Frequently Asked Questions

General and Cosmetic Dentistry


Q01 - There's a big gap between my two front teeth. Can that be changed?
Q02 - How can I make my discolored teeth whiter?
Q03 - I don't like my teeth or my smile – what can I do?

Q04 - My back teeth have a lot of silver and gold. Is there a less obvious way to fill   cavities?
Q05 - How much does it cost to get a great smile?
Q06 - Are amalgam fillings safe in that they contain mercury?

Q07 - Are tooth colored fillings as strong as silver fillings?

Q08 - Why do corners of my teeth break off? 

Q09 - Are gold fillings still used?
Q10 - What is a sealant?

Q11 - What are some of the benefits of cosmetic dentistry?
Q12 - How many office visits will it take to fix my teeth and improve my smile?
Q13 - Is my new smile permanent?

 

 

Tooth Whitening

 

Q14 - Why do my teeth have stains and discolorations?
Q15 -
What treatments are used for stained teeth?
Q16 -
How effective are bleaching systems?
Q17 -
Should I bleach my teeth before I have other restorations performed?
Q18 - Are there any side effects to tooth bleaching?
Q19 -
Can I get the same results with the over the counter products?

Q20 - How can I get whiter, brighter teeth?

Q21 - Is home bleaching safe and can I safely use store bought bleaching systems?

 

Porcelain Veneers

 

Q22 - What are "dental veneers"?
Q23 - What is the difference between resin (bonding veneers) and porcelain veneers?

 

 

Dental Implants

 

Q24 - What is a dental implant?

Q25 - What are the dental implant pros and cons?

 

 

Tooth Crowns

 

Q26 - What is a "tooth crown"?

Q27 - What is a crown/cap?          

Q28 - Can a tooth be replaced? (Prosthodontics)

 

 

Dental Bridges

 

Q29 - What is the dental bridges procedure?

Q30 - What are the pros and cons of dental bridges?

 

 

Dental Bonding

 

Q31 - What is the dental bonding procedure?
Q32 - What are the pros and cons of dental bonding?

 

 

TMJ - Temporomandibular Joint

 

Q33 - What are TMJ (TMD) Disorders?

Q34 - How is TMJ syndrome diagnosed?
Q35 - Why are ear symptoms associated with TMJ disorders?
Q36 - What is a "locking" episode?

Q37 - I clench my teeth, especially while I sleep. What can I do and is it harmful?
 


Dentures

 

Q38 - How long will dentures last?
Q
39 - How will dentures affect my appearance?
Q40 - Will people know I wear dentures?
Q
41 - What is a partial denture?

 

 

Periodontia

 

Q42 - Should I floss or not if I brush well?
Q43 - Do I need to brush up on my dental hygiene?
Q44 - Are my gums healthy?
Q45 -
Does cleaning of teeth make them loose?

Q46 - Why do my gums bleed?
Q47 - What do I do to get rid of bad breath?
Q48 -
Is a mouthwash necessary to be used everyday? Which toothpaste is ideal for use?
Q49 - Which toothpaste is ideal for use?
Q50 - What is the right method of brushing?

Q51 - Is flossing important?
Q52 - What is the best way to brush?
Q53 -
How is smoking bad for teeth and gums?
Q54 - What are the effects of tobacco use and dentistry?

 

 

Pediatric Dentistry

 

Q55- Is a toddler's toothless grin charming?

Q56 - Do babies with not many teeth need any dental care?

Q57 - Why do children get cranky when they are teething?
 


Root canal Treatment


Q58 - What is involved in a root canal procedure? (Endodontics)

Q59 - Is root canal treatment painful?

 

 

Orthodontia

 

Q60 - What is the right age for braces treatment?

 

 

Smile Designing

 

Q61 - What is smile designing?

Q62 - Can I improve my smile?

 

 

Oral Surgery

 

Q63 - Is removing a wisdom tooth always painful?

Q64 - Do I have to have them out?

 

 

General

 

Q65 - How often should I visit a dentist?
Q66 - Is sugarless gum healthy for teeth?
Q67 - Why is dental treatment so expensive?
Q68 - Is there a good diet for a healthy smile?
Q69 - What is Plaque?

Q70 - What is Calculus (Tartar)?

Q71 - What is Gingivitis?

Q72 - What is Periodontal Disease?

Q73 - What is a Cavity?

Q74 -How does a Cavity Form?

 

 

 


General and Cosmetic Dentistry

 

Q01 -There's a big gap between my two front teeth. Can that be changed?

A-Yes. Bonded veneers can close gaps and help create the smile you desire. Bonded resins generally require one office visit, while porcelain veneering takes two. Bonded veneers, along with good oral hygiene and a healthy lifestyle, are effective ways to enhance a smile. A cosmetic dentist can explain the various techniques and help determine which is the best suited to your specific needs.                           Top

 

Q02 -How can I make my discolored teeth whiter?

A-Tooth whitening, the process for lightening discolored teeth, can be accomplished in the dentist's office or with dentist-supervised, at-home systems. Teeth can be whitened to the desired shade over one office visit. At-home systems should be individually fitted by a cosmetic dentist.                                                    Top

 

Q03 -I don't like my teeth or my smile – what can I do?

A-A wide variety of options are available to improve how your teeth work and the way your smile looks. Check out our “Cosmetic Dentistry " section to see how other patients with similar problems were helped.                                                Top

 

Q04 -My back teeth have a lot of silver and gold. Is there a less obvious way to fill cavities?

A-New advances in tooth-colored porcelain and composite materials not only allow fillings to go unnoticed, but are stronger and more wear-resistant than silver and gold. Top

 

Q05 -How much does it cost to get a great smile?

