Consultation: Novato | Mill Valley (415) 388-2172

Left untreated, dental infections and periodontal disease will not only affect the appearance of your smile but can destroy your oral health. Neglecting routine at-home oral and professional care places you at greater risk for these conditions, and when you do try to “catch up” you may face complications that require complex dental work to restore the health and function of your smile. 

Make Preventive Care a Priority

Novato family dentist Dr. Steven McConnell teaches his patients that prevention is the key to maintaining a beautiful, healthy smile. By making your dental care a priority you can save you the future cost and embarrassment of dental disease.

One of our goals is to educate you about the best ways to avoid cavities and gum disease. Even the most consistent routine of brushing and flossing alone is not enough to maintain a healthy smile. Practicing good at-home oral hygiene is vital, but it must be paired with professional dental cleanings to be really effective.

As we eat, drink, and speak a sticky bacterial film called plaque coats tooth enamel and oral tissue. Flossing and brushing help to remove some plaque build-up but cannot eliminate it completely. The plaque that is not removed hardens into a substance called tartar. Tartar continues to build up on teeth, causing dental decay, gum disease, and eventually tooth loss unless it is removed through regular professional cleanings. 

Be Proactive with Oral Health Care

You can take control of your dental health by:

  1. Maintaining a proactive at-home cleaning schedule (to reduce daily plaque build-up)
  2. Seeing your dentist for semi-annual professional cleanings (to remove tartar and give you a “clean slate” for brushing and flossing).

Please Call for an Appointment

It is never too late to get back on track with your dental health routine. Start by scheduling a visit with the Novato family dentist for professional teeth cleaning to give yourself and your family the best possible chance for optimal oral health.

If you suffer from an overwhelming fear of dentists and dental procedures, you know how easy it is to miss regular appointments. Dental anxiety is a very common problem and affects millions of patients. Unfortunately postponing dental treatment almost always results in the need for invasive and costly treatment in the future.

Obviously, your comfort and well-being are of great importance to the Novato, CA sedation dentist. Our goal is to support your oral health by providing painless and efficient treatments. We use state-of-the-art technology and minimally invasive procedures that reduce your time in the chair and increase your discomfort.

But these factors alone may not give you the peace of mind you’re looking for when visiting your dentist. So what can you do to help alleviate this anxiety? Feeling a loss of being in control contributes to dental phobia. Here are three practical tips to help you feel more in control during your dental appointments and hopefully reduce your stress level.

  1. Communicate with your dentist – You may find it embarrassing to talk about your fear, but your dentist needs to be aware of your anxiety to take the necessary precautions during treatment.
  2. Agree on a signal – Patients are often afraid that their dentist won’t know when and if they are experiencing pain or anxiety, and this contributes to their fear. Agree to a signal with your dentist beforehand. A simple “stop” hand signal can be used to alert your dentist to your discomfort immediately.
  3. Ask about sedation – Sedation offers an excellent solution for many patients who would not otherwise be able to endure the treatment. Discuss the different types of sedation options available with your dentist before the appointment, so you know what to expect beforehand.

The best way to combat dental phobia, however, is to gather information beforehand. Your Novato, CA sedation dentist is always available for a consultation to discuss procedures and treatments to help you understand what your appointment will involve.

Please call our office to learn more anxiety-reducing tips!


Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. All of us suffer from bad breath from time to time, especially in the morning. Some common reasons for bad breath include: 

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Periodontal (gum) disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Tobacco Use
  • Prescription medications
  • Medical conditions

Your Novato, CA family dentist wants you to be informed about the reasons for bad breath and how to eliminate it. While there may be a medical reason for chronic bad breath, there are some easy lifestyle changes you can make to minimize the risk.

Don’t smoke: While there is a multitude of reasons to quit the bad habit of smoking, one of the more obvious ones is to devoid yourself of the smell externally (clothes and body) and internally (your mouth).

Don’t eat foods with strong odors: Avoid onions and garlic, especially before or during an important business meeting or another event where you need to interact with others. Onions and garlic leave a strong odor because they contain elements that make their way into your bloodstream and travel to your lungs until you finally breathe them out.

Do floss: Flossing isn’t only necessary for your oral health to prevent cavities, but it dislodges food particles that would be otherwise stuck between your teeth, trapping bacteria and causing a distinctive odor.

Do chew sugarless gum: If you can’t brush your teeth immediately after eating, try rinsing out your mouth with water or chewing sugarless gum about 20 minutes after mealtime. Chewing stimulates saliva production, which combats bacteria and cavities that lead to bad breath.

Chronic breath is not only unpleasant, but it may also be an indication of a more serious problem like periodontal disease. Please call your Novato, CA family dentist to arrange an appointment. You may be surprised that’s all that’s needed is a thorough dental cleaning to refresh your smile.

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