smile at a time…
(707) 642-3319

PRACTICE PHILOSOPHY

Dental care has grown ever more sophisticated with the introduction of all the new technology and dental materials, which themselves are changing over time. To keep abreast, Dr. Bristow regularly takes continuing education courses to keep his practice up to date. He feels dentistry is an art as well as a science, and through years of experience, he is able to filter through what works and what doesn’t. As a result, Dr. Bristow strives to deliver natural and functional restorations for his patients. As the general dentist, he oversees the patient’s overall care, and refers to trusted specialists as necessary to achieve the best overall results. We tailor the treatment plans to the patient’s specific needs, after we present several different treatment options for that patient. Our overall goal is to restore our patient to optimal dental health, as well as their smile.
PREVENTATIVE CARE

Prevention is the key to keeping your teeth healthy and your smile Beautiful for a life time.

Brushing your teeth after meals and between-meal snacks not only gets rid of food particles, it removes plaque, the sticky film that forms on teeth. Plaque is made up of bacteria that produce acids that cause tooth decay and gum disease, so thorough removal of plaque is the main goal of brushing. Using a fluoride toothpaste is also important because the fluoride reduces bacteria levels, as well as remineralizes tooth surfaces, making them stronger. We can instruct you on the proper method for brushing and recommend the right kind of tooth brush for you.

A tooth brush with soft, end-rounded or polished bristles is less likely to injure your gum tissue or damage the tooth surface. The size, shape and angle of the brush should allow you to reach every tooth. Children need smaller brushes than those designed for adults. Remember: worn-out toothbrushes cannot properly clean your teeth and may injure your gums. Toothbrushes should be replaced every few months or when the bristles show signs of wear. To prevent tooth decay and gum disease, you must also clean between the teeth to thoroughly removed plaque from all tooth surfaces. Unfortunately, your brush can’t reach effectively between your teeth and under the gum line. Because tooth decay and periodontal disease often start in these areas, it is as important to floss on a daily basis as it is to brush.

Flossing is a skill that needs to be learned. Do not be discouraged if you find it difficult at first Our hygienists can help you learn to floss properly and give you tips on how to make it easier. With practice, you will find that flossing takes only a few minutes of your time each day. There are also other types of interdental cleaners, such as thin spiral bushes or wedge-shaped wooden sticks that can be used to help keep your gums and the spaces between your teeth clean and healthy. Your dentist or dental hygienist can help you choose, and instruct you on the proper use of the oral health aides that are best for you.

There are a variety of products available to help support your oral health. Mouth rinses, gels and toothpastes with fluoride can be used to help prevent decay. Some mouthwashes and toothpastes contain ingredients with antibacterial properties and can help prevent or control gingivitis (gum inflammation). Others contain ingredients to reduce the formation of tartar, the hardened plaque that forms on teeth over time. Gum and mints containing xylitol, a natural sweetener that reduces decay causing bacteria, can be used as part of an overall strategy to help reduce cavities. If you are already using an over-the-counter product for your oral health, it is always a good idea to consult with our office on its appropriateness for you. Depending on your individual situation, Dr. Bristow may recommend use of a specific product for you.

Are Regular Checkups Really That Important?

Yes! When Dr. Bristow looks in your mouth, he is not only looking for the signs of tooth decay and gum disease, but also for signs of systemic diseases – as your mouth is often a good indicator of your overall health. Conditions such as precancerous or cancerous lesions, diabetes, blocked salivary glands, and even HIV or AIDS can often be detected in an oral exam. Additionally, there is growing evidence of links between periodontal disease (gum disease) and heart disease, some respiratory diseases, and low-birth weight babies. To maintain your general health, it is important to maintain your oral health!

Beyond the connection to your general health, regular dental care is essential to preventing more complicated dental problems from developing. Good oral hygiene practices, that includes daily brushing and flossing, eating a healthy diet and visiting our office for a check-up twice a year – or as often as our office recommends – is the best way to keep your
teeth healthy and your smile beautiful for a lifetime!