A-Like most services, cost will vary based on the time required and the difficulty of the procedures. Generally, improving a smile will require a combination of treatment options such as bleaching, reshaping gums and using bonded materials (resin or porcelain) to improve the appearance of teeth. A great way to start is having a consultation with us to determine the ways that you can reach your goals. Improving your smile is an investment in you.                                                           Top

 

Q06 -Are amalgam fillings safe in that they contain mercury?
A-According to the American Dental Association, they are safe to use. Amalgam fillings do not contain free mercury; therefore according to the ADA, they impart no health risk and need not be removed unnecessarily.                                    Top

Q07-Are tooth colored fillings as strong as silver fillings?
A-Using present day techniques and materials, a properly done tooth colored filling (bonded composite) will wear almost as well as a silver filling. In addition, bonding to the remaining tooth, strengthens the tooth rather than weakening it. Newer composites, which require 2 appointments and are laboratory processed, are even more wear resistant. Almost all of the fillings that I do now are bonded composites.

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Q08 -Why do corners of my teeth break off?
A-Teeth break for several reasons, namely, a traumatic injury due to a hard or foreign object in your food, severe clenching or grinding (Bruxism) and/or the presence of large amalgam (silver) fillings. Amalgam fillings, as they have been done in the past, weaken the remaining tooth. Present amalgam fillings have less of a tendency to contribute to tooth breakage if they are bonded.                                         Top

Q09
-Are gold fillings still used?
A-Absolutely. Where esthetics allow, gold is still one of the best restorative materials. Unfortunately, it is a costly material to use. Where cost is not a factor, it is recommended, especially in the 2nd molar areas.                                          Top

 

Q10 -What is a sealant?
A-While cavity prevention starts with a healthy diet, brushing twice a day, daily flossing and regular dental checkups, sealants can offer additional protection against tooth decay. Sealants are thin, plastic coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars). This clear, plastic coating bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surface effectively sealing out the decay-causing bacteria, and reducing the risk of cavities and tooth decay.
HERE'S HOW IT'S DONE: The application of sealants is easy, painless, and takes only a few minutes to complete. First, the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and then etched with a solution to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. The sealant is then 'painted' onto the pits and fissures, where it bonds directly or is hardened with a high-intensity light. Sealants usually last several years before a reapplication is required. Your dentist will monitor your sealants during your regular checkup. Although children and teenagers will benefit most because they have the highest incidence of pit and fissure decay, adults with difficult to clean molars or wisdom teeth may benefit, as well. Ask your dentist if sealants can help with your preventive care.                            
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Q11 -What are some of the benefits of cosmetic dentistry?

A-A great smile should improve your self-confidence, which can have a positive impact on the social and professional aspects of your life. Cosmetic dentistry is not just about pretty smiles though. New techniques and materials are available for back teeth as well as the ones you see when you smile. Now your mouth can look great, get healthy and function better at the same time. Ask our dentists what's available for you.                                                                                                Top

 

Q12 -How many office visits will it take to fix my teeth and improve my smile?

A-That will vary for each person, depending on his or her needs. Sometimes, you can dramatically improve your oral health and appearance in just a couple of visits. Our team of dentists will work to make your treatment as convenient as possible, perhaps choosing slightly longer visits instead of more trips to the office. Talk to your dentist about your goals and concerns so the best plan can be developed for your individual situation. If you start today, a new smile can be yours sooner than you think.    Top

 

Q13 -Is my new smile permanent?

A-With good home care and regular visits to your dentist, modern materials can last for many years and possibly decades. Like most things, excellent maintenance will extend the life of your dental restorations.                                                   Top

 

 

Tooth Whitening

 

Q14 -Why do my teeth have stains and discolorations?

A-Most stains are caused by age, tobacco, coffee, or tea. Other types of stains can be caused by antibiotics, such as tetracycline; or too much fluoride.                  Top

  

Q15 - What treatments are used for stained teeth?

A-Supervised bleaching procedures that are done in-office and at-home have become among the most popular treatment options. In some cases, the procedure is performed entirely in the office, using a light or heat source to speed up the bleaching process. In other cases, an oral health care professional gets the procedure started during an office visit and then gives you what you need to complete it at home. Still another popular procedure is one that you complete entirely at home.

At home procedures, sometimes called nightguard vital bleaching, consist of placing a bleaching solution, usually a peroxide mixture, in a tray (nightguard) that has been custom fitted for your mouth by an oral health care professional. The bleaching solutions may vary in potency and may be worn for an hour, or throughout the night. Your oral health care professional can advise you on the appropriate type of application and the length of time needed to whiten your teeth, based on the severity of tooth discoloration and your specific needs.                                              Top

 

Q16 - How effective are bleaching systems?

A- Bleaching is effective in lightning most stains caused by age, tobacco, coffee, and tea. Based on clinical studies, 96 percent of patients with these kinds of stains experience some lightening effect. Other types of stains, such as those produced by tetracycline use or fluorosis (too much fluoride), respond to bleaching less reliably. If you have a tooth-color filling when your teeth are bleached, the filling will stay yellow—dental restorations do not change color when tooth whitener is applied.  Top

 

Q17 -Should I bleach my teeth before I have other restorations performed?

A-Yes, should the restorations be visible when you smile, bleaching is advised to be performed before any cosmetic restorations to guarantee a perfect shade match. Top

 

Q18 -Are there any side effects to tooth bleaching?

A-In some studies, patients have experienced uncomfortable short-term side effects when having teeth bleached. Hydrogen peroxide can increase temperature sensitivity in the teeth, particularly at higher concentrations.

Therefore, bleaching is a procedure best done under the care of an oral health care professional . Still, the general health risks of bleaching systems are minimal as far as your body is concerned. Applications are controlled so that you don't swallow hydrogen peroxide.                                                                                    Top

 

Q19 - Can I get the same results with the over the counter products?

A-Most of the whitening products (such as the strips) on the market will either take much longer (3 weeks) to obtain less/similar results and some products such as the whitening toothpastes or gels are just not effective. A lot of the whitening toothpastes are very abrasive and are meant to just get rid of surface stains and not to actually bleach the teeth. In addition due to their abrasiveness they may cause tooth sensitivity in the long run.    Top

 

Q20 -How can I get whiter, brighter teeth?

