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Cassandra Casto-Molina, DDS on Dental Solutions

Cassandra Casto-Molina, DDS, practices at Progressive Dental Solutions as a general dentist. She graduated from West Virginia University with a B.S. in Exercise Physiology and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Dr. Casto-Molina practiced public health in rural West Virginia for four years to fulfill a desire to help an underserved population prior to moving to Pittsburgh. 

Cassandra Casto-MolinaQ: What can I do to improve my dental health?

A: Visiting your dentist every six months is an important step to improving and maintaining your oral health. Your dentist can take X-rays and check your mouth for gum disease, cavities and oral cancer. If you visit your dentist regularly, he/she can diagnose these issues prior to them causing major problems. 

Q: Is there anything your dentist should know about any medications or changes in your overall health status?

A: It is important that you update your dentist on any changes in your medical history at each appointment. Even if it doesn’t seem important to you, it could make a difference in the way the dentist performs your treatment, including the type of anesthetic that is used. It is helpful to bring a list of your current medications, surgeries and health conditions to your appointment. 

Q: What are some of the more common dental health myths and what can you say to dispel those myths?

A: One common dental myth that I hear a lot is, “My teeth don’t bother me, so there is nothing wrong with them. I don’t need to go to the dentist.”

Most people who get cavities do not realize that they have them at first. Not all cavities can be seen with the naked eye. Cavities in between your teeth need to be diagnosed with X-rays. If you wait until you have a bad toothache or an infection, the treatment to fix the tooth will be more complicated. Instead of a simple filling, you may need a root canal and a crown or maybe even a tooth extraction. 

Q: When is it the best time to brush your teeth in morning—before or after you eat and why?

A: Brushing your teeth two times per day for two minutes with a fluoridated toothpaste is crucial in preventing tooth decay. It is recommended to brush in the morning and prior to going to bed. It is really personal preference if you brush before or after breakfast. If you do like to eat first thing in the morning try waiting 30 minutes after you eat to brush since acidic foods can weaken the enamel. When brushing at bedtime, it is best to not eat or drink anything besides water afterwards. Don’t forget to floss! 

Q: What are some early signs of dental troubles? What should we be looking for?

A: One of the easiest signs for a person to spot when it comes to oral health problems is bleeding gums. Bleeding gums are a sign of gingivitis and is usually caused by improper home care. Your dental hygienist can go over the proper techniques for brushing and flossing as well as give other recommendations to eliminate gingivitis. Bad breath, or halitosis, is another sign there may be dental troubles.

Q: Can you recommend some ways to whiten your teeth?

A:There are several different ways to whiten your teeth. Sometimes a routine dental cleaning to remove surface staining is sufficient. Over the counter remedies such as whitening toothpastes or white strips will work for most people but do take longer because they are not as strong as what you can purchase at a dental office. 

Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist what they offer in their office. Custom made whitening trays with a professional strength gel are very effective at whitening. Most dental offices even offer an in office whitening system that will make a dramatic difference for some patients in just one visit. Your dentist will want to examine your teeth prior to whitening to ensure that they are healthy and you are a good candidate for this procedure. Keep in mind that any type of teeth whitening can cause sensitivity so if you already have sensitive teeth this may not be for you.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Cassandra Casto-Molina, please call (724) 942-5630 or visit www.progressivedentalsolutions.com.

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