Dental FAQs

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions from patients about dentistry and oral health issues.

Dental Tips

Your child’s first dental visit is essential for healthy overall development. Oral development varies from child to child, the American Dental Society recommends that your child sees the dentist as soon as  teeth erupt from their gums. Children who see the dentist early can be given fluoride varnish applications which significantly reduce the risks of cavities than those children not seen until a later age.

 

Seeing a dentist at an early stage of life builds a solid foundation and positive experience to ensure continuing attention to good oral health care.

We recommend that you visit the dentist at least twice a year for a routine cleaning and exam. Dental home care is a must to maintain good teeth and gums. However, regular dental checkups allow your dentist to detect any early signs of disease. Most dental problems are more easily treatable at the early stages of detection. Untreated disease can become painful, spread and damage other teeth.

Patients with a high risk of dental disease may need to see the dentist more frequently. For example, people who smoke, are diabetic, have gum disease, weak immune systems, or tend to get cavities and plaque build-up are often considered high risk.

We are committed to providing the best possible dental care therefore routine check-ups and cleaning are necessary. For information on preventative care, click here.

Dental sealants are made of a thin, plastic coating and help prevent decay in teeth that have more crevices and pitted surfaces, commonly found on molars and premolars. With proper oral care, sealants may protect your teeth for up to ten years. Both children and adults can benefit from dental sealants. Having your teeth sealed can save you time and money, as well as the discomforts related to dental fillings.

  • Avoid dark colored foods and drinks for at least one week after the whitening.
  • Use a straw when drinking dark beverages.
  • Brush and floss after meals and before bedtime.
  • As directed by your dentist, at home touch-ups may help maintain your teeth whitening results.

Before deciding on any teeth whitening procedures, we recommend to first consult your dentist for advice. If you have sensitive teeth, a history of periodontal (gum) disease or worn enamel you may not be a suitable candidate for teeth whitening. Teeth whitening treatments are considered safe by the ADA; however, there are risks associated with teeth whitening that you should be aware of.

Patients may experience a temporary increase in sensitivity to temperature, pressure and/or touch with teeth whitening procedures. This normally happens during in-office whitening, due to the higher concentration of bleach. Patients with gum recession, significant cracks or leakage from broken down restorations are at greatest risk of sensitivity. Gum irritation is also common with teeth whitening; this is the result of bleaching concentration or from contact with whitening trays and may last for several days, neutralizing after the bleaching has stopped.

General

Gum disease (also called periodontal disease) is an infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Because gum disease is usually painless, however, you may not know you have it.

Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. These bacteria create toxins that can damage the gums. In the early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, the gums can become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing. In the more advanced stages of gum disease, called periodontitis, the gums and bone that support teeth can become seriously damaged. The teeth can become loose, fall out or may have to be removed by a dentist.

Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper. In order to make the amalgam filling durable and strong, 50% of the filling is made of mercury.

According to the ADA, amalgam fillings are safe, durable and the least expensive material used to fill a cavity. Dental amalgam can be a solution for some patients and there are some dental insurance plans that may cover amalgam as the only option for filling teeth. Sometimes, if the decay covers a large surface of the tooth, a composite filling may be recommended by your dentist in order to preserve tooth structure. Other reasons such as location of the tooth, patient history, or cosmetic concerns may cause you to consider composite fillings. Our dentists want the best solution for you, which is why during your appointment he or she will recommend which alternative is best for you but will also inform you of the other available options.

For more health information regarding amalgam fillings please click:http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/f/fillings-silver-colored.aspx

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should brush your teeth twice a day (morning and night) using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. Brush all areas in your mouth, with gentle strokes. Don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove any bacteria that may cause bad breath.

Get in the habit of flossing at least once per day. Floss reaches areas that your toothbrush cannot. Flossing your teeth removes food debris and plaque. Be gentle when you floss, insert the floss between the teeth without snapping, as this can damage your gum tissue. Gently move the floss up and down between the gum and teeth spaces. Floss all of your teeth even if there isn’t a tooth next to the other.

There are many reasons you may be experiencing this embarrassing condition. Your dentist can detect and discuss with you any problems such as gum disease, dry mouth or other disorders that may be the cause. When brushing your teeth, make sure to brush your tongue too, as this can help. If you wear dentures, be sure to remove them at night and clean them thoroughly before replacing them the next morning.

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