A-The best way to keep your teeth white is to brush twice a day, floss daily, see your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleanings, and limit stain causing foods and habits. These include tobacco, certain foods and beverages (such as coffee, tea and berries), some drugs (such as tetracycline), or trauma to a tooth. As well, your teeth may become stained or discolored naturally as you age. Your dentist can give you the best advice about whitening your teeth.
HERE'S HOW IT'S DONE: Bleaching in the dental office usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes and one to three visits to the dental office. A shield (or rubber dam) protects your gums from the bleaching agent (usually a form of hydrogen peroxide) which is "painted" onto your discolored teeth and activated with heat or high-intensity light (more details in "Laser Tooth Whitening.") You do mouth guard bleaching at home. You wear a custom-made mouth guard with special bleaching gel (provided by your dentist) for periods of time each day, or overnight, over a number of weeks. It's important to know that not everyone's teeth will "whiten" the same. It depends on the number of teeth involved and the severity of discoloration. Over-the-counter, at-home whiteners are not recommended because they may cause problems associated with over exposing gum tissues to the active whitening agent. Any bleaching treatment should be done under your dentist's supervision.
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Q21 - Is home bleaching safe and can I safely use store bought bleaching systems?
A-After almost 10 years of prescribing home bleaching, numerous clinical studies have shown home bleaching to be safe, as long as the bleaching is done under the care of a dentist. We make a bleaching tray (called a stent) to exactly fit your teeth. It does not cover the gum tissue at all. The bleaching gel is 10% carbamide peroxide, which can be irritating to the gums. It can also cause temporary tooth sensitivity if not used correctly. Since the bleach is in the form of a gel, there is little chance of swallowing the bleach. Store bought bleaching systems have you make the stent by heating a block of tray material and then having you bite into it. There is nothing to prevent the bleach from sitting on your gum tissue. The bleach used in store bought systems is more fluid and can be easily swallowed.               Top

 

 

Porcelain Veneers

 

Q22 - What are "dental veneers"?

A-Dental Veneers can be a less expensive and less invasive alternative to crowns. They are an ideal choice for people with severe staining and discoloration caused by coffee, soda or cigarettes. They can also be used to correct crooked, chipped, misshapen and oddly shaped teeth. Unlike tooth crowns, Veneers do not require the dentist to remove much of the tooth itself although in certain circumstances removing a part of the tooth might be necessary. Be sure to discuss these requirements with your dentist before the procedure. Veneers will not stain and they are very durable, lasting anywhere from ten to fifteen years and they are perfect for people looking to acquire a pleasant smile.

The first step in getting tooth veneers is to have your dentist cast moldings of your teeth. Once these moldings are cast, the veneers themselves are created. Veneers are essentially thin slices of porcelain or plastic molded to the shape of your teeth. The dentist will then lightly buff the outer layer of your teeth to allow for the added thickness of the veneer. In certain cases, he may also have to remove a part of your tooth. The dentist will then use cement to bond the veneer to your tooth. Be sure to request a temporary placement in the beginning to make sure you are happy with the results. Once you are satisfied with your new smile, the dentist will then cleanse your teeth with chemicals and replace your veneers using a permanent cement and a light beam to achieve a durable bond.          Top

 

Q23 - What is the difference between resin (bonding veneers) and porcelain veneers?

A-Bonding veneers are composed of a resin which is not as durable as the lab processed porcelain veneers and because they are a resin, they do tend to stain/ darken over time. Porcelain veneers are lab processed and are custom made to fit perfectly over the existing tooth. Both procedures require some reduction of the enamel to make room for the veneer or bonding. The porcelain veneers require two visits since lab work is involved; whereas the resin veneers may be performed in one visit.           Top

 

 

Dental Implants

 

Q24 - What is a dental implant?

A-Dental implants are titanium tooth supports which are surgically fixed into your jawbone to allow for a realistic looking crown to be anchored in place. Implants can be a welcome alternative for people missing most or all of their teeth and can also be used to replace a single missing tooth. The procedure requires surgery and, depending on the size and shape of your jawbone, might also require a bone graft. However, once it has ‘taken', the implant will last a lifetime. The crowns anchored to an implant do have to be replaced every ten to fifteen years.

There are also a number of variables depending mostly on the shape of the jawbone and the number of implants that need to be placed. The surgery to insert the implant into your jawbone can require a three to six month healing period. In certain cases it might be possible to connect the prosthesis, whether it be a crown, a bridge or a full denture immediately after the surgery, this depends on each individual case.

But once the implant has fused with the surrounding bone, the resulting anchor is very strong and durable and makes for excellent results.          Top

 

Q25 - What are the dental implant pros and cons?

A-Dental implants are a dependable and life long cosmetic dentistry procedure. Compared with bridges that require certain degree of adjacent tooth reduction, and dentures which sometimes feel loose and unstable, they provide a permanent solution that is both functional and natural appearing. Top

Dental implants are not without their downside. Other than the considerable expense involved, the procedure can also be time-consuming once preparation and healing time are factored in. There can also be some amount of pain involved throughout the procedure. Finally, as with any form of complex surgery, there is always the risk of complication.       Top

 

 

Tooth Crowns

 

Q26- What is a "tooth crown"?

A-There are a variety of factors that may contribute to the deterioration of teeth over the course of time. Age, tooth decay, defective fillings, improper bites and chewing patterns all play a role in the eventual wearing down and cracking of teeth. Dental crowns can reverse the effects of time by covering the entire visible surface of a tooth with enamel and porcelain to both strengthen the tooth and increase its durability. Crowns also improve the appearance of worn down and damaged teeth. Your dentist can tell you which problem areas in your mouth might be helped by the placement of a crown.

Crowns come in two basic types: porcelain fused to metal and full porcelain crowns. Porcelain fused to metal crowns are an option in cases where extra resistance is needed for any given reason. Full porcelain crowns are very popular as they can be made to closely resemble natural tooth color and transparency. Advancements in composite resin materials and bonding technology have also limited the need for metallic crown anchors that hold the crown in place.             Top

 

Q27 - What is a crown/cap?
 

