Patient Information

Proudly Serving Patients in Monroe, LA & Beyond

For a dental practice that treats you like family, choose Jan T. Bagwell, DDS and Jessica J. Johnston, DDS in Monroe, LA. Among our team, we have over 30 years of experience in the field, and we provide expert general and cosmetic dental treatments to ensure you have the healthiest and most beautiful smile possible! We always work to make sure any service you receive is as painless and stress-free as possible by creating an easygoing environment and using state-of-the-art equipment and techniques. Our whole staff is dedicated to providing you with the best dental care and making sure you are empowered to take care of your teeth from home.

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Drs. Jan T. Bagwell's business card.

Your First Visit

When you come for your first visit, we will want to learn all about your dental health history in order to come up with an individualized plan that will provide you with the best results.

You should be prepared to:

• Fill out paperwork regarding insurance and your health history
• Provide us with any dental x-rays taken in the past six months
• Provide your insurance card if you have dental coverage

Your first checkup will generally last one hour and will involve an exam and a teeth cleaning, as well as x-rays to get a thorough analysis of your oral health. We work to have a relationship of open communication with you. We will always inform you of how you are doing in terms of your oral health and of what each treatment we provide will involve. Our team encourages you to ask us any questions you have and to feel comfortable talking to us about any oral health issues you are having.

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Common Dental Problems

Tooth decay occurs when your teeth are exposed to damaging substances, such as starches and sugars. These materials produce acid that erodes your enamel, leaving your teeth at risk of plaque buildup and decay. To prevent this, choose a diet that is low in sugar, and be sure you are always thoroughly brushing your teeth twice a day, as well as flossing daily to remove plaque in places your toothbrush can’t reach.

Sensitivity is usually caused by a wearing away of enamel, receding gums or tiny cracks in the teeth that leave them more intensely affected by heat and cold. Using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth can help minimize symptoms.

Most cases of bad breath can be cured with proper hygiene, including brushing twice a day, flossing, and usage of mouthwash. However, if your halitosis is persistent, this could be a sign of gum disease.

Orthodontic problems include overbite or underbite, or crooked teeth that affect the functionality of your bite. These problems can be solved with braces, Invisalign® or other orthodontic strategies.

Canker sores are small, painful sores that are white or gray surrounded by red irritation. They usually clear up in about one to two weeks, and can be treated with over-the-counter treatments or a saline solution.

Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup. It begins mildly, as gingivitis, and can eventually progress into periodontitis, which is much more severe. You may find that your gums are bleeding frequently and are red, swollen and painful. If you let gum disease worsen, you may lose your teeth or experience jaw bone damage. Gum disease can be prevented with proper oral hygiene.

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Proper Dental Hygiene

It is easy to prevent oral health problems, such as decay, cavities, gum disease and more, by maintaining a proper at-home hygiene routine. Follow these guidelines to be proactive about keeping your smile bright and healthy, as well as to prevent other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes that can result from poor dental health.

• Maintain a healthy diet. When you eat too much sugar and it lingers in the mouth, it creates an acid that erodes away at enamel, exposing it to cavities. Consuming lots of fruits and vegetables and drinking enough water is a great way to keep your mouth clean and healthy.

• Brush your teeth three times a day. Brushing is essential to cleaning your teeth and getting rid of plaque, tartar and food build-up. It is recommended that you brush after every meal. Make sure you reach your back teeth! Use a soft toothbrush and a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Brush gently to prevent gum damage.

• Floss everyday. Flossing helps remove plaque and food from places where your toothbrush can’t reach, such as in between the teeth. Even if you brush three times a day, if you don’t floss, you are exposing yourself to cavities and potentially gum disease.

• Avoid smoking and tobacco. Tobacco is terrible for your oral health, as it stains your teeth and can potentially lead to oral cancer. Avoid it to maintain healthy teeth!

• Visit the dentist at least twice a year. Routine cleanings allow us to make sure that your hygiene regimen is working correctly and to catch any problems at their start, so treatment is more likely to be successful.

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