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How Often Should You Go to the Dentist

How often should you go to the dentist?  Every six months, once a year?  Dr. Cooke recommends most people visit their dentist twice a year.  During these routine checkups an experienced dental hygienist will perform a regular cleaning and examine your teeth and gums for anything unusual.  Once a year you should have a full set of x-rays done so the dentist can see any cavities that might have formed since the last set of x-rays that were taken.

It should be noted that people who are at a greater risk for oral diseases may need checkups more than twice a year.  Also, tobacco and alcohol use, diabetes, pregnancy, periodontal and gum disease, poor oral hygiene and certain medical conditions are also factors that your dentist may take into consideration when recommending how often you should come in.

Dr. Cooke has over 30 years of experience providing world-class dental care to patients in San Diego.  He maintains offices in Fallbrook and Rancho Santa Fe.  You can visit him on the web at

What Makes Dr. Cooke the Best Dentist in San Diego?

The Best Dentist in San Diego

Fallbrook Dentist Clayton T. Cooke, D.D.S.Keeping you smiling is Dr. Cooke’s #1 priority. For 35 years, we’ve staked our reputation on the fact that providing unsurpassed dental care can only be accomplished if we use state of the art techniques, best quality dental materials, and superior dental labs. In order to surpass your expectations, we constantly check ourselves to ensure we’re providing you the best possible dental care available.

One of Dr. Cooke’s keys to ensuring his clients get the best possible long term care is by starting with a comprehensive exam.

Comprehensive exams are much different than the “checkup” you might have experienced in the past. In order to reach a complete understanding of your dental health, we must gather data about your muscles, joints, bite, and existing dental work in order to determine how these variables work together in your mouth. Evaluating the health of your gums and surrounding soft tissues as well as an interactive oral screening is part of the process you see to the right. Plus, we offer the latest solutions available in X-ray technology to get a complete “picture” of your smile. The most important goal of this comprehensive exam, however, is to allow Dr. Cooke to share all of the information he gathers with you so that you can make informed decisions about your dental care.

We offer a full array of dental services including the following to ensure a lifetime of dental health.

Proper Flossing

Importance of Flossing

Dr. Cooke Patient FlossingWe all get busy but there some things you just have to make time to do. One of the most important things you can do is floss.

Most cavities and periodontal disease begin between the teeth. While brushing is important, the bristles of your brush simply can’t reach between the teeth.

To keep your gums and teeth healthy, you must remove the plaque between your teeth at least once a day.

Don’t worry about the type of floss; they all work pretty much the same.

Wind about 18 inches of floss around the middle fingers of each hand, leaving about 5 inches between your hands. Pinch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers and leave about one inch in between to work with. Gently guide the floss down between the teeth, using a side-to-side motion.

If your teeth are too tight to floss, or if the floss catches or tears, let our Houston dentist know about it. These are problems that need to be fixed.

Pull the floss tightly into a C shape around the side of the tooth and slide it under the gum line. Clean the surface of the tooth by using an up-and-down motion, not side-to-side, until the surface is clean.

When all the plaque has been removed, the floss will squeak as it rubs against your teeth. Pull the floss around the next tooth and repeat the process. Wind the floss to a fresh section and gradually work your way around your mouth, cleaning both sides of every tooth.

If you have problems reaching some areas, you might want to use a floss pick. Dr. Cooke likes the Oral-B Floss Picks ( If your gums are infected, they’ll bleed when you floss. That’s to be expected if you are just beginning to floss. After a week or so of regular flossing the bleeding should go away.

Now you know why brushing your teeth is only half the battle. Most cavities and periodontal disease start between the teeth where your toothbrush just can’t reach.