A-A crown or cap is a cover that fits over a properly prepared tooth that has been damaged by decay or accident, or is badly stained or shaped. A crown can be made of acrylic, metal, porcelain, porcelain and metal, or resined metal. All-porcelain crowns look more like your natural teeth, and therefore are usually used for front teeth, while porcelain with metal underlay has more strength and is good for crowns in the back of the mouth. Sometimes all-metal crowns are used for back teeth because of the metal's strength.
HERE'S HOW IT'S DONE: In order to prepare your tooth for a crown, you require a local anaesthetic. Then the tooth is filed down so the cap can fit over it. An impression of your teeth and gums is made and a temporary cap is fitted over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. On your next visit, the dentist will remove the temporary cap and cement the crown onto the tooth. The crown will closely match your natural teeth and give you back your smile.                 
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Q28 - Can a tooth be replaced? (Prosthodontics)
A-You can diligently floss and brush your teeth and still lose a tooth to gum disease or an accident. If this happens, the tooth or teeth should be replaced in order to restore your smile, regain your chewing and prevent other teeth from shifting to an undesirable or less functional position. There are three main types of artificial teeth and each one is designed for a particular situation. They are dental implants, removable dentures and fixed bridges. A DENTAL IMPLANT is made by surgically placing one or more small metal posts beneath the gum into the jawbone. In a few months, when they are attached to the surrounding bone, they are exposed and have the artificial tooth or teeth attached to them. A REMOVABLE OR PARTIAL DENTURE replaces all or some of the lost teeth in the arch with one appliance. The denture is held in place by clasping some of the remaining teeth - or by suction where none of the natural teeth are left. A FIXED BRIDGE is a replacement that is cemented to the adjacent teeth and cannot be removed.                Top

 

 

Dental Bridges

 

Q29 - What is the dental bridges procedure?

A-A dental bridge is basically a false tooth (also known as a pontic) which is placed in the space left by a missing tooth. Porcelain crowns on either side of the tooth are bonded with resin to the pontic in what is known as a fixed bridge. This procedure can be used to replace one or more missing teeth.

Bridges reduce the risk of gum disease and help correct some bite issues. They can last for a long time..           Top

 

Q30 - What are the pros and cons of dental bridges?

A-Bridges appear natural and blend in well with your existing teeth. They can also usually be set in only two office visits to your dentist. With a regimen of good oral hygiene they can last as many as ten years or more.

The biggest risk in having a dental bridge is the possibility of gum disease if a serious commitment to oral hygiene is not made. Another minor side effect is a mild sensitivity to extreme temperatures during the laboratory process, while you are wearing your temporal crowns.            Top

 

 

Dental Bonding

 

Q31 - What is the dental bonding procedure?

A-Dental bonding is a procedure that uses a composite resin to restore and reshape damaged and decayed teeth in a variety of manners. Bonding can be used for everything from removing stains to closing gaps in teeth to correcting crooked or misshapen teeth. A cosmetic dentist will apply a bonding material to your tooth, shape and sculpt it and then harden the material using a high-intensity light. The resulting new surface is then finely polished. Composite bonds can last from seven to eleven years.

Minor dental bonding procedures can usually be completed in one office visit for small fixes and for replacing fillings. More complicated bonding procedures can require additional time and visits and may involve the casting of a mold and the use of temporary fillings while the permanent bond is cast by the lab. These types of bonds are usually made of porcelain, color-matched to your existing teeth and provide a durable and stain resistant solution to your problem.       Top

 

Q32 - What are the pros and cons of dental bonding?

A-Dental bonding is an alternative to the use of silver fillings and has many advantages over them. Since the composite resin used for bonding can adhere directly to the tooth, bonds are more structurally sound. Also, composites can be color-matched to existing teeth and are therefore useful for fixing minor cracks, chips and gaps.

The only disadvantage to using composites for dental bonding is the additional cost involved.                      Top

 

 

TMJ -Temporomandibular Joint 

 

Q33 - What are TMJ (TMD) Disorders?
A-
Temporomandibular joints (TMJ), that is your jaw joints and muscles, are used to open and close your mouth when talking, chewing, singing and swallowing. Temporomandibular disorders (TMDS) are a group of conditions which can affect the jaw joint or muscle causing facial, tooth and ear aches as well as "clicking" in the jaw, "tension headaches" and even neck, shoulder or back pain. You may experience pain (ranging from minimal to severely debilitating) especially when chewing and opening your mouth wide or, your jaw may lock or be prevented from opening fully. TMDs can be caused by injuries to the face and jaw regions, whiplash, poor posture, bite problems, badly fitted dentures, grinding teeth, and clenching your jaw resulting in damage to the joints or misalignment. Systemic diseases, which effect the joints of the body (like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc.), can also affect your jaw joint, causing degeneration. Ask your dentist about examining your TMJ, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Special tests, including x-rays or MRI scans of the joints, are sometimes carried out. Most patients benefit from simple forms of treatment, including physical therapy, dental bite guards, and anti-inflammatory medication. Patients with persisting, severe pain may require surgery and may be referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for consultation. See your dentist for more information.      T
op

 

  

Q34 - How is TMJ syndrome diagnosed?

A- TMJ syndrome is difficult to diagnose, not only because of its potentially large number of disparate symptoms, but also because any of those symptoms can be associated with other conditions. Before arriving at a diagnosis of TMJ syndrome, the doctor must first eliminate other conditions that could be producing the symptoms. A professional diagnosis is necessary, our professional will be glad to help.          Top

 

Q35 - Why are ear symptoms associated with TMJ disorders?

A- Because of the close proximity of the ear tissues to the TM Joint. It is not uncommon to find on x-ray that the Condyle Head is improperly positioned in the Joint space such that it is in intimate contact with the Tympanic bone. The consequence often is ear pain in the absence of infection, a sense of fullness, or stuffiness, in one or both ears, and sometimes ringing in the ears.               Top

 

Q36 - What is a "locking" episode?

A- A "locking" episode can occur during opening or closing movement. What happens is that the patient experiences an interruption of jaw movement - a "catch" or a "stop", and in order to complete the movement must jiggle, or somehow, self manipulate the jaw.                Top

 

Q37 - I clench my teeth, especially while I sleep. What can I do and is it harmful?
A-
Clenching and grinding (Bruxism) are habits that develop early in life. It is our way of relieving stress. Unfortunately, the habit can take it's toll on our teeth, our muscles and our temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ). Bruxism is common in a great majority of the population. Symptoms range from broken teeth to temporo-mandibular dysfunction (TMD). A change in life-style may or may not help. An oral appliance, worn at night, may help to relieve symptoms. Each patient must be evaluated individually.        T
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Dentures

 

Q38 - How long will dentures last?

A- With normal wear and care most dentures should last 5-7 years. In fact, we recommend replacement after that time due to the wearing down of the acrylic and tooth materials. Plus, the bone and tissue in your mouth change as you age, so your denture just won't fit your mouth as well as it should anymore. When a denture is not fitting properly, health problems often result.         Top

 

Q39 - How will dentures affect my appearance?

A- A new, properly fitted denture will help you look better by providing the support your lips need, and by giving your face and smile a more natural appearance. Having good-looking teeth also gives you the confidence and freedom to smile and live life to the fullest.      Top

 

Q40 - Will people know I wear dentures?

A- Our dentures are custom-crafted by hand to ensure a natural, life-like appearance. The acrylic has fibers throughout so it looks like real gum tissue. Plus, we provide our patients the choice of teeth in different shapes and sizes with shading and blending that mimics natural tooth enamel. We also work hard to provide you with the best possible fit to avoid slipping, clicking and slurred speech. The only thing people will notice is your beautiful, natural looking smile.      Top

 

Q41 - What is a partial denture?

A- Partial dentures are removable dental appliances for patients who need to replace just a few missing teeth. (Full dentures replace all of your teeth, either upper, lower or both.) Arches are made consisting of replacement teeth and are attached with clasps to the remaining natural teeth for support and retention. Partial dentures can be used on the upper or lower arches.     Top

 

 

Periodontia

  

Q42 - Should I floss or not if I brush well?
A-
Let's face it - many people are still not flossing. This is a big problem if you want to keep your teeth and gums healthy for life. Flossing at least once a day cleans between the teeth and under the gum line where your toothbrush can't reach and where most cavities and gum disease start. If you're not flossing, you're missing 35% of every tooth. If you haven't flossed recently, it'll take a while before flossing becomes an automatic part of your daily routine.
QUICK TIP: Floss every night before you brush, for maximum benefit. But soon your teeth won't feel clean without it. Don't worry if at first flossing causes slight bleeding, but if the bleeding continues for more than ten days, contact your dentist. Here's how to floss: Carefully ease the floss between the teeth, right down to the gum line. Gently wipe plaque from both sides of adjacent teeth. The goal is to arc the floss in a "C" shape following the contours of each tooth.
QUICK TIP: Beginners should start with waxed shred-resistant floss because it slides between the teeth more easily.     T
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Q43 - Do I need to brush up on my dental hygiene?
A-
If you give your teeth the "brush off", you may suffer in the future from gum disease and painful tooth loss. By following a few simple steps you will be ensured to keep your teeth for a lifetime. Here's how: Floss daily to remove bacteria and reduce tooth decay. Brush twice a day, holding the brush at a 45-degree angle, and brushing for at least two minutes. Change your toothbrush every three months (Quick tip: New season - New toothbrush). Avoid eating sticky foods. Choose sugar-free snacks, fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Don't chew foods like ice or hard candies, which can damage tooth enamel. Never use your teeth as a tool to open bags, nuts, and bottle caps or to cut thread. If you play sports, always use mouth protection to prevent injury. Taking care of your teeth and gums is easier than you think when you form good dental habits.     T
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Q44
- Are my gums healthy?
A-Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Why? Because it occurs at an age when cavities are usually a thing of the past, and the initial symptoms often go unnoticed.
HERE'S WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Gums that bleed when brushing; red, swollen or tender gums or persistent bad breath. Periodontal or gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums, ligaments and bone that support the teeth and anchor them in the jaw. The bacteria, which act mainly on certain carbohydrates in our diets, are normal inhabitants of the mouth, living in a thin film called plaque. If plaque is not removed, it may eventually harden into tartar, a hard mineral shell that irritates and erodes healthy gum tissue. This early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If left untreated, pockets begin to form between the teeth and gum tissues and may erode the tissue, which attaches the tooth to the jaw. This stage is called periodontitis. Gum disease can be treated at all stages, but more importantly, it can be prevented.
HERE'S HOW: Brush twice a day, floss daily, eat a balanced diet, and visit your dentist regularly - ideally every six months - for a preventive checkup and professional cleaning which is essential in the prevention of gum disease.    T
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Q45- Does cleaning of teeth make them loose?
A-
Teeth will not become loose because of the cleaning procedure. The teeth are held firmly in place due to the gums and the bone around them. The tartar gathered around the teeth causes infection of the gums and bone. This infection leads to receding of bone and gum levels and thus creates gaps between teeth. This tartar if not removed periodically (once in every 6 months) can cause loosening of teeth. The cleaning procedure will help remove tartar and stop the gum and bone from receding

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Q46 - Why do my gums bleed?
A-There could be various reasons why one would face a problem of bleeding gums like accumulation of tartar around the necks of teeth, using a hard bristle tooth brush, intake of certain medications like anti-epileptic drugs. It calls for immediate attention by a dental professional to detect the cause and suggest suitable treatment options.       T
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Q47 - What do I do to get rid of bad breath?
A-
Bad breath or halitosis is a common problem which could be prevalent not only due to dental problems but also some systemic diseases like diabetes, stomach upsets etc. Bad breath can arise due to negligence of oral hygiene, pyorrhoea in gums, food lodgement in decayed teeth, unclean tongue. You could be either suggested the use of a mouthwash, taught proper brushing/flossing techniques and /or treated for dental decay or gum problems.     T
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Q48 - Is a mouthwash necessary to be used everyday?
A-
There are many mouthwashes available in the market, which are nothing but mild antiseptics that refresh the mouth. These can be used as temporary solutions to combat bad breath. Prolonged usage of a mouthwash is however not advisable.   T
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Q49 - Which toothpaste is ideal for use?
A-
All toothpastes work as foaming agents that help to clean your teeth of plaque and food remnants. The choice of most toothpastes is governed by their medicinal content and flavour. Any fluoridated toothpaste is a good general toothpaste for the family. Medicated toothpastes are available for specific purposes and should be used under the advise of your dentist only.     Top

 

Q50 - What is the right method of brushing?
A-The primary means to oral hygiene is proper and methodical brushing of teeth. This cleans away the plaque on a daily basis and also helps to keep the breath fresh. Brushing teeth at least twice a day using fluoridated toothpaste is recommended to keep them clean. The fluoride in the toothpaste makes the enamel more resistant to attack by the decay-forming acids in the mouth.   The toothbrush selected should have a firm, comfortable grip with soft rounded bristles on a contoured head and replaced every 3-4 months for best results or as soon as the bristles are frayed.  Top

 

Step 1:

Place bristles along the gumline at a 45o angle. Bristles should contact both the tooth surface

and the gumline.

 

Step 2:

Gently brush the outer tooth surfaces of 2-3 teeth using a vibrating back and forth rolling

motion. Move brush to the next group of 2-3 teeth and repeat.

 

Step 3:

Maintain a 45o angle with bristles contacting the tooth surface and gumline. Gently brush

using back, forth, and rolling motion along all of the inner tooth surfaces.

 

Step 4:


Tilt brush vertically behind the front teeth. Make several up and down strokes using the front

half of the brush.

 

Step 5:

Place the brush against the biting surface of the teeth and use a gentle back and forth

scrubbing motion. Brush the tongue from back to front to remove odor-producing bacteria.

 

Q51 - Is flossing important?

A-Though brushing cleans the teeth, the toothbrush cannot clean the plaque which is stuck within the gaps between two teeth and under the gum line. Flossing daily keeps the teeth clean and prevents the build-up of plaque in the difficult areas. Dental floss is a special cord made of nylon which helps remove food particles stuck between two adjacent teeth and near the gums. Approximately 18 inches (40 cms.) of floss is wrapped securely around the index fingers. With the help of the index fingers and thumbs the floss is gently guided between two teeth and eased up and down, going below the gum line to dislodge the plaque and food particles.     Top

 

 

 

 

 

Q52 - What is the best way to brush?
A-How well you brush your teeth is more important than how often you brush. Remember it's the spots you miss where the problems start. Here are five tips to improve your brushing: Take the time to carefully and gently clean each tooth, ideally twice a day. The average person brushes for less than 35 seconds. A good brushing takes at least two to three minutes. QUICK TIP: Keep brushing for as long as a song. Be gentle, particularly when cleaning where the gums meet the teeth. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line, and gently work the bristles back and forth using short strokes. Don't forget to brush your tongue, too. Use a soft toothbrush, which is less likely to damage your teeth and gums. Choose a size and shape that enables you to easily reach every tooth. Be sure to change your toothbrush frequently. Every three months is recommended - more often if you've been ill. QUICK TIP: New season - New toothbrush. Remember to floss too since no amount of careful brushing can clean between your teeth!      Top
 

Q53 - How is smoking bad for teeth and gums?
A-
One of the most devastating effects of tobacco is the development of oral cancer. The risk of oral cancer increases with the number of cigarettes smoked each day and the number of years that the person has been smoking. Some of the other oral side effects of tobacco are tooth stains, delayed healing of oral wounds, increased severity of gum disease and bad breath.     T
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Q54 - What are the effects of tobacco use and dentistry?
A-
Many of us have smoked during our lives. Some of us have been lucky enough to quit the use of tobacco products but there are others who still struggle with banning the addiction from their lives. We know how hard it is to quit and desire to offer information and assistance to our patients. Plus, any of our staff will be happy to discuss the risk of smoking with our patients as it applies to dental health.    T
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The following link, tobacco.htm, will take you to a page that has all the latest information on the effects of tobacco provided by the National Institute of Health and the National Cancer Institute. Plus, pictures are provided as the use of tobacco applies to dentistry and your teeth and mouth. Just click on the link shown above.

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Pediatric Dentistry  

 

Q55 - Is a toddler's toothless grin charming?

A-Not always. Nursing caries in baby's first teeth occurs when babies habitually fall asleep sucking on a bottle. The sugar in whatever they're drinking (cow's milk, juice, formula or sugary drinks) turns to acid, dissolving tooth enamel. Breast-fed babies are also susceptible if they constantly fall asleep with breast milk on their teeth. Early signs of nursing caries include white spots/tooth discoloration. If the process continues, rampant decay and discomfort to the child results. Children need their baby teeth to chew and to learn to speak properly. Fortunately, you can protect your baby from nursing caries. Don't let your baby go to bed with a bottle unless it contains plain water. Never let your child use a bottle as a daytime pacifier because all-day sucking is as bad as nighttime nipping. Clean baby's mouth and teeth after meals and breastfeeding. Finally, if you suspect your child has nursing caries, contact your dentist immediately.    Top

 

Q56 - Do babies with not many teeth need any dental care?
A-
Yes. One could clean the baby’s mouth with wet gauze and give them water after every meal to ensure that the mouth is free of any food remnants. Also, regular tongue cleaning using a soft cloth is advised    T
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Q57 - Why do children get cranky when they are teething?
A-
Yes children do get cranky when teething since they may experience the signs like drooling, irritability, restlessness, and loss of appetite. Fever, illness, and diarrhoea are not symptoms of teething. If your child presents with the latter signs, they need to be evaluated by your doctor. The best solution to comfort the child is to have the child chew on a cold or frozen rubber teething ring. Topical anesthetics/ gels are NOT advisable.    T
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Root canal Treatment


Q58 - What is involved in a root canal procedure? (Endodontics)

A-Today, with modern dentistry, root canal treatment has become a common form of treatment for diseased (abscessed) teeth. Your regular dentist or root canal specialist (Endodontist) can provide this treatment.
HERE'S HOW IT'S DONE: In healthy teeth, the interior of the tooth is filled with tissue (pulp). Once the tooth is injured, cracked, or decayed, it is necessary to open the tooth and clean out the infected tissue in the center. This space is then filled and the opening sealed. During the procedure the area around the tooth is frozen. Sometimes difficulties may be encountered during or after root canal treatment. This may require the use of medication or involve further treatment. A crown or cap may be necessary to protect the tooth, once the root canal treatment has been completed. Teeth that have had root canal treatment can stay as healthy and last as long as other teeth. In most instances, you won't be able to feel or see a difference.    T
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Q59 - Is root canal treatment painful?
A-Root Canal treatment is advised in cases where the nerve within the tooth is affected either due to decay, trauma or fracture. It involves the removal of the damaged or diseased pulp or nerve, cleaning and shaping the root canal and subsequently filling the canals with a suitable material. This treatment is done under anesthesia and hence painless.
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Orthodontia

 

The misconception that braces can only work for kids is not true, as people of any age can avail for this type of treatment. The treatment time may however be longer for adult patients as the bone is denser in them. But with newer treatment options like invisible, ceramic and lingual braces, esthetics and time of treatment are also not a problem.

 

Q60 - How do braces work and how long does it take to straighten teeth with braces?
A-
The braces apply continuous, slow pressure over a period of time on the teeth and help in moving them into the proper positions. Bands, wires and elastics are placed on the teeth to move them in the right direction. Moving teeth into a functional and an esthetically pleasing position can take a few months to years depending on the amount of correction required, the age, the severity of the case and also the motivation levels of the patient
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Smile Designing

 

Q61 - What is smile designing?
A-
A good smile involves in it more than just healthy teeth and gums. It is a blend of symmetry, color, shape and lines that create a balanced harmonious smile.  Many of us have good and healthy teeth as well as gums but are yet unhappy with our smiles. In such an instance we can go in for a smile evaluation to an esthetic dentist who will evaluate the smile for its missing, predominant or underplayed features and then proceed with their correction through various means. This process is called Smile Designing.             T
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Q62 - Can I improve my smile?

A-Are you self-conscious to smile because your teeth are chipped, discolored, or poorly spaced? Cheer up, your dentist may be able to apply a porcelain laminate veneer to your teeth and give them a whole new appearance. Veneers are strong, thin pieces of porcelain that are bonded to the teeth, making them stronger. They are used to repair chipped, decayed or stained teeth and for closing gaps between teeth. With a bit of contouring, veneers can also rectify crowded or overlapping teeth. If your teeth have discolored with age, a veneer may improve their appearance. Veneers can also be used for cosmetic reasons instead of crowns, which are more often used for badly damaged or decayed teeth.
HERE'S HOW IT'S DONE: Typically, the front and edges of the tooth are selectively removed and the veneer replaces the removed surface. Veneer preparations frequently require the use of local anaesthetic and, depending on color and shade, may take two or more appointments for completion of the procedure. Ask your dentist if veneers can help improve your smile.      T
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Oral Surgery

 

Q63 - Is removing a wisdom tooth always painful?
A-
Tooth removal is always performed under local anesthesia, hence it is painless. Wisdom tooth removal is unique in that the teeth are situated posterior most in the mouth and carry the risk of spreading infections into adjacent areas. Also sometimes the shape and position of these may necessitate surgical removal.        T
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Q64 - Do I have to have them out?

A-Wisdom teeth don't make you smart, but they can create problems. These third molars are the last teeth to erupt and usually appear between the ages of 17 and 21, but can begin causing problems as early as age 13. Sometimes the teeth don't always have enough space at the back of the lower and upper jaw and develop at an angle causing the tooth to jam and become impacted. When this happens, a cyst can form in the tissue surrounding the tooth causing deterioration of the jawbone or the tooth in front. Sometimes the wisdom teeth only partially erupt and become prone to recurrent infection and decay. This condition can lead to swelling, pain and difficulty opening the jaw. The development of wisdom teeth can be painful and is often associated with sore throats, headaches and gum infections. By checking the development of your wisdom teeth during regular checkups and dental x-rays, your dentist can determine whether your wisdom teeth have enough space to erupt through the gum or if they should be removed.      Top

 

 

 

General

 

Q65 - How often should I visit a dentist?
A-
One should visit the dentist at least twice a year for regular check-ups. However, if there is toothache, bleeding gums, sensitive teeth or any dental problem, one is advised to visit the dentist immediately.      T
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Q66 - Is sugarless gum healthy for teeth?
A-
Chewing sugarless gum stimulates flow of saliva. Saliva works as a natural mouthwash by dissolving the volatile sulfur molecules, which make the breath smell bad. Saliva also neutralizes acids produced by plaque bacteria and helps to clear the mouth of food that plaque bacteria usually feast on.     T
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Q67 - Why is dental treatment so expensive?
A-
Dental treatment needs to be rendered by a skilled professional using quality equipments and materials. This combined with a follow up of instructions after treatment results in betterment of dental health and the overall health of the patient. The treatment may require one or multiple visits to the dentist. Thus considering the longevity of the results obtained benefits far out weigh the cost involved.    T
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Q68 - Is there a good diet for a healthy smile?

A-Here are three things you need to ensure good dental nutrition:
A HEALTHY DIET Strong teeth need a variety of foods from each of the basic food groups including whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, lean meats or alternatives, and dairy products.
ESSENTIAL VITAMINS AND MINERALS In particular, calcium and phosphorus, and vitamin D are needed for strong teeth and bones, as well as vitamins A and C for healthy gums. Eating a varied and healthy diet will provide the essential vitamins and minerals needed for your teeth and gums to stay healthy and strong.
SMART SNACKING While everybody knows that eating sweets is bad for your teeth, what you may not know is that the amount of sweet food you eat is not as important as the length of time your teeth are exposed to sweets. This means that you should avoid eating sticky sweets like toffee or hard candies like mints, because they stay in your mouth longer. It also means that eating sweet snacks between meals is much worse than with a meal, because at mealtime the increased flow of saliva helps protect your teeth by washing sugars away. Choose something without sugar like nuts and seeds, peanut butter, cheese, plain yogurt, or popcorn for your between meal snacks and save your sweets for mealtimes.     
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 Q69 -What is Plaque?
A-
Plaque is the accumulation of bacteria, microorganisms and their products which sticks to the tooth surfaces. Dental plaque is soft and easily removed by brushing and flossing the teeth. Accumulation of plaque can lead to gum disease (gingivitis) and periodontal disease, as well as tooth decay.   Top

 

Q70 - What is Calculus (Tartar)?
A-Calculus is dental plaque that has mineralized. Calculus can form when plaque is not removed from the tooth surfaces. This plaque becomes old and eventually forms into calculus. Calculus can form above or below the gumline. The bacteria that sticks to calculus can cause gum disease (gingivitis) or periodontal disease. Calculus cannot be removed by brushing and flossing. A dental hygienist checks for calculus formation when you visit the dental office. It is removed with special instruments designed to adapt to the tooth surface affected without causing trauma to the soft gums.  Top

 

Q71 - What is Gingivitis?
A-Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. Some common features associated with gingivitis are red and swollen gums, and the presence of bleeding while brushing and flossing. The cause of gingivitis is the bacteria in dental plaque. This disease is reversible with good oral hygiene practices.     Top

 

Q72 - What is Periodontal Disease?
A-Periodontal disease affects the periodontium (the supporting structures of the teeth). The cause of this disease is multifactorial, but the presence of bacteria in plaque certainly plays a major role. The supporting periodontal structures begin to breakdown. This can mean that part of the bone that supports the teeth or the ligaments that hold the teeth securely in place are destroyed. This disease process is generally not reversible and may require treatment from a dental professional specializing in periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can develop as a result of poor daily plaque control (e.g. brushing and flossing). However, not everyone with poor brushing and flossing techniques will develop this condition. It is wise to visit your dental hygienist or dentist regularly in order to detect early stages of the disease and to prevent further damage.   Top

 

Q73 - What is a Cavity?
A cavity is the destruction of the tooth enamel, dentin, cementum and may involve the tooth pulp.   
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Q74 -How does a Cavity Form?
The formation of a cavity is due to many factors. For example, the tooth itself plays a role (how strong it is); the mouths ability to cleanse itself (your flow of saliva); diet (frequency and selection of sugary foods); the bacteria in your mouth (good or bad); and the length of time the tooth is under attack by the bacteria in your mouth.

Heredity: may play a major role in how susceptible you are to the formation of a cavity, for example:

  • tooth structure, size and shape of the tooth may be passed down through generations. This includes deep pits and grooves which are ideal "plaque traps", and therefore, are susceptible to decay

  • there may be a higher risk of cavities forming if your parents also had a large number of cavities

  • teeth that are malpositioned in the mouth, that are hard to access with your toothbrush or floss may also provide an ideal breeding ground for the bacterial dental plaque.

  • the absence of fluoride during tooth formation and following tooth eruption can increase the incidence of cavities. fluoride promotes strong tooth development and remineralization of the tooth

Saliva: has a protective function in the mouth, for example:

  • a good flow of saliva washes away food and bacteria that sit on the teeth and gum tissues

  • salivary flow helps to neutralize the acids produced by bacteria from plaque, thus a good flow helps reduce the chances of a cavity formation

Diet: a well balanced diet from each of the four major food groups is essential for your oral health, as well as, your overall health.

  • avoid frequent consumption of high sugar foods, especially sticky foods

  • the longer the time the food stays on your teeth, the greater the chance of forming a cavity. If you do have a sugary snack, it's best to brush your teeth soon after

  • select between meal snacks that are low in sugar concentrations such as white milk, fresh fruits, raw vegetables, dark breads and whole grain and enriched cereals

  • sugar free candies, gum and other snacks are an option

Time: the actual amount of sugar eaten in one sitting is not as important as when and how often you choose a sugar containing food.

  • the consumption of high sugar foods is best if eaten with a regular meal. This will confine the sugar exposure to one sitting. It's best to eat the whole chocolate bar at once instead of at different periods throughout the day

Bacteria: the mouth harbors many types of bacteria that are considered to be normal in the human mouth.

  • bacteria, in a healthy mouth tends to live in balance, but for reasons yet to be truly identified, that balance can be tilted and oral disease may result

Fluoride: fluoride provides many benefits. It is found in many products such as toothpaste, mouthrinse, fluoridated drinking water and periodic topical fluoride treatments applied by your dental professional.

  • it aids in the development of sound enamel

  • it helps reduce enamel solubility and increases enamel resistance to acid attack

  • it prevents demineralization (the white spot phase of the beginning stages of a cavity)

  • it enhances remineralization of beginning stages of a cavity. Fluoride may arrest further development of a cavity by depositing the fluoride mineral called fluoroapatite

Fluoride used in addition to daily brushing and flossing helps to reduce the chances of a cavity.

Signs of a Cavity Formation
The first sign of a cavity forming may be a white spot, which in time may turn brown.
If it is a white spot, low concentrations of fluoride applied frequently can arrest further development.

White spot phase
If the white spot phase progresses, further breakdown of enamel will occur. At this point, a visit to your dental professional is necessary. The cavity may be restored with a filling.

Breakdown of enamel between the teeth

Good Habits to Help Prevent Cavities

  • regular visits with your dental professional on an appointment schedule that he/she recommends based on your own needs. Regular visits will ensure you have the benefits of preventive care and early diagnosis, as well as, treatment for any dental problems. Guidance about home dental care can also be provided to avoid future problems

  • diet plays an important role. Minimize the frequency of sugary foods, thus reducing the amount of acid produced. Select snacks that are less cavity causing, such as fresh fruit, plain yogurt and raw vegetables

  • the use of fluoride will help decrease the risk of cavity formation

  • good plaque control. Maintain a strict and regular home care routine to minimize plaque growth

  • it is recommended that you consult your dental professional before using any commercial products. You want to make a selection based on the effectiveness of the product and your own personal needs

A Healthy Mouth Enhances Overall Health     Top

 
 

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